NORFOLK - Members of a local Amish community are asking Norwood-Norfolk Central School officials for a later pick-up time to take those students to their school, but district officials said that may be a difficult task.
Approximately a dozen men from the community approached the districts board of education Tuesday night, asking Superintendent James M. Cruikshank to consider revising the pick-up time.
Among their suggestions was to switch times with another bus so that their students could be picked up later. They said even a 15-minute change would be to their benefit.
But Mr. Cruikshank said that, because their buses are on such a rigid schedule, it may be difficult unless they hire another driver, something thats not in their budget.
But, he said, he continues to talk with their director of transportation to see if something could be worked out.
I dont have a good solution. Theres no solution on how to make it later without hiring additional staff, Mr. Cruikshank said. As we plan out our bus run and tasks for the bus and driver, we need them back by a certain time so they can continue the run.
The districts bus picks up the approximately 20 Amish students at 6:50 a.m. for transport to their school and also returns them home at the end of the day.
I know thats not conducive to what you want, Mr. Cruikshank said.
In addition to transporting the Amish students, the district also transports some students to other schools such as Trinity Catholic School in Massena and the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services campus.
That means their buses are at the mercy of those schools in terms of when they need to bring students to school and pick them up at the end of the day, according to the superintendent.
We have to turn around and do a second run with a lot of independent places as well. One leaves later because school starts later, Mr. Cruikshank said. Because of independent trips we need to take to BOCES, the time is determined by someone other than Norwood-Norfolk.
Even if they had a budget to hire another driver, that might not solve the problem, he told the men, who said they appreciated whatever assistance the district could provide them.
We dont get a big pool of candidates when we advertise, he said.
Mr. Cruikshank said he and their transportation director would continue to explore their options.
I know hes working on it. I cant promise it because weve been working on it for a while, he said.