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Wake School Bus Plan to Be Finished by June 22

Posted May 31, 2007

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— Families opting out of Wake County's year-round schools still don't know their assignments for traditional-calendar schools, but there is one guarantee: transportation.

By law, the school system must give students a way to get to school, no matter where they end up.

Next year, Jennifer Nelson’s two daughters will transfer from a year-round school to a traditional-calendar one. The family lives three minutes from Knightdale Elementary, the girls' current school. They could  end up at Wakelon, however, seven more miles on a bus.

“I’m very concerned,” Nelson said. “A long period of time just would not work for them. Kids tend to get rambunctious. They cannot sit for a long time, then they’re tired and then I have educational concerns.”

Nelson’s daughters are among 86 students at Knightdale who are moving to a school with a traditional calendar. Of course, those 86 students aren’t all in one neighborhood. They’re spread among several neighborhoods, which could mean more stops and more routes.

Wake County transportation officials have their work cut out for them. If the proposed board plan is approved, they’d have to draw new bus routes. Kids opting out of Barwell Elementary in Raleigh could go to Forestville in Knightdale. That's 7.3 miles. Carver Elementary students would go to Zebulon – 6.8 miles. Students at Durant in Raleigh might ride to Rolesville, an 8.3-mile trip.

Wake's buses already average three runs a day.

“The more options, the more places children in a given area go, the more complex and the more number of routes required,” said Don Haydon, associate Wake superintendent.

Transportation officials want to have a bus plan in place by June 22.

For some students, their traditional calendar school assignment could be closer than the year-round schools that tjhey opted not to attend. They were already traveling long distances from previous reassignments.

The school board hopes to approve the new plan Tuesday.

5 Comments

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  • Ange1a Jun 1, 2007

    I wonder if it would alarm Ms. Nelson to know that the maximum one way bus time the WCPSS permits for elementary school students is an hour and fifteen minutes. Oh, except for non-base students. They can ride 30 minutes more. http://www.wcpss.net/transportation/policies.html

  • spiderneb May 31, 2007

    What I am concerned about is, in recent reports Wake county has said that they are feeling a strain on keeping buses matained properly by not having enough qualified mechanics on the job. By adding more routes to the same buses, and those same buses driving farther each week, isnt this going to make thing worse for the overworked buses we already have?....

  • iumat21 May 31, 2007

    Ha Ha...I don't think WCPSS would intentionally make longer bus routes to teach parents a lesson...but I think that it is funny...the grass is always greener on the other side isn't it Ms. Nelson? How do you think the Bus Drivers feel about YOUR rambunctious kids? I hear that they are always looking for new drivers...maybe you could control your kids!

  • poohperson May 31, 2007

    I love how everyone just thinks that the BoE is out to trash them. If they chose traditional they knew there was a good chance the kids would travel further. If you do not want them to be on a bus, then you need to take them yourselves. It is just ridiculus to think that they would scatter kids across the county on purpose, then have to come up with a bus schedule to get them there.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 31, 2007

    FYI for Parents of Students who opted out of Year Round.

    Students who opted of year round will be sent to the traditional school that is the farthest from their home to teach WakeCares and it's supporters a lesson for defying the BOE.