School safer for students

As students head back to class for another school year, parents at one elementary school can rest easy knowing steps have been taken to ensure their child's safety.

Beairsto Elementary School sits next to 27th Street, one of the busiest in Vernon and that was causing concerns for many parents whose children walked to school.

So, the parents approached the school board and successfully asked for a crossing guard.

Christie Tujik, Beairsto Parent Advisory Council representative, said the crossing guard will start this school year and will be at the school for one hour on the morning and one hour in the afternoon.

Because the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure classify 27th Street as a highway, a school zone is not an option.

“Because it's considered a highway they won't go lower than 50 km/h on it,” said Tujik. “People don't slow down, so it's become a really big safety issue.”

Also a concern is the district has implemented fees for what are classified as courtesy riders. Parents must now pay $300 per student to ride the bus if they are outside of a catchment area or students attending a school of choice, like Beairto which offers French immersion.

Tujik is concerned the fee will generate even more traffic as parents drop their children off instead of paying for them to ride the bus.

The good news is over the summer a new student drop off area was added onto the existing parking lot.

“They took out part of the field and put in a two-lane drop off and pick up area,” said Tujik.

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