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Thursday, August 21, 2014
Private-school parents take a stand
(Page 2 of 3)
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Private-School parents signed petitions at Holy Name of Mary School on Feb. 27 in opposition to the high school’s transportation plan.

High School District Superintendent Dr. Bill Heidenreich said he learned from that experience, and wanted to let parents know early that the transportation options for their children could change next year. “We’re being proactively transparent by saying this is a possibility,” he said. “No decision is really made until July.”

The deadline for transportation requests is April 1, and after that there will be a request for bids, Heidenreich explained. Then, he said, officials will choose the most economical and efficient method. With some changes to bus routes and schedules offered by Veolia Transportation, which manages the Nassau InterCounty Express bus system, Heidenreich said, there are potential savings in the use of public buses.

Mary Rose Bosko, one of the organizers of last week’s meeting and a parent of two children who attend parochial schools, urged parents to write personal, heartfelt letters to Board of Education trustees, and to focus on safety.

Bosko also asked parents to call the superintendent’s office this Thursday, asking that the transportation changes be reconsidered. “If we all call on the same day,” she said, “we’re going to get his attention.”

Sharon Daly, whose daughter graduated from parochial school, put together a petition. Parents were asked to gather signatures after Masses on March 3 at the three local Catholic churches.

Daly also expressed her concerns about safety, noting that Sacred Heart Academy is on Hempstead Turnpike, recently cited as one of the most dangerous roads in the region. Having students wait for a bus along the road, or potentially having to cross it to catch a bus, worries her greatly, she said.

McMahon cautioned parents about adopting an “us against them” mentality, noting that the high school district is also considering cuts that would affect its own students. More than a dozen teachers could lose their jobs, and extracurricular activities and three sports teams may be on the chopping block.

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