An East Sooke mother is raising concerns about a Sooke School District school bus plan oversight that’s forcing her son to walk 45 minutes to get to his bus pickup spot for class at Edward Milne Community School.
Tina Acosta-Delgado was shocked when she found out that Logan, a Grade 10 student, didn’t have a bus closer to his home after the latest school semester switch placed him into afternoon classes.
As the family lives along Cole Road in East Sooke, there’s no option besides taking a stroll along East Sooke Road towards Boardman Lane near East Sooke Grocer and General Store, the farthest that the school bus route goes into East Sooke.
“I have no idea how you would have come up with this plan knowing there are kids that live way out here,” said Acosta-Delgado in a social media post on Monday.
“I realize that it is a lot of gas you have to put out and sometimes it’s an empty bus with only five kids [and] you must face some challenges, but [sic] why would you leave us stranded like this?”
On Monday morning, Acosta-Delgado said she skipped work to drive Logan to the bus stop. She doesn’t feel comfortable with him walking along East Sooke Road.
She sent an email to EMCS and the Sooke School District bus transportation department on Nov. 23 asking for a solution, as Logan’s five-minute walk to a bus stop had grown almost tenfold.
Lindsay Vogan, communications manager with the Sooke School District, said EMCS released its new routes for the current semester two weeks ago.
“We do a pre-release so parents can find little errors here and there if necessary,” said Vogan. “This year has been super challenging in terms of bus schedules, due to the morning and afternoon class changes.”
Vogan said students may switch from morning to afternoon semesters every five weeks. In fact, the school district has needed to operate double the amount of trips for the secondary schools.
Currently, the school district serves around 25 students from East Sooke to EMCS, with seven in the afternoon and the remainder in the morning. She says they have to consider student course options and sports academies when planning any bus route.
Vogan said they are willing to work with families and schools to come up with a solution and encourages parents to reach out to the transportation department if they have any concerns about getting their kids to school.
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