Some students in the Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) will have to find a new way to get to class next fall.
The school board voted to change the walking boundaries for elementary school students from one kilometre to 1.2 km, which means students will have to live at least 1.2 km away from school in order to be eligible to ride the bus.
According to RCSD, the distance is calculated “based on roadways and on a safe way for kids to walk to school.”
Twylla West, a spokesperson for RCSD, said the division is facing a tight budget and has to make some “difficult decisions.” Changing walking boundaries is expected to save the division $1 million annually.
“A million dollars goes a long way in terms of hiring classroom teachers, hiring instructional assistants and making sure that we have all the resources that we need in our classrooms,” West said.
“When it comes to the budget things are tight and we don’t have anything that’s comfortable that we can cut.”
Roughly 1,000 students will be impacted out of the 12,000 total students in the division.
West said RCSD is working with schools and parents to provide extra safety education for students who will now have to walk to class.
The change will bring RCSD into alignment with Regina Public Schools and other school divisions in the province, West said.
The new walking boundaries will apply to all RCSD elementary schools and are expected to take effect at the start of the new school year.