During the Prairie South School Division’s (PSSD) board meeting Tuesday, a group of concerned parents and one student from the Tugaske area, addressed the board’s decision, made in October, to change the busing boundaries that once had Tugaske in a buffer zone between Central Butte and Eyebrow.
By moving the boundaries of the Tugaske buffer zone one mile west, it would place the rural community in the Eyebrow School busing zone, thus removing the communities current bus to Central Butte.
In the original vote on the matter, Oct. 4, five of the nine trustees voted in favour of the move, while those who voted against the decision said they felt it was unfair to take such a decision out of the hands of the students.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Shara Christmann along with Kevin, Stacy and Bailey Wilson made brief presentations to the board as to why they to feel the buffer zone should remain where it is.
During her presentation, Christmann asked the board to take a second look at their decision and re-vote on the issue.
“Before you draw a line in the sand, take the time to put faces to the outcome that these types of decisions will affect … please.”
She said at this time there are a number of rural communities in the division with over-lapping buses and doesn’t understand why the Tugaske buffer zone is the one being singled out by the board.
Christmann said from the research she has done, she has found no financial gain to the division as a result of this decision and is finding it difficult to understand why the board has decided to change the buffer zone in this community and only this community.
She and the others who presented Tuesday all pointed out that if the division is going to make decisions such as these, and it is looking to change boundaries, it should be consistent and do so to all the rural catchment area’s in the division, and follow through with these changes at the same time.
As for a students perspective on the matter, Bailey Wilson said she feels when you live in an area where you have two schools so close, offering different things, the students should have the right to attend the school that best fits their needs. However, said by removing transportation to one school or the other, you are not going to change where a student goes, just make it more difficult for them to succeed.
“For us older students, it’s our fifth year in Central Butte School … we have established friendships with students as well as teachers. This has become our school.”
Bailey said she has nothing against Eyebrow School, just feels Central Butte is a better fit for her and in a perfect world would like to see both schools remain an option to families in the area.