Presentation to the community of the Crowsnest Pass Regarding Livingstone Range School Division<br />Request to review pol...
Concerns<br />Livingstone Range School Division is currently changing the bussing system with new policies and procedures ...
2010-2011 Policy Plans<br />One bus for K-12 students from each community with a bus change at CCHS.<br />Only place of re...
Livingstone Range Policy<br />POLICY 1<br />VISION, MISSION, CORE VALUES & GUIDING PRINCIPLES<br />Vision Statement<br />T...
collaborative decision making;
commitment to success and achievement;
recognition and celebration of accomplishments.</li></ul>Guiding Principles<br />1) Decisions must be student centered.<br...
Transportation Review Action Plan Approved by Board of Trustees on May 12, 2009 <br />In January of 2009, Mr. Tom Milne pr...
To assess the alignment of the Board’s student transportation service policies with provincial   student transportation fu...
To assess present school bus routes and school attendance areas; and
To make recommendations for the consideration of the Board. </li></ul>Based on his review, including parent and community ...
Recommendations not being followed:<br />Recommendation #9: In-Town busing be continued for at least K-3 students, and a f...
Research<br />We interviewed the 40 school divisions/ districts in Alberta to compare policy and practices on bussing, saf...
Main themes from other School Boards<br />	All school divisions identified that funding was tight and was getting tighter ...
Research<br /><ul><li>We interviewed concerned parents, Sustainable Resources Development, Volker Steven, the Municipality...
Issue 2 : Shift working parents<br />The local economy of the Crowsnest Pass does not support the majority of the populati...
Issue 3: Dangerous Animals<br />The Crowsnest Pass contains many major animal migration routes between mountain ranges, as...
Wildlife ComplaintsSRD has provided the total wildlife complaints within the municipality for the last three years.<br />
Issue 4: Highway 3<br />A major highway goes right by Horace Allen School.  There is an underpass before the school for ch...
Safety Facts from SAFE KIDS CANADA<br />In order to cross a street independently AND safely, children need three important...
Issue 5: Railroad<br />The railway going through the municipality is within 1 km of all of the schools.   Only one of the ...
Issue 6: Wind and Weather<br />Mountain communities are known for extreme weather.  Excessive wind, cold and snow are weat...
Issue 7 : Supervision Ratios on Bus<br />	There is a large concern with k-3 students riding the same bus as all other grad...
With much discussion and research; we respectfully request that the following changes in practices be considered for the L...
	We have purposefully not outlined how to meet these needs as identified in the form of specific policy suggestions, thoug...
Comparisons of the 4 “no” responses<br />There were four divisions that had a “hard” no bussing option for ineligible stud...
Infrequent Bus Stops<br />Other School Divisions had policies in place including notes from parents; direct contact from p...
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Presentation To Community

  1. 1. Presentation to the community of the Crowsnest Pass Regarding Livingstone Range School Division<br />Request to review policy on student bussing.<br />
  2. 2. Concerns<br />Livingstone Range School Division is currently changing the bussing system with new policies and procedures which severely limit parent’s options, and is not consistent with practices Alberta-wide.<br />An independent review was completed in 2008 outlining recommendations for the Transportation of students, and many of the current policies go against what the review recommends and the boards stated Vision, Mission, Core Values & Guiding Principals.<br />
  3. 3. 2010-2011 Policy Plans<br />One bus for K-12 students from each community with a bus change at CCHS.<br />Only place of residence pick up and drop off for each student.<br />No bus pass or options for ineligible students.<br />
  4. 4. Livingstone Range Policy<br />POLICY 1<br />VISION, MISSION, CORE VALUES & GUIDING PRINCIPLES<br />Vision Statement<br />To be leaders in providing quality education to rural students in a dynamic learning<br />environment.<br />Mission Statement<br />To develop critical thinkers and life long learners who become contributing citizens. This will<br />be accomplished through consistent delivery of high quality programming and teaching that<br />is responsive to diverse student needs and interests in an inclusive environment.<br />Core Values<br />Livingstone Range School Division models and promotes a safe and caring environment of<br />mutual respect within the education community. Accountability for excellence in student<br />achievement is supported by the following behaviors:<br /><ul><li>transparent and effective communication;
  5. 5. collaborative decision making;
  6. 6. commitment to success and achievement;
  7. 7. recognition and celebration of accomplishments.</li></ul>Guiding Principles<br />1) Decisions must be student centered.<br />2) Decisions must take into account our geography and ruralness.<br />3) Schools and communities must work collaboratively to provide the best quality<br />educational opportunities for students.<br />4) Decisions are best made closest to the child through site-based decision making.<br />5) Decisions reached must be affordable now and sustainable in the future.<br />6) Equitable access to programming opportunities for students within their communities.<br />7) Program delivery must be flexible and responsive to student needs.<br />8) Accountability must be built into every decision.<br />9) Decisions must reflect board policies.<br />
  8. 8. Transportation Review Action Plan Approved by Board of Trustees on May 12, 2009 <br />In January of 2009, Mr. Tom Milne presented a draft report to the Board of Trustees on his review of the student transportation system within Livingstone Range School Division No. 68. Mr. Milne had been contracted by the School Division to review the system with the primary purposes being as follows: <br /><ul><li>To assess the effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of the student transportation system;
  9. 9. To assess the alignment of the Board’s student transportation service policies with provincial student transportation funding policies;
  10. 10. To assess present school bus routes and school attendance areas; and
  11. 11. To make recommendations for the consideration of the Board. </li></ul>Based on his review, including parent and community input received during the <br />review process, Mr. Milne made eleven (11) recommendations for the Board to <br />consider. In March and April the Board sought further input by holding public <br />community meetings throughout the School Division where the recommendations <br />were presented, clarified and discussed. Those present at the meetings were provided <br />the opportunity to write down and submit their comments regarding any of the <br />recommendations or any other transportation concerns for the Board to <br />consider. <br />
  12. 12. Recommendations not being followed:<br />Recommendation #9: In-Town busing be continued for at least K-3 students, and a fee of $300 per student per year be levied for the bus service. The amount of the fee should be sufficient to achieve full cost recovery for the service, including the administrative costs of collecting the fees. <br />Recommendation #10: The possibilities of turning in-town busing of ineligible students over to private bus operators be explored.<br />
  13. 13. Research<br />We interviewed the 40 school divisions/ districts in Alberta to compare policy and practices on bussing, safety issues specific to their community, and community resources available within their community. The two that were not interviewed were Calgary and Edmonton, as they are urban and were deemed not comparable.<br />
  14. 14. Main themes from other School Boards<br /> All school divisions identified that funding was tight and was getting tighter every year, and that many of the fees quoted would be going up this year. They suggested that concerned parents need to speak to the Minister in regards to these safety concerns, and this would assist in ensuring that there was more funding for next year (i.e provincial political will is required to change this). Each school division acknowledged that they were ultimately not obligated to provide more than one bus stop for “eligible students” (those who lived more than 2.4 km from the school). Kindergarten is not mandated, so transportation of kindergarten students was not required. Each school, however, still provided more services and options to parents than Livingstone Range is proposing. <br />Of the 40 School Divisions interviewed, Livingstone Range was the ONLY ONE who answered no to the seven main questions in this survey.<br /> The main theme that came out of conversations was that situations were not black and white. Parents and School Boards share the responsibility of keeping the children safe. Considerations were all made on a case by case basis and each transportation board worked hard with the parents to meet all of their needs as best they could. All practices were based on bus seat availability, ensuring the stop was on an already established bus route, and that proper parent and bus driver communication was maintained. Parents had a definite role in working collaboratively with the school board and transportation services. Policies were in place for issues regarding parents who did not work collectively and communicate well with the bus driver or transit authority, or who were deemed to abuse the transit system.<br />
  15. 15. Research<br /><ul><li>We interviewed concerned parents, Sustainable Resources Development, Volker Steven, the Municipality Administration, the Municipality Bylaw Officer, Alberta Transportation, Alberta Education, each Division/District Transportation Department, and CP Rail to determine any safety issues in regards to elementary aged children walking to school within 2.4 kilometers of specifically Horace Allen School, and the Crowsnest Pass in general.</li></li></ul><li>Issue 1: Special Municipal Status<br /> The Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass is over 30 km in length, and has a population of 5700. It has a major highway (#3), a river (Crowsnest), and a railway running through the middle of the valley and is one of three major transportation corridors running between Alberta and British Columbia (the others being Jasper and Banff). Due to its amalgamation, it is recognized as a unique community in Alberta’s Municipal Governance Act, Alberta Regulation 378/94. The two other areas with this consideration are Cold Lake and Redcliffe. Their different bussing policies address the concerns outlined in this presentation.<br />
  16. 16. Issue 2 : Shift working parents<br />The local economy of the Crowsnest Pass does not support the majority of the population, requiring many to work outside the municipal limits, in a variety of shift work situations. Major employers to the community are the Mines in Sparwood and Elkford. Their twelve hour shifts four days on/ four days off plus transportation time is not consistent with the 9 to 4 bussing schedule. Not many employed parents have the same hours as the schools. As such, an extremely large number of parents require use of an alternative caregiver. It is incredibly limiting that they are not able to assign an alternate caregiver location, especially as there are no before and after school care programs available in the Crowsnest Pass. Parents do not have enough child care options in the community for this rigid of a policy. Many parents literally have to chose between working and being at home to meet their children after school. Neighbors (many are elderly or “weekenders”), taxis (there is one service), private bussing (they said No) and babysitters ( who are not allowed to bus there after school) are not viable or safe ONLY options. The policy of only place of residence drop off is exposing children to situations where there is not adequate supervision at home. Children under the age of 10 are not legally allowed to be alone. Recent research on Youth at Risk states that the majority of youth delinquencies occur between 3 pm and 6 pm- when there is no adult supervision between school ending and parents getting home from work. There is a large vandalism problem currently in the Crowsnest Pass. Parents are responsible ultimately for their children. Many frustrated parents have alternative caregiver options, however, do not have the ability to designate them as the drop off/ pick up location, or purchase a bus pass to transport their children somewhere else.<br />
  17. 17. Issue 3: Dangerous Animals<br />The Crowsnest Pass contains many major animal migration routes between mountain ranges, as documented by both Sustainable Resources Development and the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass. On a daily basis, children may encounter animals such as bears, coyotes, cougars (especially before dawn and after dusk when children are walking in the winter), moose, elk, skunks, raccoons, and deer. All of these animals are dangerous and aggressive during fall mating season or in the spring when they have their young. Young children should not be walking unsupervised when these animals are around as they do not have the cognitive ability, skills or knowledge to see signs of the animals or know how to react in a safe way to decrease animal/human confrontation. Some schools encourage “walking school busses”, and request the Fish and Wildlife Officers to do workshops on animal safety in the schools. Options to decrease risk of conflict with animals were discussed with SRD, and were identified as encouraging the Municipality to attain its full “Bear Smart Status” by passing proper bylaws and using proper garbage disposal methods, and more education for the community on wildlife issues.<br />
  18. 18. Wildlife ComplaintsSRD has provided the total wildlife complaints within the municipality for the last three years.<br />
  19. 19. Issue 4: Highway 3<br />A major highway goes right by Horace Allen School. There is an underpass before the school for children to cross, but there are still significant safety issues in regards to the highway. In the winter there is typically an excessive amount of snow in mountain communities, and Volker Steven has identified that any sidewalks along the highway are not cleared consistently, giving the children no options to walk safely on the sidewalks that are there. Many locations, including the road going from the highway to the school, do not have a sidewalk. There are no flashing pedestrian lights or adequate signage to drivers coming into the town to indicate that young children are walking there. Recent surveys have indicated an increase in non-local traffic flow along highway 3, thus exposing students to a number of risks including: dangerous driving, abductions and stranger interactions. A parent volunteer measured with Municipal Bylaw Officer the speeds of cars travelling in front of the school. Very few were going the posted speed limit. The Horace Allen School is currently zoned a “school area” rather than a “school zone” as the school does not meet the Alberta Transportation Departments requirements for a School Zone speed limit of 30 km an hour, even though children aged four through eight are required to walk along it. The school is not signed appropriately as people are not slowing down. Some of the speeds documented between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm were 85 km an hour. Volker Steven indicates that they are signing the area as they, the contracted service, are told to sign it by Alberta Transportation. We have requested a review through the Government of Alberta Transportation Department in Lethbridge (Glen Murray 403 382-4087). The Municipality is responsible for flashing crosswalks and lights as well as sidewalks on the road in front of the school , so contacting local elected officials to voice this concern is also important. Other communities polled indicated that highway safety concerns deemed it inappropriate for children to walk along or cross and they would bus these children as exceptions. <br />
  20. 20. Safety Facts from SAFE KIDS CANADA<br />In order to cross a street independently AND safely, children need three important skills that are typically NOT acquired until between 9 and 11 years of age: <br />The ability to determine and use a safe crossing route <br />The capability to realistically assess a vehicle's speed <br />The cognitive means to judge safe gaps in traffic <br />This means supervising children who have not yet reached this stage.<br />Key facts and statistics<br />• Child pedestrian injuries are a leading cause of injury related death for Canadian children aged 14 <br />Years or younger.<br />• Pedestrian-related injuries contribute almost 15 per cent of all injury-related deaths of children <br />younger than 14 years.<br />• On average, 30 child pedestrians younger than 14 years are killed and 2,412 are injured every year.<br />• Children aged 10 to 14 years have the highest risk of pedestrian injuries and deaths.<br />Speed reduction reduces the risk of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. <br />A pedestrian hit at 64 km/h (40 mi/h) has an 85 percent chance of being killed.<br />At 48 km/h (30 mi/h), they have a 45 percent chance of being killed.<br />While at 32 km/h (20 mi/h), the chance of dying is only 5 percent.<br />
  21. 21. Issue 5: Railroad<br />The railway going through the municipality is within 1 km of all of the schools. Only one of the <br />crossings is “controlled”- which according to CP rail means it has arms coming down to stop traffic<br />and pedestrians. Other schools who have identified railways as a risk in their community identified <br />that they will make an exception and bus students who have to cross an uncontrolled railway crossing.<br />Canadian Pacific is responsible for maintaining their right-of-way, if there are concerns regarding a <br />particular right-of-way they forward complaints/concerns to track maintenance supervisors or <br />company police as the situation warrants. In most areas, the right-of-way extends approximately 50 <br />feet from the center of the track on both sides.<br />CP Rail and Safe Kids Canada advises “Talk to your children about rail safety and teach them about <br />staying safe around trains and railway tracks. Be realistic about your child's abilities based on their age <br />and stage of development. Children younger than 9 or 10 years of age need to be supervised. It's <br />natural for children to be swayed by peer pressure into taking unnecessary risks, and children tend to <br />have a limited comprehension of dangerous situations. Trains often look like they are moving relatively <br />slowly, simply because they are so big. Just as you teach your children how to navigate through traffic, <br />teach your children safety rules for staying safe around trains and at railway crossings”. In 2008, there were <br />287 railway grade crossing and trespassing incidents that resulted in 56 serious injuries and 73 fatalities in <br />Canada.<br />CP Rail offers with Safe Kids Canada a program called Safe Crossing Week, where CP rail employees <br />work with schools to teach children about train safety. Teachers can help reduce the risk of injury by <br />providing consistent safety messages throughout a child's school career by registering at Safe Kids <br />Canada and offer a comprehensive, easy to use, national rail safety education program. The Safe <br />Crossing Program includes lessons from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and includes learning objectives, step-<br />by-step teaching activities, student assessments and evaluations, in addition to follow up activities for <br />individual classes, the entire school, and home.<br />
  22. 22. Issue 6: Wind and Weather<br />Mountain communities are known for extreme weather. Excessive wind, cold and snow are weather variants that could put the young children, walking the required 2.4 km at risk. High winds increase wind chill, and the CNP is well known for wind warnings. If the wind chill factor is reported as -25C (-13F) or greater children should not be outside as this is the temperature at which exposed skin freezes in a few minute. Young children can take as long as 45 minutes to walk the 2.4 km home. Even dressed properly, they will be exposed to frostbite. High winds, blowing snow, and fog/clouds also decrease visibility, making an already easily distracted age group unfocussed and off-task when walking home as well as vehicles driving on the roads less able to see them.<br />
  23. 23. Issue 7 : Supervision Ratios on Bus<br /> There is a large concern with k-3 students riding the same bus as all other grades, with as many as 65 children on each bus. These children are very young and require more supervision than the current 65 children to 1 bus driver ratio proposed offers. They may also be exposed to language and behaviour that is not appropriate knowledge for k-3 children. They require constant redirection and cues to follow rules, which a bus driver is not able to do and drive safely. The proposed bus change at CCHS is also concerning as the younger children are easily distracted and lost. With each bus containing 65 children, it will be challenging to keep track of the them to ensure they are directed appropriately. If this is a requirement for this bussing system, the bare minimum should be that the bus switch occur 5 minutes farther down the road, at the Horace Allen School, where the younger children don’t have the chance to be misplaced, or alternatively have each community bus drive to each school and have the start and end times ten minutes apart. We feel there are many other safe options other than the proposed system and that this needs to be reconsidered.<br />
  24. 24. With much discussion and research; we respectfully request that the following changes in practices be considered for the Livingstone Range School Division Bussing Policy to make it comparable to policies Alberta-wide:<br />1. Separate bussing for all students to minimally Horace Allen School, due to safety issues as identified above.<br />2. Options for parents within the 2.4 km “Ineligible Zones”, which may include offering bus passes, or decreasing the ineligible zone for younger children.<br />3. Policy allowing transportation to alternative caregivers, and for Joint Custody Situations.<br />
  25. 25. We have purposefully not outlined how to meet these needs as identified in the form of specific policy suggestions, though we would be happy to meet with you and share the policies and ways each of the other school boards have worked to meet the needs of their communities and have taken measures to keep the children safe. <br /> Every other School Division was willing to work with the parents to meet their NEEDS, not just their WANTS. There were strict but fair policies in place, and many of them we feel would work well for the Livingstone Range School division.<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Comparisons of the 4 “no” responses<br />There were four divisions that had a “hard” no bussing option for ineligible students. Livingstone Range was the only one who also answered “no” to the other questions posed. <br />Wild Rose, Aspenview, and Canadian Rockies policies allowed transport to an alternative caregiver and for joint custody issues; had before and after school care options in the schools or in the community, and will bus to these; and/or make exceptions for identified safety concerns on a case by case basis.<br />
  28. 28.
  29. 29. Infrequent Bus Stops<br />Other School Divisions had policies in place including notes from parents; direct contact from parents to bus drivers and principals to obtain permissions; notice to the bus driver and principals 3-5 days before the date to ensure bus seat availability; and special policies for absences over 6 days with a written request form to allow infrequent changing in bussing as parent needs arose. <br />
  30. 30.
  31. 31. After School Programming<br />There were many communities that did not have before or after school care <br />programs either at the school, or within the community. However all of <br />these school divisions, with the exception of Livingstone Range offered “bus <br />stops” at locations close to the after school programs parents needed for <br />after school care. Few transported to voluntary “extracurricular activities” <br />such as dance lessons, play dates etc., but each made allowances for <br />alternative caregiver or infrequent babysitting needs, making up for the lack <br />of community resources through working with the parents needs. Through <br />discussion with board members of the Boys and Girls Club, eight years ago <br />when the club was first starting, they tried to initiate this program at Horace <br />Allen School. Unfortunately they did not have near the proper ratios to <br />supervise the children as they were not yet staffed adequately and so the <br />program was not successful. Attempts this last year by the Boys and Girls <br />Club to attempt this once again to fill the need of parents was not considered <br />by the Elementary School Administration based on the previous inability to <br />succeed with the pilot attempt. <br />This is an identified need in the community. Speaking to school administration and<br />the Town Council to make this gap in services deemed important would assist in <br />getting this need met.<br />
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Alternative Caregivers/Custody Issues<br />The vast majority of School Divisions and Districts recognized <br />the growing trends of split households and/or both parents <br />working. Some allowed two pick up or drop off locations for <br />free. Many charged a fee for the additional bus route pass, <br />and only allowed it if it was on an already established bus <br />stop. All stressed the importance of constant contact <br />between parents and bus drivers to ensure children were <br />going to the right homes at the right times if multiple routes <br />were required, some requiring weekly schedules handed in to <br />the schools or drivers the week before to ensure bus seat <br />availability on the bus. Their focus was to make it easiest and <br />the least stressful for the children impacted by these <br />situations.<br />
  34. 34. Request for Action<br />We are requesting information regarding experiences with the Livingstone Range School Board’s transportation policy.<br />If you are satisfied with it, please let us know how it meets your needs.<br />If you are not satisfied with it, please write a short, anecdotal account of your experience. How it does not meet your needs; what attempts, if any have been made to resolve your concerns; if they were successful; and if you have any current concerns in regards to the proposed changes for the 2010-2011 school year.<br />Please email your information to us, as well as the Livingstone Range School Board and Trustees so they are aware of your satisfaction or of your concerns. Email addresses are below.<br />karimertz@hotmail.com; hallk@lrsd.ab.ca; thompsond@lrsd.ab.ca; decouxfilipuzzig@lrsd.ab.ca; ratcliffem@lrsd.ab.ca; petersond@lrsd.ab.ca; burdettj@lrsd.ab.ca; murrayk@lrsd.ab.ca; olsend@lrsd.ab.ca; sladed@lrsd.ab.ca; elliotte@lrsd.ab.ca; harriss@lrsd.ab.ca<br />Mail to: 5202 – 5 Street East PO Box 69, Claresholm, Alberta T0L 0T0<br />Join our FACEBOOK group: “Less bussing services than the rest of Alberta is not good enough, Livingstone Range!”<br />
  35. 35. Request for the Municipality<br />Acknowledge issues raised as valid for this community.<br />Endorse this issue by allowing, if required, a petition to be posted at Town Office for a central location and to supervise signatures.<br />Encourage and support a before and after school care program to be developed in this community before September, so parents have at least one safe option for their children.<br />
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