MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon city schools are always working to make sure students get to and from school safely. Although not required by law to pick up students who live within a mile of a school building, the district is in the process of adding an extra bus stop for middle school and high school students who live in the area off of Johnson Avenue between Columbus and Harcourt roads.
As they have for the past decade, those students currently walk to Columbia Elementary to catch a school bus to the high school/middle school campus. In response to a parent’s concern about the safety of having children walk along an unlighted street with no sidewalks, the administration will have buses begin picking them up on Crystal Avenue, as is already done for the elementary students.
Todd Allen, transportation coordinator, said he is developing the plan, but cannot make the changes overnight.
“We have three buses that will be affected by this,” he said. “We have to pay attention to who the students are and which buses are involved. It’s a matter of identifying those students, making sure that we have the busing sequence so we have allowance for all of the students [who potentially would ride the bus] and then communicating with the parents.” Allen said he hoped to have the relevant students identified as early as today.
“We are making this change because we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said Superintendent Steve Short. “We’re trying to do what we believe is going to be safer for students in that area, but we are also trying to do it right. We’re trying to get it done in an appropriate manner and in a safe manner for all our students. It is something that’s going to be accomplished and right now we’re trying to clean up the organizational pieces and follow procedures.”