Local News

Wake School Bus Plan to Be Finished by June 22

Posted May 31, 2007 7:21 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2007 10:50 p.m. EDT

— 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.