Rocky View Schools approves transportation exceptions
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 11:03 am
Students from Langdon, Cochrane and Airdrie will continue to have transportation access to Indus School, Westbrook School and W.G. Murdoch School respectively in 2014 to 2015 thanks to three decisions made by the board of trustees on June 5.
The board approved the approximate cost of $2,000 per year to continue to transport 25 students from the two designated stops located at the Landgon School bus loop to Indus School.
“Having 25 more students helps (Indus) School,” said Darrell Couture, associate superintendent of business and operations.
“The transportation department subsidizes that cost but we’re really enhancing education for that school.”
“Indus is a small school,” said Trustee Bev LePeare, who motioned the board approve the transportation exception.
“The families attending the school love that it’s a small school but it does effect the programs and opportunities offered at the school. Those 25 students do impact the programming offered at the school.”
Indus School Principal Chael Wyper wrote to the board expressing how the Langdon students impact the school, saying the additional students allow the school to have individual grade levels instead of multi-grade level classes.
Trustee Sylvia Eggerer expressed concern that the addition of these 25 students bumped the school up from a small school classification that allowed for extra funding from Alberta Education.
Couture countered by saying the funding from the government accounts for about $30,000, an amount he said would be similar to what the division would have to allocate to the school for programs if the Langdon students weren’t able to attend the school due to a lack of transportation options.
The transportation exception was passed with Eggerer opposing.
Similar to the Landgon/Indus exception, the 15 students from Cochrane that travel by bus from a stop at Mitford Park to Westbrook School are impacting the overall wellness of Westbrook School.
Westbrook Principal Christine Parker wrote to the board:
“If you remove 15 students from these six classes, our class size would drop and affect the split combinations we are able to offer. The problem is that we would still have the same number of classes and still require the same number of teachers. The result is cutting back in all other areas of the budget from classroom material, to PE to technology.”
Trustee Fiona Gilbert motioned the board approve the exception for the 2014 to 2015 year, which comes in at an approximate cost of $3,300 per year.
The decision was unanimously passed.
The board voted to continue to allow three students from Airdrie to have access to bus transportation to W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield so they could participate in the hockey program there.
Trustee Norma Lang, who made the motion to approve the exception, asked trustees to look at it “from the perspective of growing the (hockey) program and providing students in Airdrie the opportunity to hook into this hockey program.”
Eggerer voiced concern that the transportation exception has already been in place for two years and has only attracted three students at an approximate cost of $3,600 per year.
“We $3,000 ourselves to death,” she said.
“We offer a hockey program in Airdrie so we’re taking students out of an area that already offers the program.”
“The hockey program in Crossfield is amazing,” Lang said.
“I think with a little more strategic marketing we could see a lot more numbers on that bus.”
“What I see this as is an investment in the program,” Trustee Helen Clease said.
The decision was passed with Eggerer opposing it.