Lack of transportation to Moncton summer school concerns N.B. family

WATCH: Students attending summer school in Moncton are facing challenges getting there. The classes are being offered at the new Moncton High School, but school buses don’t run during the summer and Codiac Transpo doesn’t service the new high school. Global’s Alex Abdelwahab reports

MONCTON – A Moncton high school student says the school’s location is making it hard for her to get to her summer school class.

Sarah Leger is re-taking her Grade 11 English class this summer at the new Moncton High School on Longfellow Drive.

But there are no school buses operating during the summer months, and Codiac Transpo doesn’t service the school.

That means Leger often has to walk more than 2.5 kilometres along busy Elmwood Drive to get to the closest bus stop.

“When I walk, it’s like cars are zooming by,” she said.

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The speed limit along Elmwood Drive between Longfellow Drive and Cedarwood Avenue, where the closest bus stop is, varies between 70 km and 80 km an hour.

Leger said she sometimes gets a ride from her parents or has friends drive her, but thinks holding the classes at Moncton High School was a bad idea.

“It’s nowhere close to anywhere,” she said. “Like no bus stop, or sidewalks, even.”

Her father, Paul, agreed saying he’s concerned for her safety.

“My wife and I both work and we don’t always have the liberty to go pick her up during the hours that she’s taking classes,” he said.

Paul thinks there should be sidewalks, or city buses, or school buses operating. Or else, the classes should have been held at a different school.

The summer school program is managed by a private company, Moncton Education Services Ltd., but president Jack Powers said that they had several discussions with the school board on exactly those concerns, but that Moncton High School was the only option this summer.

Powers said the areas three other high schools, Riverview High School, Harrison Trimble, and Bernice MacNaughton were all undergoing renovations this summer and couldn’t accommodate the approximately 200 students for safety reasons.

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He also said holding the classes at an elementary or middle school, wasn’t possible.

“The high school summer school includes biology, chemistry, Science 9 and Science 10. All of those require some lab time,” he said. “Another school just wouldn’t be able to provide that if we went to a middle school somewhere; that would have created that complication.”

Powers said the program is trying to accommodate students as best as it can by helping to arrange car pools for those who need it.

“When they were registering for summer school, if someone mentioned the fact that they were going to have some real difficulties, we tried to pair them up,” he said. “In some case there are as many as three students going in one car and taking turns in order to get there.”

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