Dist. 51 increases walking distance
By Kathleen Goddeyne
Some students may be waking up a little earlier than they anticipated on August 20, for the long walk to the first day of school.
School district 51 has increased the walking distance by one mile for all students for the 2012-2013 school year. The elementary school students walking distance increased to two miles and the walking distance for middle school and high school students increased to three miles.
The district needed to cut $5.76 million from the budget this year and the bus routes were something to consider.
“We realize this may not be the best solution for families, but it also saved around $600,000, which is equivalent to twelve teaching jobs,” said Christy Mcgee, District 51 spokesperson, during an interview with KREX News.
Mcgee also noted that while this may be an inconvenient solution to the budget cut, it keeps cuts away from the classroom.
Some parents are concerned about the safety of their children during the walk to school. Mcgee suggested looking for a safe route for your child now, before school starts.
Maps of safe walking and biking routes for the majority of District 51 elementary schools can be downloaded at www.gjcity.org/School_
School District 51 has a committee working on questions and concerns about the new walking distance. If you would like to voice your own concerns, go to www.mesa.k12.co.us, the school district website, and click on “For Parents” then select “Student Transportation.” Information on who to contact is listed along with an online form where parents can write a summary of their concerns. For bus route information, select “Bus Stop Lookup” instead of “Student Transportation.”