With the merged Shelby County Schools set to start its new school year Monday, Aug. 5, some parents are finding out that the school bus will no longer come to their neighborhood.
The school district said notification on the policy change was sent out in May and they did all they could to get the word out. But some parents found out for the first time at registration day on Tuesday that they are responsible to for making sure their kids get to and from school.
"What if I did send my kid to school on a bike in the morning?," questioned Amanda Allen, Germantown Middle School parent. "What if something happened and he never showed up? We wouldn't be notified until after the school day is over."
"There are a couple of major roads where we live that he is going to have to cross that," added Byron Freeman, another concerned Germantown Middle School parent. "They do not have crossing guards and that's a concern for us."
Back on Feb. 12 the SCS board passed Policy No. 3004, which ensures that a safe and cost-effective student transportation system is made available students to and from schools.
The policy states students enrolled in elementary schools 1.5 miles or more from home and students enrolled in middle or high schools who reside 2 miles or more from their assigned schools are eligible for transportation services.
Those inside the zone are not.
On the middle and high school level the distance is a half-mile increase than a year ago, meaning students in that half-mile radius who were eligible to ride the bus during the 2012-13 school year are not able to in 2013-14.
"I just first of all don't feel like it's safe," Freeman said. "I feel like there was not enough notice and I feel like a taxpayer that's something that should be offered. I found out about this transportation change on Tuesday at registration. No letter, no email, no text, no phone call. We found out that he was not eligible to ride the bus on Tuesday."
On Wednesday, a district spokesperson said letters were mailed out and students who would be affected were also sent home with letters. The information was also available on the board of education's website under the Facts First Back to School tab.
Frustrated parents say with the school start in five days, they will have to find a way.
"I have spoken to other parents and they are doing the same thing, potentially carpool or find alternative ways where kids walk to school together," Freeman said.
"Well you can't depend on someone else to take over your child and depend on them to take them home," added Allen "Their kids have different after school activities than yours. It's a lot to coordinate every week."
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