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District 214 Re-Considers Denial of School Bus Stop: Permanent Residence of Only 1 Divorced Parent Recognized

Mon July 22 2013 7:04 am
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District 214 parents, Brenda Frederick and Randy Nalepa earlier this month sent a formal written request to District 214 offices requesting bus transportation to and from John Hersey High School (JHHS) for their daughter, who is planning to attend JHHS this year as an incoming freshman. Unfortunately for the busy parents, their schedules and their motor gas bill; District 214 will only let their daughter use a bus stop at one of the parent’s home neighborhoods — even though both parents are within the JHHS boundaries, and the bus already stops in both of the parent’s neighborhoods.

The soon-to-be Hersey Huskie parents have not lived in the same home together for more than 11 years and share legal custody and physical care for their daughter on 50/50 shared basis. Although both parents maintain permanent residences in the JHHS district, according to District 214 “bus transportation is provided to and from school from the student’s permanent residence on record”. Parents Brenda Frederick and Randy Nalepa can’t find this directive in District 214’s transportation policy 4:110. A response from District 214 states that “for safety and consistency, District 214 is only able to provide transportation daily on the same bus route.” District 214 transportation will be provided from father’s home, which is located in the JHHS district in Mount Prospect.

What does the school board policy state regarding transportation?
“The District shall provide free transportation for pupils residing at a distance of one and one-half miles or more from any school to which they are assigned for attendance” and apparently stance does not honor the court order related to the divorce. According to the parents, their court order states that their daughter has two residences; neither parent is a custodial parent, a residential custody parent, or primary parent. Custody is shared 50/50. Despite this court order, which was given to District 214, the District is choosing to recognize only one residence.

After purchasing a home, and moving into the Hersey district in March of 2012, mother, Brenda Frederick was not anticipating an issue of how her daughter would get to and from school, especially when learning that the bus stop is at the end of the block of her new home, and that another school bus stop is located near the father’s home in Mount Prospect.

Last Thursday night, mother and daughter addressed the District 214 School Board requesting they agree to permit the student to utilize the already existing busing to both permanent residences, not only to one. Following the board meeting Frederick stated, “The district benefits from two households paying real estate taxes. Although issues of safety and liability were cited as concerns of the district, many school districts across the nation do provide busing to dual residences, and have made the effort to work with parents and children to provide transportation.” Father, Randy Nalepa added, “not providing transportation to both residences presents more of a safety and consistency issue in my opinion.”

Both parents hope and trust that District 214 will consider their request, their legal custody agreement, and do the right thing, and, at the very least try to work with them to make this happen.

District 214 School Board President, William Dussling, indicated that the District will respond to the request within two weeks following their appearance at the school board meeting.

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