Find a better school schedule

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

To the editor:

I’m never a proponent to “kick a can down the road,” but after attending last night’s Town Hall meeting hosted by the Sleepy Hole and Nansemond Borough School Board representatives, I most sincerely hope the School Board will either vote to keep the current start times or choose option No. 2, which is basically the same as our current plan.

Once that business is over, I hope staff is asked to come up with a better plan. The School Board made its bed years ago when it changed the school times and reduced the fleet inventory to save money. Simply shuffling our schools and children like a deck of cards doesn’t solve any problem.

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Next year, we will have an elementary and middle school — Northern Shores Elementary School and Col. Fred Cherry Middle School — that draws their population from a three- to four-mile radius. These two schools and a few others will not require the same cookie-cutter transportation approach as schools in more rural locations.

Please spend time better analyzing data like ridership, bus routes in compact districts and route efficiency. Work with City Council and the General Assembly to get alternate funding options like profit-sharing to buy more buses and hire more drivers. Collaborate with the modeling and simulation industry to provide transportation data that works with our limited and finite resources.

And lastly, let’s find a plan that has no student on the road waiting for a bus when it is dark and no student arriving home and stepping off the bus when it is dark.

Courtney Wolfe

Suffolk