The Starpoint School Board may change the way it buses pupils to DeSales Catholic School in Lockport next September to save about $50,000 in transportation costs.
Currently, the district has two mini-buses pick up DeSales pupils at their homes each morning and take them directly to Lockport. In the afternoon, the small buses pick them up at DeSales and take them directly home.
That could change, because Starpoint officials anticipate more district children will be going to DeSales next year, a situation that will require a third mini-bus if the district continues to do what it has been doing, according to Stephen J. Lunden, Starpoint's director of administrative services.
Lunden said the district started off this year in good shape with the families of 35 pupils requesting transportation to DeSales by last year's April 1 registration deadline. Since that time, Lunden said, the district received requests for seven more to be bused to DeSales.
"We could only handle five more because the district can't accommodate more than 40 students. Each mini-bus can only hold 20," he said.
As a result, the families of two children have to find their own way to get their children to DeSales this semester, Lunden said.
Since the district knows there will be at least 42 pupils needing transportation to DeSales next year, Lunden said, he is suggesting that the district treat DeSales pupils the same way it does pupils from St. Christopher Catholic School in the Town of Tonawanda. "We pick them up on our regular public school bus runs in the morning, drop them off on [the Starpoint] campus and transfer them to a large bus which takes them all to their school," he said.
The return trip home would involve DeSales pupils being brought back to the Starpoint campus on a large bus and then boarding the regular public school bus they arrived on in the morning to go home on.
If the board decides to continue to transport DeSales pupils the way they have been, Lunden said it will cost more money because "we'll need three mini-buses to do it instead of two."
He said it will be up to the board to decide.