July 16, 2021
In April, the Board of Education supported the recommendation of the administration not to provide courtesy/subscription busing between Union School and Pierrepont School for the 2021-22 academic year due to safety concerns related to COVID and construction. Although COVID restrictions have lessened in recent weeks, there are still concerns relative to construction.
In response to a request from parents for the Board to reconsider its decision, members of the Building and Grounds Committee, Dr. Alati, Mr. Mazone, Mr. Sprayberry, and Mrs. Jones, met at Pierrepont School. I joined them along with Business Administrator, Mr. Kelly; Principal, Mrs. Carrion; Assistant Principal, Mrs. Saxon; Building and Grounds and Transportation Director, Mr. Paterno; and construction project managers Mr.John Gamboa and Mr. Johan Oveido from Epic Management. Although the meeting was held at Pierrepont School, conditions at Union School were also discussed, and Principal Schweitzer and Assistant Principal Ryan were consulted. I also met with Officer Anthony Bachman, Traffic Bureau Coordinator for the Rutherford Police, and consulted Police Chief John Russo.
Based on the closure of portions of the sidewalk and street restrictions on Lincoln Avenue, and the impact of the construction vehicles, equipment, and construction at both schools, there is no viable location to safely board and discharge students from the bus. In addition to the safety concerns directly related to the bus, other considerations were discussed, such as student crosswalk safety, the impact that construction will have on parking for teachers and parents, and the significantly reduced length of where cars will be able to pull up alongside school property.
It was unanimously decided by those present and consulted that the bus could not operate safely this year. The decision not to offer courtesy/subscription busing will stand. The construction at both schools is expected to continue through the summer of 2022.
The team did not make this decision lightly and wanted to provide ample notice so that families can plan accordingly. The Board agrees to reassess the ability to provide courtesy busing when conditions at Pierrepont and Union allow for its safe operation.
Superintendent of Schools