There is going to be a new student transportation policy come September for the 77,000 students who ride the bus in Nova Scotia. It has been developed with input from a 2018 online school bus consultation survey answered by 8,000 Nova Scotians.
“After consulting with school communities throughout Halifax Regional Municipality, we have made substantial changes to provide safe and reliable transportation for our students and school communities,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“While families and students outside HRM are quite satisfied with existing bus services, it is clear from conversations with families and the education community that changes were necessary to improve how we help students get to school.”
The new policy means, students and pre-primary children who attend an elementary school and live at least 1.6 kilometres away will be eligible for busing. Junior and senior high school students will be eligible if they live 2.4 kilometres away.
The previous distance criteria were 2.4 kilometres for elementary schools and 3.6 kilometres for secondary students.
Most regional centres and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are currently operating at or below the new criteria. The new policy will also address communication plans between service providers and families.
If a family is not in agreement with a transportation decision there will be a new review process put in place.
In September, all eligible pre-primary children will also have access to a school bus.
Families can contact their regional centre for education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial to determine bus eligibility.