A Nanaimo parent is attempting to establish additional busing for students to Ladysmith Secondary School.
With the Cedar Community Secondary closure, the previous school board gave Ladysmith and John Barsby Secondary as schooling options, with busing provided only to Barsby. A group in Cedar started a bus to Ladysmith and Lee Llewellyn, a parent in Cinnabar Valley, is looking to do the same.
Llewellyn said the Cedar group’s bus is at capacity, with a waiting list. Like that group, he is looking to Smith Transportation and will need about 47 people to fill a bus. He currently has about 26.
“They gave me a quote … it comes out to about $110 per kid, per month,” said Llewellyn. “It works out to about $6 or $7 a day. [That’s] is OK as far as gas and time and stuff goes, it’s not that bad, but again, I come back to we shouldn’t have to do this anyway. It shouldn’t be our job to do this.
“One parent that called me yesterday, he’s in with three kids, so there’s $330 a month and he doesn’t have that. You know what I mean? So that’s a definite problem.”
Llewellyn, who currently has a child attending Ladysmith, with another next year, can work around his schedule to take his children to school, but many don’t have that luxury.
“A lot of people are doing the 9-5 and they can’t run their kids to Ladysmith twice a day and the cost involved. I’m just running a little tracker, but it’s still a tank of gas a week, 80 km a day and we checked out the options of a carpool and there’s just no way. It can’t work,” said Llewellyn.
Steve Rae, school board chairman and a parent from Cedar, said he’s been contacted by Llewellyn. Busing hasn’t been discussed by the current board, although it is something it can revisit, with public forums that will be held leading up to 2015-16 budget passage.
“That’s the kind of input we’re looking for, from all across the district. That’s what we want. We make better decisions when we’re informed,” said Rae.
For more information on the Cinnabar bus, please contact Llewellyn at 250-756-8848 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.