Parenting & Family

Question about JK Schedule and Optional Attendance

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  • Apr 21st, 2017 4:32 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks we will try that :)

Just out of curiousity, would there be an option for us to pay for bus service through TDSB?
Deal Addict
May 2, 2007
3015 posts
260 upvotes
I suggest you find someone in the area to walk your child or walk him yourself. Also probably need to adjust feedings with the newborn. Ie. Breast milk in bottle or feed him/her before you leave the house and then when you get back. If your child can't go more than an hour without feeding then there's other issues.

Beside your child will stay for lunch. Image a 30m lunch period when it takes at least 20m each way to walk.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
2881 posts
167 upvotes
I don't think so, sorry, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

I know there are certain private companies that might fit the bill, sort of kid's taxi services, I don't know too much about them, but I've seen them driving around. I'm assuming they offer door to door, with the same driver daily (or your child's teacher wouldn't be able to dismiss your child to them), and police checks, etc. for the drivers. Probably pricey, but has to be cheaper than private school. ;) If you could find one and get a few other parents on board, you might be able to make it more affordable.

Once you make a few friends/aquaintances in the area though, you might find you really don't mind the walk so much (at least in good weather :lol: ), I don't know about in your community, but around my school there are always dozens of families walking home in various directions, parents pushing strollers and chatting with each other along the way while the kids cavort together along the sidewalk...it's like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting (just more multicultural). :lol: You might be surprised how much you come to enjoy it as a break in your day and a chance for adult conversation...or so some of the SAHMs in my classes over the years have told me. :)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
Lol yeah true. I actually love walking. I am just worried about what do I so if my infant cries or wants to be fed...or my 2 year old wants to get out (both hates strollers)..and I have a 4 year old holding my hand on an icy sidewalk with snow everywhere or rain..or other scenarios. I take walks but it is not put on me as an obligation to attend a place while needing to be on time. Hope that makes sense. I will try looking into the private company services. :)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
I re-read the transportation policies and it says distance to be measured from closet public thoroughfare. If this means a "major road" for traffic (rather than a residential street) then it would add about 70 meters (or 100..I'll have to measure with Google Maps) for our distance. Which would make it 1.57 give or take. Does it mean we are eligible? I know many parents "could" be in our situation but I don't think many are in our situation where there is only few meters left within eligibility. I'd guess that is pretty uncommon.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
2881 posts
167 upvotes
Well, luckily now the weather is still good, and hopefully by the time winter comes you'll have figured something out. And, you didn't hear this from me, but on really stormy or icy days, just don't go. As long as you don't do it all the time, it shouldn't effect your child's education while they're in kindergarten. On particularly bad weather days we usually see lots of lates and absences, and we totally get why parents wouldn't want to brave the elements, no one will hold it against you. Again, you didn't hear that from me. :D

Edit: Just saw the post above. I would think "public thoroughfare" would mean any road, not just major road. In any case, it's worth a try. Talk to the school's principal or whoever they've delegated responsibility for bussing issues to. And ask the office staff about putting in an empty seat request. Can't hurt to try.

Edit (x2): Do you know if a lot of the regular kids at the school are on these busses? I just can't get my head around a TDSB school where so many kids live more than 1.6 kilometers away from their home school. Did they recently close a school in your area or something? This whole thing is very strange, my school is within fairly easy walking distance (about 20-30 minutes or so) of three other K-5 schools.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
jerrysiz wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2013 4:40 pm
Well, luckily now the weather is still good, and hopefully by the time winter comes you'll have figured something out. And, you didn't hear this from me, but on really stormy or icy days, just don't go. As long as you don't do it all the time, it shouldn't effect your child's education while they're in kindergarten. On particularly bad weather days we usually see lots of lates and absences, and we totally get why parents wouldn't want to brave the elements, no one will hold it against you. Again, you didn't hear that from me. :D

Edit: Just saw the post above. I would think "public thoroughfare" would mean any road, not just major road. In any case, it's worth a try. Talk to the school's principal or whoever they've delegated responsibility for bussing issues to. And ask the office staff about putting in an empty seat request. Can't hurt to try.

Edit (x2): Do you know if a lot of the regular kids at the school are on these busses? I just can't get my head around a TDSB school where so many kids live more than 1.6 kilometers away from their home school. Did they recently close a school in your area or something? This whole thing is very strange.

LOL. Thanks for the advice.

I'm really not sure about kids attending the school we just moved into the area. There is a school 1 KM away from our house but they are "closed" so therefore will not accept us because they said your home school is the other school (1.5 KM distance). So I am guessing the closer school is just full.

Just measured. Here is the thing, we live in a complex with detached homes. Each house has it's own UNIT #. But the map counts the entrance through one of the complex's gate.which happen to be closer to the school. There are two entrances. The second entrance is closer to our house. Google Maps is measuring it from the gate further from us..which measures the school to be less than 1.6.

Our house off of our driveway is measured 1.5 KM (with location services through Apple)..however, the closest "real road" from the gate/exit closest to us measures 1.9 KM from the the school off of the sidewalk (it adds 400 meters because it has to go around the public road..but it is actually a 50-100 meters from our home). It's very confusing. Even though our gates are not really "gated" as anyone could drive through. Though there are speed bumps so I am guessing they wouldn't count it as a public throughfare. Which would be the second gate. SO confused. I should have explained this earlier.

I might have to print a Google Maps sheet or do a print screen from my iPhone to explain it to them as I know for sure the maps will not get it accurately.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
2881 posts
167 upvotes
Okay, now I think I get it.

In some areas where the population is growing really fast and there isn't enough room at the home school (more than a few kids over the caps, we're talking dozens or hundreds of kids over the school's capacity) they will bus all new kids that move into the area to schools farther away until they can build a new school or an addition to the current school to meet demand.

They have to warn you about this when you buy a new home in such an area, not sure about renters. Usually your home school can't turn you away, no matter how full they are (we had 34 kids in our kindergarten classes last year, we were closed to optional attendance, but still had to accept any child who moved into the schools catchment area), but in extreme situations where there literally is no physical room for more kids, they do bus kids to their "new" home school as an interm solution.

If this is the situation you're in, the closer school is likely your "real" home school. That makes sense, there really isn't that much space between TDSB schools, so I couldn't figure out why they were having to bus so many regular kids who all lived so far away from a school, but in actuality they don't, just too far away from the one they have to go to at the moment.

Does that sound about right?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
Yep, I assume that is it. We were never told anything about this which is why we were so naive about this whole situation. The further school is listed as our home school. I did find another school just now listed on tdsb that has limited attendance 1.8 km away but I wonder if they would consider an empty seat request. I tried explaining to the office admin of the home school about my distance and she told us to submit application but doesn't see a chance...

Is it possible to apply for transport but not send child to school until approved? Im seriously considering private school or even homeschooling her myself for JK now that this is becoming so difficult. My child appears to be the only JK child in our complex.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
2881 posts
167 upvotes
Be careful with enrolling your child at a school farther than your home school just because you can get an empty seat request granted. Even if you get it you will have to re-apply for it every year, and there's no guarantee you'll get it next year just because you got it this year. If you enroll your child in the school 1.8k away because the empty seat request went through this year, and next year they have more kids on that bus, or discontinue that bus route alltogether, you'll be stuck getting your kid to a school even farther away for subsequent years, or transferring her to a closer school. And, of course, all this assuming that the school 1.8km away even has an existing bus route that stops close to your home.

I believe your child has to be registered at the school before you can make a request for bussing, but you can ask at the office. I'd bend the ear of parents you see at the school or in your complex, see how they're handling it. In the meantime, all you can do is submit the empty seat request and make an appointment to talk to the principal/VP. You might also want to find out what's happening with the situation long term. If they're already in the process of building a new school in the area, or an addition onto your "real" home school, it might be some comfort to know there's some light at the end of the tunnel.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13066 posts
624 upvotes
Arranging for bus is an ongoing challenge.

We couldn't get our son into his local school's daycare (after 7 years, we pulled him off the waiting list!). Because he was in FI, he was bussed to the school from the daycare he has been attending. Of course, we had to apply each year and didn't know until the end of the first week that he had a spot.

Then one year, they changed the FI feeding structure, so that essentially ended his ability to get access to a bus spot. We were fortunate that the daycare decided to bus for the few students in the van that they have for the kids JK and SK (fwiw, still half day).
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
Wow, that must have been something.
I never would have thought it would be so difficult.

We have family friends that work for Algoma district School Board. They told me they have sized school bus drives 50 km out in the country one way to pick up one student for elementary. Another full size school bus drives 50 km one way for one high school student.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2006
1429 posts
115 upvotes
Midtown Toronto
marissa23 wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2013 8:10 pm
Wow, that must have been something.
We have family friends in Algoma district. A full sized school bus drives 50 km out in the country one way to pick up one student for elementary. Another full size school bus drives 50 km one way for one high school student.
And you think that is reasonable? Spending what I estimate would be $60+k per annum to transport a student to school because the family's chosen to live in the boonies? Is this what my tax dollars are being used for? People are struggling to get daycare spots in the city - I know one single woman with three kids on low income (husband went AWOL after the three kids...) and has 3 separate dropoffs as part of her daily routine, taking 1.5 - 2 hours of commuting each way, and in another part of the province we're paying for a limousine service to chauffeur kids in rural Ontario around?! The cost of transport alone - never mind the cost of supporting a sparsely attended school - will be over a million dollars easy over the course of their educational careers. Completely ridiculous.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 27, 2012
726 posts
46 upvotes
Toronto
No, I think it is appalling which is why I brought it up.
Newbie
Jan 25, 2017
1 posts
Hi, I am Sairam. My daughter is 4 yrs old and ready for JK this year. Our designated school is not having good rating and so applying for optional attendance. What acceptable reasons can i give to the home school principal for moving to another? Pls help
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