**** EDUCATION/EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT Media Release
New Student Transportation Policy for September
A new student transportation policy will come into effect in September.
The policy was developed with input from a November 2018 online school bus consultation survey that more than 8,000 Nova Scotians responded to.
“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 student transportation policy will:
— set new provincial criteria for school bus eligibility. 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. Most regional centres and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are currently operating at or below the new criteria
— address communication plans between service providers and families
— include a new review process when families are not in agreement with a transportation decision
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.
— more than 77,000 students ride a school bus every day
— the previous distance criteria were 2.4 kilometres for elementary schools and 3.6 kilometres for secondary students
Perceptions on School Bus Transportation among Nova Scotians: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/docs/schoolbussurveyreport.pdf
School transportation policy: