Holy Trinity & Prairie South to Unite Bussing Services

Robert Thomas

The move to integrate and share bussing services, where possible, between Prairie South School (PSSD) and Holy Trinity (HTSD) just got the greenlight.

PSSD officially adopted the policy dictating which of their students will receive transportation.

The new transportation policy was necessitated by moves to integrate PSSD and HTSD services to allow for a more efficient and effective system.

“If we had two sets of rules we would be in an untenable situation as we would have to ask are you a Holy Trinity or a Prairie South kid?” Director of Education Tony Baldwin, said, adding the division needed to “get to a place where kids are kids and rules are rules.”

The cost savings measure will see PSSD and HTSD work together on bussing to help eliminate duplication of services and often many empty seats on busses.

The measure will see public and separate school students on the same bus instead of running two partially empty busses through the same neighbourhoods and often ending up at schools very close to each other.

PSSD will use an amended Board Policy (BP) 17 to determine which of their students will be provided transportation to and from school by the division. In Moose Jaw BP 17 dictates, generally, which students receive transportation based upon a minimum radius distance from the school in their catchment area.

For Grades 1 – 8 it’s one kilometre; for kindergarten and pre-school it’s 200 metres and for Grades 9 – 12 there is no transportation provided. There are, however, defined exemptions to these rules.

Walking distances of 200 metres will also apply to kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students who want to use the buses.

“We try to get buses to stop as close as we can to little people’s homes. But we would expect that it was reasonable to have a little person to walk that 200 metres to the bus or to be dropped off from their home,” Baldwin said.

Additionally, in discussions surrounding the 2018-2019 school calendar, the board was told the division was working with HTSD to harmonize both divisions’ school calendars in order to facilitate the joint transportation effort.