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Brainerd School Board: Change to bus policy approved

Students who attend Brainerd Public Schools who live three-tenths of a mile from their school will have the option to take the bus next school year. The Brainerd School Board Monday, in a special school board meeting, voted to change the district...

Kevin McMenimen, the transportation director at Brainerd Public Schools, talks about changing the district's transportation walking boundary from one mile to three-tenths of a mile.Jennifer Stockinger/Brainerd Dispatch
Kevin McMenimen, the transportation director at Brainerd Public Schools, talks about changing the district's transportation walking boundary from one mile to three-tenths of a mile. Jennifer Stockinger/Brainerd Dispatch

Students who attend Brainerd Public Schools who live three-tenths of a mile from their school will have the option to take the bus next school year.

The Brainerd School Board Monday, in a special school board meeting, voted to change the district's transportation walking boundary from one mile to three-tenths of a mile, meaning students who live within three-tenths of a mile from school are eligible for transportation to and from school.

The district began looking at its transportation walking boundary policy after Baxter day care provider Kim Opay told the board earlier this month she's concerned about children in her day care having to walk to school at Baxter Elementary School. Opay said her home on Cedardale Lane South is 0.95 miles from the school, which means students who use her day care have to walk to school. She said it can be a dangerous walk for young children.

Changing the distance in the policy will impact 478 students, Superintendent Laine Larson said.

Kevin McMenimen, transportation director, worked with Reichert Bus Service to see if the district could change the walk boundary to three-tenths of a mile-which is about three blocks-without costing the district more money. McMenimen said there is a way to make the existing routes more efficient and using some as transfer buses. McMenimen said the start time on some buses will be 10 minutes earlier than it has been.

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Brainerd School Board Chair Bob Nystrom said changing the distance in the policy will improve student safety. Nystrom said he talked with a parent who said she was excited the school board was looking into the policy.

The school district altered their policy in 2008 when it started requiring students who lived within a mile of their school to walk or find other ways of transportation to get to school.

In other school business, the board:

Approved a resignation for Heather Kadus, a science teacher at the Brainerd Learning Center, effective June 5.

Approved an update to the open meeting and closed meeting policy and the two-member board officers and committees amendment.

Related Topics: BAXTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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