Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-03-31 at 4:36PM

Public board to review minimum walking distance for busing

Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

Some high school students might have to take a longer trek to get to class.

At the request of trustees, the Lakehead District School Board is reviewing their policy on how far students have to walk before bus transportation is provided.

Currently, the board has a minimum one-way walking distance of 1.6 kilometres, or one mile, before secondary school students are eligible for busing.

Board superintendent David Wright said while the entire policy is under review, they are primarily focusing on secondary school students.

“We’re reviewing this from an aspect of health. There is a potential for cost savings but that’s not the driver here. It’s about whether a 1.6 kilometre distance is suitable for students today,” Wright said on Monday at the board office.

He would not speculate on what the new minimum distance would be set at if there were to be a change. He did say there are other school boards in the province that have further minimum distances.

The board will be consulting with students and their parent involvement committee among others to gauge reactions.

They want to help promote physical activity.

“I think anecdotally a lot of people believe that children aren’t as active as they have been. We’ve seen a big push in the last little bit to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and I think trustees promote and support a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

“This is just one way the trustees and the school board can help promote a healthy next generation.”

Wright says the Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay will be consulted to provide input on safety aspects such as traffic, construction and availability of sidewalks as well as climate factors, specifically during winter months.

A report and recommendation on the issue will be presented to trustees in June.

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