Anglophone South cuts bus service to out-of-zone daycares
School district is cutting service launched by District 6 before amalgamation
Parents in the Kennebecasis Valley may need to make other arrangements next year if their child's after-school program falls outside of their school's boundaries.
Buses now deliver a number of students to daycares outside of their school zones at the end of each day.
But officials with the Anglophone South School District have decided to stop the service, which was launched years ago by the now defunct District 6.
"We started out delivering students to six daycares [in the Kennebecasis Valley] that were in-zone or out-of-zone," said John MacDonald, the district's finance and administration director.
Our district now goes from Sussex Corner to Campobello, and we don't provide this anywhere else in the district.- John MacDonald, Anglophone South School District
"Over the years it kept growing, now we find we're delivering to 22 daycares, and in a lot of cases we're delivering students out-of-zone to get them there."
As a result, the district has to allocate six of its buses to the daycare runs.
Paring back the service in September will reduce that to four buses, MacDonald estimates.
The Kennebecasis Valley is the only area that delivers students by bus to providers outside of school boundaries.
"That's an issue because our district now goes from Sussex Corner to Campobello, and we don't provide this anywhere else in the district," MacDonald said.
"One of our daycare operators also has a facility in Saint John and she provides her own bus to pick up students to her daycare [in the city]. And they do ask that question, why is that service available in the Kennebecasis Valley but I can't get that in Saint John?"
In another instance, MacDonald says buses were taking Rothesay Elementary School students to a YMCA program at the qplex in Quispamsis once the same program at the school was filled.
"You're talking three school zones away," he said.
A letter explaining the change went out to parents on Monday. Children can still be bused to any location within their school zone.
Daycares that sit on the border of two school boundaries can still accept students the next school zone over, as long as they're on a bus that normally travels that route. No special trips will be arranged.
Daycare operators were notified last Friday. Some are looking into providing transportation themselves. Others may switch their spaces around to accommodate the impacted students.