D203 considers bus service for summer school
Feb 07, 2013 (Chicago Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Naperville Unit District 203 parents may not have to shuttle their children to summer school this year.
Administrators have proposed providing transportation for elementary students in the program in order for more students to be able to attend.
"This has the dual purpose of taking down that barrier and also providing a great deal more safety on the site," said Mike Purcell, director of the program.
He and Transportation Director Liz Myers have worked out a proposal that calls for providing six regional buses that would stop in each neighborhood, though not at every regular bus stop. The buses would transport students to and from Scott Elementary School where the summer sessions take place.
Students from the farthest corners of town would be picked up at 7:45 a.m. and dropped off after summer school at 12:45 p.m., allowing for a maximum ride time of 45 minutes each way, according to Purcell.
"It seems like a long bus ride but if you actually think of how long it would take to get there in rush hour it's not that much longer," he said.
Purcell estimates providing transportation would cost about $9,000 and called for the district to absorb the cost instead of raising summer school fees, which he said could deter more students from taking the classes.
If the program is successful this summer, the district would look at expanding it to the junior high and high school levels.
Transportation is one of several proposed changes to the summer school program. Purcell is also calling for students who have just completed kindergarten to be split into two groups -- one for students who need extra support and another for those who are advanced.
At the junior high level, he is proposing the creation of a math enrichment class that would be "math competition style learning."
To accommodate high schoolers who are also working summer jobs, Purcell said the district could offer two new independent courses that would mostly be completed online. Introduction to Algebra would make use of a computer program and only require students to stop in during a teacher's office hours. Computer Applications II would also be able to be completed almost exclusively at home.
The school board will vote on the proposed changes at its Feb. 19 meeting.
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