To: The Southwest Transportation Committee
From: Doug & Christine
CC: Jack, Bob, Terry, Jane
Date: August 9, 2007
We are writing to express our disappointment and concern over the New Life, New Lenox bus route. It is our understanding that this year the bus route has been redesigned to include two bus routes in order to conserve gasoline and cut costs. The consequence of that decision is that our children have to get on the bus 25 minutes earlier than last year and off the bus 30 minutes later than last year. The actual times are on at 7:05 and off at 4:36; that is a 9 ½ hour day for my 5, 8 and 10 year old children. This consequence, in our opinion, is too high. It has been presented to other concerned parents that this long day is because of our choice to live outside of the boundaries but we believe this consequence our children have to make is because of your decision to combine the bus routes because of the monetary bottom line without considering the individual students it effects.
The individual students include JB and AE who are 5 years old and entering full day kindergarten which alone will be a big adjustment, JM a 6 year old who is entering first grade, EB and OE who are 8 years old entering third grade and CB, CE and JM who are 10 years old, entering fifth grade. It concerns us that the committee finds it appropriate to have these children travel for more than an hour on the bus both in the morning and in the evening.
In the winter, these children will be getting on the bus in the dark and off the bus in the dark. They will have to go hours without eating, have severely limited time to do homework or any other outside activities that would encourage their personal growth. Their daily schedule will consist of getting up at 6 am traveling on the bus for over an hour, spending 6 hours in school, traveling on the bus for over an hour again in the evening, getting off the bus close to 5pm, eating dinner and going to bed at 7:15pm in order for them to be well rested enough to learn the next day at school. We believe that this schedule will negatively impact their learning ability and severely impact their ability to get enough sleep, time to be with their families or time to be a child.
We urge you to reconsider your decision to combine the bus routes, not for our personal comfort but for the sake of the students. We urge you to reconsider the boundaries that exclude our families. We understand that the bottom line needs to be considered but we also believe that the school has a responsibility to consider the learning environment it is creating both on campus and through the buses it provides.
Doug and Christine