Bus stops like this one in Fall River have been saved at the last minute after pressure from a parents group. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER: The decision to axe upwards of 44 courtesy bus stops for two Fall River schools has been paused until the end of the school year—at the earliest.

A letter sent out by the Halifax Regional School Board late in the day on March 9, just as students were to begin March Break, indicates that because “in areas where courtesy busing has been available, families have come to rely on it” their removal would not happen-at this time.

“For this reason, we will not be implementing the proposed changes to courtesy bussing,” said Ron Heiman, HRSB Direcotr of Operations Services in the letter.

The schools that will see the planned bussing removal halted, which were to begin March 19, are Ash Lee Jefferson; Brookhouse Elementary; Lockview High; Millwood High; and Sackville Heights Elementary.

In the letter, Heiman said that the provincial government is moving forward to unify the education system.

“That includes taking a closer look at policies and procedures for student transportation,” Heiman said. “We want students to get to school both safely and in a timely fashion.”

Heiman said that this pause also means the introduction of additional buses and the reconfiguration of many bus routes in the Charles P. Allen and Lockview families of schools will now not be implemented at this time.

For the Lockview Family of schools, these changes would have impacted Beaver Bank Monarch Drive; Ash Lee Jefferson; GP Vanier; and Lockview High.

In the letter’s ending, Heiman made an apology of sorts to parents.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and concern this previous announcement may have raised,” he said. “We are continuing to work with Stock Transportation to look at other options to ensure all bussed students arrive to class on time.”

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Pat Healey
Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!