300 students on school bus wait list in district

School district may need to add bus routes to cope with growth

The Sooke School District may have to add some new bus routes to cope with the increase in students this year.

Sooke School Board chair Ravi Parmar said bussing is a complicated issue that won’t be easy to resolve.

He explained that the Sooke district puts a cap on the number of students they can bus at 3300, due to limited funding from the government.

“Our district is working with the municipalities to ensure there is safe alternatives of transportation other than bussing,” said Parmar.

Sooke School District superintendent Jim Cambridge said there are approximately 300 students on a waiting list right now to ride the bus this fall, but this could change within the next few days.

“Over the summer we’ve had a big influx of registrations, some of those are new to the community, and some are existing students who hadn’t registered prior to this year,” Cambridge said.

As there is no charge for the bus route this year, he said some families could be taking advantage of it, and others could potentially just be registering for a rainy day.

There has also been an increase in students this year so they added a bus route in response to the district’s projected growth.

“The first week we will do a little survey to see who’s still on the bus and who has left,” said Cambridge.

Once the district finds out how many students plan on riding the bus every day, it will determine whether they have to add routes and where the money will come from to do that.

“When you’re growing as fast as our school district is, we can’t predict who’s moved in and what developments happened over the summer so we pretty much have to adapt every September when we get the new numbers,” Cambridge said.

Parmar said there would be some issues with funding should the district have to add routes, but they are working to find a solution.

“The board wants to provide safe bussing for students that need it, but busses cost money and to add routes we would have to take money out of the classrooms. I don’t think that’s the responsible thing to do, so we will keep working to resolve this issue,” said Parmar. “But when you are bussing well over 3000 people, things aren’t going to be perfect.”

Parmar said he encourages parents to come to the board meetings and share their thoughts and ideas. Adding that for the time being, he advocates those who have the ability and those who are on the wait list to try and find other options of transporting themselves to school.

Just Posted

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Sooke’s Most Wanted

The following individuals are wanted by the Sooke RCMP as of Jan.… Continue reading

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

LETTERS: More roads? More Cars? No thanks.

Climate change is real. Ecological destruction is real. Who out there who… Continue reading

LETTERS: Sooke roads not racetracks

What can we as a community do about the blatant law breakers… Continue reading

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read