Changing practice requires more buses 


REGION 16 — Accommodating students that attend high schools out of Region 16 on days when start times are off due to weather delays would mean paying for additional buses and drivers, according to officials.

In December, Liz Untict expressed busing concerns to the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Her concerns centered on her daughter being bused to Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury at the normal time when Region 14, the district that Nonnewaug serves, had a two-hour delay. Region 16 didn’t have a delay that day.

Untict questioned why Region 16 would bus students into another district where the superintendent delayed opening schools because the roads were deemed unsafe.

Earlier this month, Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Shelly McNulty, who coordinates busing for the region, told the school board it’s been the region’s policy for many years that students who attend high schools out of the district follow the busing schedule for the district when it comes to delays and cancelations. Every school district in the state follows the same procedure, she said.

Aside from Nonnewaug, Region 16 buses students to Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia, Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury, and The Sound School in New Haven.

Buses and vans used for three of those routes are also used to bus elementary school children in the region, McNulty said.

The region is in the fifth, and final, year of a busing contract with All-Star Transportation. The contract expires at the end of this school year.

McNulty said changing the busing practice for students that attend out-of-district high schools would mean the region would have to contract for four additional buses and two additional vans, plus drivers. She said each additional bus would cost about $50,000.

“It would be fiscally irresponsible to do it differently,” Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said.

The board took no action on the issue.