Clayton Park parents raise safety concerns at boundary meeting
Child safety over long walk to new school is primary issue for parents of Park West students
Concerns about child safety and overcapacity were discussed at a school boundary review meeting affecting hundreds of students in Clayton Park.
The Halifax Regional School Board, which is undertaking the boundary review, held a meeting at Halifax West High School on Monday night so parents could voice their opinions on the proposed changes.
One of the schools affected by the proposed changes is Park West School on Langbrae Drive. It is currently for children in Grade Primary to Grade 9. If the boundary changes are approved, Park West would become an elementary school.
Several parents of children attending Park West were vocal at Monday night's meeting, bringing signs pleading to keep the school the way it is because of concerns about safety.
"We want them to stay in our community," said Sumaira Manzoor, a parent of boys in Grades 7 and 8 who attend Park West.
"We do not want them to go and travel in the morning … through all the traffic and we think it's a big huge safety issue right now."
Under the proposed change, junior high students from Park West would have to attend Clayton Park Junior High School starting in September 2015.
Marcia Kohler, whose daughter attends Park West, said she wants to maintain the short walk to school — usually 10 to 15 minutes — that the children enjoy.
"If they are moved down the street, they will have a 45-minute walk," she said.
There's also concern at how the school board came up with the idea to rejig the boundaries.
"The numbers given to the boundary review committee have been inaccurate," said Kohler. "We are within functional capacity."
The second proposed boundary change involves a recommendation to redirect where some Bedford area students go to school. Some students living on Larry Uteck Boulevard and in the Fernleigh subdivision would go to Bedford South School, while early French immersion students from the Royale Hemlocks subdivision would be reassigned to Rockingham Elementary School.