North Cariboo residents with children who attend school at Parkland elementary, which is slated for possible closure, made their pitch to keep it open on Wednesday (March 9) night.
Quesnel’s Board of Education held a public consultation meeting in the gym at Correlieu Secondary school.
Busing was one of the major concerns that was raised.
Terri Campbell stated that in some cases the bus ride would be almost two and a half hours for one day.
She says it would be quicker to put their children on a Greyhound bus to Prince George.
Campbell says at least then they would have more comfortable seats and a bathroom to use if they needed it.
She says other provinces, such as Alberta and Manitoba, provide guidelines on maximum hours that students can be on a bus which is generally less than one hour.
Campbell suggested that having Barlow Creek students bus to Parkland would mean less time on the bus for those students.
She says students with long bus rides have a better chance at being overweight or obese and have less family time and homework time at night which can lead to lower than average grades.
People at the meeting also questioned the district’s numbers when it comes to how much closing schools would save.
In fact they said that by losing the rural school grant the district would actually lose money, more than 100 thousand dollars a year because of the loss of the rural school grant, by closing Parkland.
Others questioned why they would close the third newest school in the district and keep older ones open.
The Board is scheduled to make a decision on Parkland, as well as Kersley and Ecole Baker elementary schools, on the 30th of this month.