2012-04-19 / Front Page
Parents of Holman students wait for decision on busing
JACKSON — At a recent meeting of the Jackson School District Board of Education, residents of the 60 Acres development addressed their concerns about the potential loss of bus service for their children to the board and district administrators.
Students from the 60 Acres development attend the Holman School.
According to a district spokeswoman, courtesy busing for children who live in 60 Acres is included in Jackson’s 2012-13 school budget. Courtesy busing is a service the school district is not required to provide to children who live near the school they attend. The board extends the service as a courtesy.
However, in an attempt to be as efficient as possible with its budget, administrators could decide before the start of the 2012-13 school year to eliminate bus service in 60 Acres, according to the spokeswoman.
Parents expressed concern for the safety of their children if the youngsters are required to walk to school.
“We, the residents and board of 60 Acres, are against the elimination of all bus routes to and from the Holman School,” 60 Acres President Robert Skinner told the board. “[The idea] could result in dangers to our children and, ultimately, costly and unneeded lawsuits.”
Skinner said road congestion and other unintended side effects associated with the elimination of busing would have a negative impact on the 60 Acres neighborhood.
Parents objected to the possibility that students would have to walk along a wooded path between their homes in 60 Acres and the Holman School. Some parents said keeping an eye on their children as the youngsters entered the woods would be difficult.
Jackson Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella said no decision regarding the elimination of busing for the children who live in 60Acres will be made until safety concerns about new crosswalks, crossing guard posts and the wooded path are seriously discussed.
Gialanella said a decision regarding courtesy busing for the children who live in 60 Acres could come as early as May. He said parents will know what administrators are planning for the 2012-13 school year before the 2011-12 school year ends.
The issue of busing in 60 Acres initially came up during a school budget discussion in February when the district’s transportation administrator said bus routes in 60 Acres could be eliminated to save money beginning in the 2012-13 school year.
The Holman School serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
At the start of the 2011-12 school year, 48 pupils from Jackson’s Flair development lost their courtesy busing to the Holman School. Prior to requiring those 48 students to walk to school, about 400 children were walking to Jackson’s Rosenauer and Johnson elementary schools every day.
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