Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
8:14 PM EDT
2014-03-31 at 16:36

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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razor_burn says:
I do agree with Duncan that they could probably use the exercise. Same goes for most adults too. However, Thunder Bay isn't the city it was even ten years ago. It is not a safe city at all anymore. Making the kids walk a greater distance only increases their chance of something bad happening to them. Then add in the fact that 99% of them will be walking and texting only makes it a recipe for disaster. It's sad but true.
4/2/2014 1:05:48 AM
S Duncan says:
valid points for sure.
4/2/2014 1:09:23 PM
crazyforweed says:
I went to st pats ,lived in northwood took a bus and on nice days walked home took about 35 -45 mins depending which way i would take , but i do see ALOT more porkchop kids these days than ever before ..maybe this would be incentive but than their porkchop parent would probly drive them
4/1/2014 10:37:14 AM
woofwoof says:
Good idea for the high school students having to walk.I have been behind a school bus full of high school students that stopped every block to drop them off. Could not figure out why they were not just dropped off at one stop and make them walk a few blocks.
4/1/2014 9:05:42 AM
Ranma says:
Kids still take school buses? What, with all the helicopter parents, I am surprised they let their little darlings, no matter how old, out of their sight.
4/1/2014 7:25:10 AM
nvjgu says:
In my day only rural kids got bused, now every kid get's bused. even 4 blocks away from the school.
4/1/2014 4:48:38 AM
gerster says:
Honest opinion here, riding your bike to school is dangerous with Thunder Bay drivers! My 12 year old rode his bike and I went with him a couple of times. The last time we went, he almost got hit multiple times! So he now takes the bus.
3/31/2014 11:46:17 PM
Mazda323 says:
Why shouldn't high school aged kids walk to school? I can see if they live rural, that's a different story, but a mile from school is nothing! Let's face it, a little exercise won't kill them, dress for the weather and save not only huge dollars, help the environment by emitting less exhaust fumes from buses, and in the long run, healthier kids. Win, win, win situation!
3/31/2014 10:56:55 PM
tsb says:
I walked 2.6km to high school, didn't bother me at all.
4/1/2014 6:58:42 AM
tbay87 says:
Did they reduce it previously? According to Google Maps, my walk to high-school was about 2km, the only way to make it in 1.6 would be to cut through people's yards. And I didn't have a bus available to me.

I really didn't mind in the fall and spring, but Thunder Bay's reluctance to declare "snow-days" combined with Thunder Bay's winters made for some pretty miserable walks.
3/31/2014 9:49:17 PM
commonsense says:
More kids of all ages could certainly use the walk to school, and the exercise.
Problem is, most parents are off to work, so they want to know that their kids are "on the bus" and safe. So, many schools have a "safe arrival" program, where parents get called if child doesn't arrive.
This story deals with high school kids though. Don't they start earlier now, and it's dark at that time during winter months?
On Vancouver Island, I noticed parents had to pay extra for school bus service, and you could opt for full year, or winter months only.
Not sure about the "paying part", but busing only in the winter seems like an idea.......
Course these kids would need some boots and a warm coat..... and have to get off their phones to cross the street safely......but all good ideas!!
3/31/2014 8:42:11 PM
humnchuck says:
I think Public board high schools start @ 9:30am and the RC board start @ 8:40.
3/31/2014 9:36:04 PM
S Duncan says:
No wonder RC board schools do better, they actually get up in the morning!

You wont be a great success in life if you stay in bed half the day.
4/1/2014 8:54:24 AM
nopatience4stupidity says:
What a smokescreen! "There is a potential for cost savings but that’s not the driver here." Sure $ is not the reason. Great to hear; so they should also consider reducing the bussing distance - perhaps to 1 km. The kids are going to school for an education. If they want to promote health, then do it through an appropriate physical education program and call this for what it is - another way to cut costs.
3/31/2014 8:31:55 PM
Charm65 says:
Making it to long with kids today of too much on the computer/gadgets and being a bit lazy would it make going to school for them an issue being to far to walk?
3/31/2014 7:38:42 PM
S Duncan says:
all those little porkchops could use a long walk.
3/31/2014 5:44:44 PM
tsb says:
Imagine how much money we could save if we got rid of buses altogether!

Hell, lets stop paying for side streets and save EVEN MORE!!!
3/31/2014 7:44:35 PM
Enquirer says:
Preach it, tsb!!!!

Why stop there?! Heck, why do we need them fancy-shmancy schools anyways?! Kids these days. Pffft. Think they know about stuff because of all that fancy book learnin' they be doin'.

Back in my day, we walked up 47 foot high snowbanks in nothing more than a shawl we bought with OUR OWN MONEY we saved up from the summer previous working 21 hour days the fields.

If the teacher even THOUGHT about cracking open a book to teach us, she was meant with rounds of applause and nothing but praise. If we received a physical punishment for not clapping in unison correctly, we were thankful for the valuable lesson it taught us. What it was, I am unsure, but I just know that hitting us kids was the right thing to do!!!!!

Ah yes, the good ol' days!


I think that about covers any further trolling that needs to be done. Anything else to add, tsb and others?
3/31/2014 8:58:43 PM
S Duncan says:
sounds like you're overdue for some walking.
3/31/2014 9:19:02 PM
Synical says:
It is a one hour walk from my kids school to my house, in clear weather. You'd feel comfortable with kids walking those distances in some of the weather we have?

Not to mention the PA kids that go to FW schools. Districts have been obliterated with certain programs only being offered at one high school, or schools catering to specific trades and tech courses.

Get rid of buses. What a stupid thing to say.
3/31/2014 11:11:52 PM
tsb says:
I walked, biked or took the city bus to my high school, located 2.6km or 1.6mi away from my home. I never had a problem making it to school without the school bus. I don't understand why it would be any different for today's high school kids?

Good to hear they've eliminated the strict districting, though. I was actually zoned for Hammarskjold because it was much closer, but went to Hillcrest instead for its tech courses. It's nice to see that students once again have the option to choose the right school for them instead of being pigeonholed into the nearest choice!
4/1/2014 6:55:55 AM
Toot Sweet says:
then you should move closer to the school.

why is it the taxpayers responsibility to get your kids to school?

get rid of buses!
4/1/2014 2:46:40 PM
Undrgrnd says:
Tbnewswatch.com you should be ashamed of yourselves!!
How can you allow such inflammatory posts? I'm appalled that a website which claims to be professional and community orientated would approve such an obvious trolling attempt.

Seriously, where is the social value in insulting our city's youth and their parents?

I am disappointed in the direction the comments on this site have gone in. What was once an enjoyable experience involving myself in discussions centered around issues in the city has now become something akin to debating the "intellectuals" on youtube.

And so with regret I must bid farewell to an old friend. I must separate myself from the meaningless diatribes and the senseless vitriol which seems to have permeated this once respectable website.

Goodbye tbnewswatch, and to shame.
4/1/2014 11:11:41 AM
Waldo Lydecker says:

the world is not about you. the world does not care if you are appalled. the world does not care if you are disappointed.

is the whole world supposed to meet your expectations?

we are faced with childhood obesity problems never seen before. it appears to me and many others that a lot of that is directly related to exercise. we spend millions every year trying to teach children physical education and promote healthy lifestyles but we then promote laziness by riding a bus to school?

if anybody should be disappointed its all those obese children because we helped to fatten them up.

so make this all about you if you must, but if youre upset and want to hide from the reality of the problems you have helped create, shame should fall upon your shoulders as well.

do not blame the messenger here, blame those that enabled this unhealthy habit of bussing to school.

be part of the solution, not part of the problem and help fix this. do not run from reality, face it head on.
4/1/2014 1:24:49 PM
Undrgrnd says:
Must you rearrange my comments to fabricate an opposition to your opinions? Clearly my comments never even approached the subject of childhood obesity but were meant simply to express my frustration with the absurdity of the comment system on this site.

I could tear your post apart paragraph by paragraph, but one look at your grammar and punctuation and it is clear your level of intelligence doesn't even approach debatable so I won't even bother.
4/1/2014 3:16:09 PM
S Duncan says:
Thought you were leaving?
4/1/2014 4:08:37 PM
Undrgrnd says:
Sorry, mercilessly slaying trolls is a pastime I can seldom resist...
4/1/2014 5:21:46 PM
S Duncan says:
Looks like your win column is pretty empty.
4/2/2014 8:33:50 AM
mystified says:
We all thought you were leaving too.
Oh, I forgot we don't know which name you'll use to insult everyone.

I agree with Undrgrnd. This website has taken a real nose dive by allowing the likes of S Duncan and Tootsweet to abuse the guidelines.
4/2/2014 9:43:04 AM
S Duncan says:

don't let the door hit ya..
4/2/2014 6:23:07 PM
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