ECPPS discussing bus transportation to after-school programs

Getting students to after-school programs may get more difficult in Elizabeth City.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC. (WVEC) -- Getting students to after-school programs may get more difficult in Elizabeth City. The school division offers buses to take students certain programs, but school board members are taking a closer look at the cost of running the extra routes.

For over 30 years, The Boys & Girls Club of Albemarle and Elizabeth City has relied on the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School division for transportation.

“We serve over 125 kids and teens each day, and that number has recently increased significantly. The school bus is the single mode of transportation to our program--we do not have our own transportation,” Executive Director Elizabeth Mitchell said.  

The school division and school board members recently started talking about the possibility of cutting back on the practice of transporting students to after-school activities. Right now, school buses take 176 students to after-school programs—most of these students are taken to the Boys & Girls Club.

“P.W. Moore and maybe J.C. Sawyer-- we have an entire busload of children come from those schools every day,” Mitchell said.

This is costing the school division approximately $700 per student -- that's over $123,000 every year.
Most of the buses that take students to after-school programs have to go off their normal routes to get there, adding more time to the day, making the transportation system less efficient.

But the Boys & Girls Club said cutting back on transportation would be detrimental.

“It would leave a lot of kids-- most of them-- going home after school to empty houses because both of their parents work and wouldn’t be able to be there to get them after school,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the school division has reached out to her and a formal meeting to further discuss the issue will happen in November.

“I’m hopeful that when they hear the number of children that we serve and learn more about the services that we can work together again to keep it going,” she said.

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