Thursday, September 15, 2016

Metlakatla, Port Edward and School District resolve transportation issues for school year

School children from neighbouring communities will continue to have bus transportation to Prince Rupert schools this year, as the Metlakatla Governing Council, District of Port Edward and School District 52 formed a partnership to address transportation funding issues facing the District this year.

In a media release from yesterday, the two communities and the School District came up with a plan to share a single bus service to provide transit for students for the 2016-17 school year.

Working with FirstCanada the transportation plan will provide savings of $65,000 for the School District, which voted to fully fund the program to $85,000 at Tuesday's School District meeting.

The money will be provided from the recently announced funding of $117,579 in BC Ministry of Education to provide for transportation issues, the remaining 32,000 dollars will be allocated towards the transportation needs of students living within city boundaries.

Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald highlighted the nature of the partnership and how it helps to ease the burden of parents in the community.

“Ensuring our students in middle and high school will have guaranteed transportation throughout the school year without placing an increased burden on parents was a key goal of Council coming into the school year. We are happy to work with the Metlakatla Governing Council and the Prince Rupert School District to reach a solution that meets the needs of everyone,” 

The view from Metlakatla followed a similar theme, with Chief Harold Leighton observing that the two communities found a way to solve a problem and ensure that the students had access to education.

“This agreement is a great example of how people throughout the North Coast can come together to resolve a problem in a way that truly benefits everyone. Students from Metlakatla and Port Edward experience similar circumstances when it comes to accessing education, so it only makes sense that the leadership of both communities come together with the education provider to ensure their uninterrupted learning,” 

The bus service will pick up and drop off students from Port Edward in the morning, before picking up students from Metlakatla at the Metlakatla Ferry dock on the Prince Rupert warterfront.

The process will be reversed in the afternoon.  With the Metlakatla students dropped off at the Ferry dock before the bus returns to take the Port Edward students back home.

The contract for transportation with First Canada will be administered by the District of Port Edward and will be reviewed at the end of the 2016-17 school year.

You can find more items about issues and news from School District 52 from our archive page here.

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