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Board asks administration for plan to increase busing for middle- and high-schoolers

The District 833 School Board wants to reduce walking distances to school when East Ridge High School opens in the fall of 2009 and junior highs become middle schools.

Now, students in grades kindergarten to sixth grade walk if they live less than 1 mile from school and no change is being proposed for kindergarten to fifth-grade when the changeover occurs.

Junior high students walk if they live within 1.5 miles and high school students are not bused if they live within two miles of school.

At Thursday night's District 833 School Board meeting, the board told the administration to come up with a plan to bus students in grades kindergarten through five who live more than a mile from school, middle school students who live more than 1 mile from school and high school students who live more than 1.5 miles from school.

A plan to accomplish the changes is being postponed until later this year.

It could be accomplished by rearranging some school starting times, according to Gary Dechaine, district transportation director, at an additional cost of $36,000 a year.

A decision on a plan is complicated by the fact that the high school re-design task force is mulling a recommendation to change starting times, according to Superintendent Tom Nelson.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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