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Many Canfield kids walk to school

Published: Wed, August 31, 2011 @ 12:02 a.m.

By Christine Keeling



Some Canfield students may have a long walk.

To save money, the Canfield Local School District eliminated busing for high-school students and implemented cluster bus stops for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The changes will save the district almost $200,000, but have some children walking up to a half-mile to catch the bus.

“I don’t expect door-to-door service; just come down my street,” said Denise Joseph, a Canfield parent.

Her fifth- and eighth-graders will walk to state Route 46 to catch the bus, because it no longer will travel down Deer Spring Run in the morning and afternoon. Her kindergartner will be picked up at the house on the way to school but will get dropped off on state Route 46 in the afternoon.

“I’m just upset about the state route,” said Joseph. [My daughter is] “5 years old, and she’s going to walk [past] 15 houses to get home.”

Deer Spring Run doesn’t have sidewalks, and because of a grade in the road, the new bus stop is not visible from their home.

Joseph said she wonders what will happen when it storms or the street is covered in ice but plans to count on extended family to make sure someone is there to help her daughter home.

State law does not require school districts to transport high-school students or students living less than two miles away from the school. It also says school districts may assign students to a bus stop one-half mile from their home.

The Canfield Board of Education voted to offer all kindergarten through eighth-grade students busing, but adopted the cluster-style stops.

“We strived to keep stops three-eighths of a mile or less [from the student’s home],” said Dan Richards, Canfield schools director of transportation. “But we are not guaranteeing that.”

He said two stops might be a half-mile away.

“We always picked everyone up at their house or the next driveway,” said Richards. “We said if the levy didn’t pass, we’d go to a half-mile.”

Voters rejected a 6.8-mill operating levy in May.

With the half-mile plan, the district is saving $93,600.

Susan Landers said she can’t see her children’s bus stop because it is up Mallard Crossing, around the corner and halfway up Preserve Boulevard. She said she believes the pick-up point is where at least 30 elementary students who live in The Preserve neighborhood will gather.

“There’s a safety issue when you have so many kids in one place,” she said. “Just out of safety, I have to walk with them.”

Richards said he’s concerned that parents taking their cars to the bus stops might be an issue. He suggested parents carpool and students get to their stops ahead of time.

“This is all new for us,” said Richards. “We’re all going to learn together.”

Roughly 250 high-school students are affected by the board’s decision to halt busing for grades nine through 12, said Richards.

The decision saves the school $83,000.

A deeper cut in the budget was gained when the district implemented pay-to-participate.

Canfield Middle School students who want to participate in clubs will pay $25 per club activity and high-school students’ fees are $50 per activity. Student athletes are being charged $100 per sport at the middle school and $200 per sport at the high school.

The money received from the fees goes into the general fund. Club fees help cover salaries for teachers taking part in the activity and sports fees cover coaching salaries, officials, field upkeep and transportation for sporting events.

By enacting pay-to- participate in sports and clubs, the district saves $221,600.

“It only helps offset, not pay for everything,” said Pattie Kessner, district treasurer.

Greg Cooper, the athletic director for the high school, said it was too early to know the effect of pay-to-participate.

Last year, 322 students played in fall sports in the high school, 193 in winter and 161 in spring.

“Maybe it’s down a little,” said Cooper, of this year’s fall sport participants.

He said students who play in more than one sport may look more closely to see if they will play in their second favorite sport.

“I think we will notice numbers go down in cross country and track,” Cooper said.

He said booster groups may be able to offer scholarships to athletes who can’t afford the fee.

Although the district’s board approved placing a levy on November’s ballot there is no guarantee that the pay-to-participate policy will change, Cooper said. Voters will decide in November whether to pass a 4.9-mill operating levy, which will generate $2,751,914 a year.


1lee(544 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It's good for them. Do the schools have bike racks?

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2foxyglo(372 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


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3lumper(299 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

remember in november, this is all because the teachers and administrators are greedy and won't pay a fair share of their pension or healthcare costs and the board of education is just an extension of the administration. VOTE NO !!

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4Max(98 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

RealTruth, That is EXACTLY what it is -- a a scare tactic to cause people to vote for their levy again.

First of all, both of the neighborhoods mentioned in the article are far from poor -- these people have cars (and probably much nicer cars than most of us), and can take their kids to school if they don't want them walking.

Secondly, when we were kids, we walked to school a full mile away. Didn't hurt us. And I lived in the city of Youngstown. Of course, it was safer then. But Canfield is hardly a high-crime area, so I'm sure they'll be just fine.

People need to suck it up, & realize that we're in tough times. Especially the Canfield School board. I'm sure they could find other areas to cut that are unnecessary, instead of busing. But that would affect the administration and staff, not the kids, and wouldn't force the parents into paying for their never-ending spending and levies.

Enough is enough. We've said NO to their levy countless times. Time for them to understand that and make the proper adjustments to their budget. I've cut back on my spending, they need to do the same.


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5nipsy(161 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I always thought that school's did everything with STUDENT SAFETY in mind. But I guess that is not the case when you want to punish the community for voting down your LEVY. I understand cutting High School busing but making Elementary School childen walk on dangerous roads, up to 1/2 mile is just UTTER INCOMPETENCE. And, how do they figure that the 1/2 mile rule is going to save the school $93,000.00 this year?? Many thanks to the School Board for looking out for our children and their safety....I have an idea if you want to save $93,000.00 , get rid of one of your Middle School Principal's!!!! Instead of making our kid's walk on unsafe roads....

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6kensgirl(1036 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I feel bad for the little ones who have to walk to the bus stop sometimes unattended. But the older ones, it'll build character. I know no one wants to hear this but there was once a day when kids actually WALKED to school. I did it from age 9 on up. I crossed Midlothian and a set of railroad tracks every day to and from school. I guess the high school kids don't want to walk because it doesn't look cool. Oh well, Just get up a little bit earlier and you'll make it on time!

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7300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

What a shock. A loudmouth like Dodge has a son who's also a loudmouth.

At a construction site, your bullying ways might fly. But, I wouldn't expect any teacher to put up with some loudmouthed meathead, who probably learned it from his father.

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8southsidedave(5183 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I can certainly understand both sides of this problem. Parents fear for the safety of their kids; yet, school districts do not have the funds to provide needed services.

No easy or quick solutions.

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9300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Dodge, I would bet $1,000 that you're a meathead. You seem to fit all the criteria.

I'm positive that your way of discussing a topic is to outshout the other side. You'll normally bring little knowledge to the conversation, but you'll present your opinion as fact.

Construction is hard work, no doubt about it. But teaching is harder. I substitute taught while in college, and my father made me do construction when I teenager (so as to appreciate manual labor). Controlling a classroom of kids is much harder than the physicality involved with construction.

The problem, as I see it, is that there's a movement to demonize teachers, and that education equals indoctrination. Ironically, those who say this usual are the ones who indoctrinated their own kids.

What if the argument were reversed? What would your opinion be of those who said that anyone who works construction is overpaid? That construction workers don't build houses, they indoctrinate homeowners into buying models that the construction workers believe in?

Sounds ridiculous, just like your current argument.

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10pink0809(1 comment)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

My child's bus stop is just a few houses down from a registered sex offender. Other stops have registered sex offenders living less than a quarter of a mile away and some just yards away. I'll be driving my child to school this year. Do your homework before letting your child walk to these stops alone! Whoever decided on these stops did not.

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11intelligentone(5 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

blacksquirrel, very well put.

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12Halleck(1 comment)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Geez, your kid has to walk to the edge of your development. These really must be tough times in which we live. I'm sure that your teachers aren't sacrificing nearly as much. You should protest by not passing your levies. That will certainly be the best decision that you could make for your children.

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13lumper(299 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

anybody with a bachelor of science degree could step in and teach 2nd or 3rd grade in the canfield schools tomorrow. the kids test and achieve well because of parental interest in the kids academics. the teachers are not responsible for the achievement. if the teachers are so wonderful and self sacrificing why don't they "take their talents" to youngstown or warren city schools where their wonderfulness could really have an impact.

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14VindyPost(436 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

BlackSquirrel Nailed It!
Excellent Post!
So Accurate!
So True!

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15carago11(44 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Cut the second principle for the middle school. Freeze wage increases for all (which is what being done in every profession that is NONUNION! We are the bosses in Canfield not the teachers...do they realize we pay them? what sacrifices have they made? This is crazy. Wealthiest community in the valley cant have buses for high school students? Punish the kids and parents because we didnt pass their levy. Does anybody realize how much the increase was to every household? Mine alone would have been nearly $1000 a year increase! Insane! Cut the fat at the school level. These teachers are fat and happy and are not saying we have made sacrafices and we cannot do anymore....all they want to do is take take take. Their levy will not pass in the fall again no matter what now because they are being arrogant and selfish under these hard times. These teachers should be embarrassed!! Its a caring profession and I respect teachers as a whole but the Canfield teachers are being selfish!! They know who they are. VOTE NO!

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16300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It's not name calling if it's true, and I've rarely been more convinced of being correct than in this instance.

I guarantee that if we could somehow poll 10 acquaintances (not like-minded friends) of Dodge, at least 7 of them would say he's a meathead. If you can't ascertain that from his postings, then you're naive.

And, Dodge, you're wrong about having to agree with all your school teachers (who would espouse Liberal ideals, I'm sure, according to you). Case in point, roughly 40% of public school teachers voted for Kasich and routinely vote GOP. For such a supposedly Liberal-leaning profession, school teachers are actually more likely to have voted Republican than the population at large. So, I'd like to see how it is that if a student's a Conservative he or she is so discriminated against.

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17lumper(299 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

if your canfield teachers are so wonderful, why don't they transfer/work in youngstown or warren city schools where their "talents" could be better utilized ? and the bachelor's degree in education was always the easiest course of study in college. ask any jock, because that's what they all took.

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18lumper(299 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

what part of "pay more for your health insurance" and "pay more towards your own retirement " don't these "scholars" understand ?

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19meagain(85 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Real Truth writes: "I know. They have taken a pay freeze. Well, I know a kindergarden teacher who makes over $72,000 a year (not including benefits). Their wages are all online. Even if that pay was for a FULL time job (2080 hours a year), that comes out to about $35.00 an hour. I wonder how much homework she takes home each day. I wonder how much preparation she does each school year."

Maybe your name should be changed from "RealTruth" to "ManipulatesTruth." You have a way of manipulating the truth to serve your own agenda just like those of a similar mind as you. I assure you said Kindergarten teacher earns every penny of her money. What you fail to mention, as does anyone who likes to quote salaries, is mention how long she’s been teaching and how many years of education beyond her bachelors degree she has earned. None of you like to quote the salaries of the teachers who are just starting out or just beginning their careers. I’m certain the kindergarten teacher you so casual mention in a manner as to say she doesn’t earn her salary has been teaching well over 30 years. Where were you when her starting salary would have qualified her for public assistance? You could have cared less when she made $8,000 per year when she started over 30 years ago. She’s earned the right to make a better than decent wage because for many many years leading up to this point she barely made a living wage. It’s not like she’s earned that amount since starting out, but you all love to quote salaries as if that’s the amount they’ve earned from the get go. Please, I know recent college graduates in the private sector who wouldn’t accept jobs at that salary because it’s beneath them – yes even in these economic times. She and those like her waited, earned additional degrees, did hours of continuing education and worked YEARS to earn those wages.

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