Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Parents want transportation issue addressed
Program to end at completion of school year
A group of Transcona parents say they hope to work with local school officials to maintain a transportation program that may have to be eliminated at an area daycare centre.
Transcona Jaycees Day Care Centre, located on Winona Street, plans to terminate its transportation program effective June 30 because of new legislation proposed by the provincial government in April regarding the use of booster seats.
The program transports students to Harold Hatcher Elementary School, Ecole Margaret Underhill, Ecole Centrale, and Wayoata Elementary School.
The proposed legislation would mean the centre would only be able to drive four kids at a time to school compared to the six it can currently transport. Centre officials say that wouldn’t be possible with existing resources.
Letitia Hatch, whose daughter attends the daycare, addressed members of the River East Transcona School Board at a June 5 meeting to request help from the division.
"I chose Jaycees because of its friendly staff and its ability to transport my kid to school," Hatch said.
"We want our children to get to school safely every day and having them walk more than a kilometre just isn’t safe."
Hatch said parents want to partner with the division to find a solution and are willing to pay the monthly cost to have their children picked up by division buses.
Jen Stewart, director of the centre, said next year there will be 20 students enrolled in its kindergarten program, and 24 students in the school-aged program.
"I don’t know what the future of our school-aged program will be if we can’t transport students to school," she said.
"At one of the schools we currently transport 12 students, so this will cause an extra trip."
Parent Audra Kolesar said no one is to blame for the situation, adding she hopes a resolution can be found before the 2012-13 school year starts.
"There’s no one to be mad at. It’s not the daycare’s fault or the division’s. We just want to work with them," she said.
"I’d much rather pay than have my five-year-old daughter cross Day Street by herself."
Wanda McConnell, senior communications co-ordinator with RETSD, said the school board will address the request at its next meeting.
"Trustees referred the parents’ request to the administration for a report back to their June 19 board meeting," McConnell said.
"For its report, administration will be exploring what options the division has open to it, within the guidelines set out in policy."
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