Letters to the Editor

School bus fee called disgraceful

Dear Sir:

This is the email I sent to Mr. John Garossino, the school district official in charge of bussing.

Dear Mr. Garossino:

My child has been in the French immersion program since kindergarten as has his older brother. He is now in grade 6 and all of his friends are in French immersion.

My catchment school is Uplands Elementary. As you have suddenly decided to start charging me for bussing my child to Ecole Mountainview with no advance warning the following are my expectations regarding my child’s schooling.

Uplands School is full but you will be making room in this school for my child and the others who belong to this catchment area and used to go to Ecole Mountainview.

My child will show up at Uplands and room will be made for him immediately. This will be done even if it means removing other student and sending them to their own catchment area schools.

These changes will be done sooner rather than later to minimize disruption to my child. You will ensure that his new teacher spends whatever time is necessary to bring him up to speed with the rest of his new classmates.

You will also reimburse me for whatever school supplies I purchased that are not required at Uplands.

You will also provide a psychologist for my child should there be issues because he has been forced out of his school and into a new one without warning simply because of your complete and disrespectful lack of communication.

If you were going to charge for bussing then you should have told us that last winter when we had the option of registering our child (children) in our catchment area schools where bussing is provided by my tax dollars.

This is a disgraceful situation that you and the other decision makers at School District 82 have created and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

The only reason this won’t be a class action law suit is because most people won’t disrupt their children and will come up with the $20 per month per child. The people you have hurt are the low income often single parent families.

Certainly parents contemplating French immersion should be warned that bussing costs will be passed on to them. We know the rate will only rise.

There is also no guarantee that there will even be bus service to Ecole Mountainview in the future as it is a school of choice and the school district is not mandated to provide bus service.

This certainly was not made clear to me when I enrolled my children in the French immersion program.

Some timely communication and information would certainly have been a much better idea on the part of the school district. Just saying ..

Valerie Neifer,

Terrace, BC

 

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