For years, the wheels on the bus have gone ‘round and ‘round, but apparently, come fall, those same wheels will come to a screeching halt at Carpenter High School.
According to Northwest School Division (NWSD) officials, a committee recently established to examine school bus routes in the city has determined CHS students who live in Meadow Lake will no longer be able to to utilize the division’s primary transportation service. Basing its decision on the fact the school division has more students registered to ride buses than they’re currently able to accommodate – as well as driver frustration when a simple change in the weather results in more students wanting to come onboard than expected – the school division seems to think it has the right answer. Well, if a traditional marking scheme was being used to evaluate this new direction, the board would indeed receive nothing short of an A+.
Remember, this only affects students who live in Meadow Lake. Students living in the RM, as well as smaller communities such as Dorintosh and Rapid View, will still be bused to and from school each and every day. However, high school students living within the city itself will have to find an alternative means of transportation. This shouldn’t be too difficult considering many CHS students have either a licence, a car (or both) and already drive to school regularly. Of course, not everyone has access to a vehicle, but considering the number of parents seen dropping kids off at the various elementary schools each morning, certainly big brother or big sister could also catch a lift. Failing this, there’s also the option of car pooling with friends or hitting up mom and dad – or better yet, using your own hard-earned money – to pay for a cab. Too expensive? Then, there’s only one alternative left – wake up early and walk yourself to school!
Everyone’s heard stories during his or her lifetime, whether from a parent, grandparent or whoever, about how, “In my day we had to walk 15 miles through the snow to get to school, uphill both ways!” An obvious exaggeration, but there’s no denying youth today have access to much more luxuries than in years gone by. Maybe, it’s time to change that.
For some time now, the Flying Dust and Meadow Lake In Motion Committee has strived to encourage everyone – children and adults alike – to be more active. One way in which the group focuses its efforts on young people is by helping them establish safe routes to school, which in turn encourages youngsters to either walk or bike to school rather than ride the bus.
While the NWSD has its own reasons for doing away with buses for city kids at CHS, it’s a move that will likely cause more good than harm. In the meantime, parents, teachers and community officials alike should continue to promote active living because a healthy society is a productive society.