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5 Things to Know About Willow Lane Busing

East Penn School Board makes no progress on Willow Lane busing issue.

For the most part Monday night’s meeting of the East Penn Board of School Directors was all about Willow Lane Elementary School busing, but no definitive action was taken nor was any progress made.

1. A motion to approve the site improvements for Willow Lane Elementary School, including traffic patterns, pavement striping, swing arm gates and enhancements to walking paths, was set aside until the board’s next meeting on March 11 to be sure that all interested community members have sufficient time to review the suggested improvements.

2. The school board meeting opened with a handful of Willow Lane parents addressing the board during the public comment portion, including Willow Lane parent Susan Coenen, who chastised the administration for doing things “backwards” trying to move forward with any sort of site improvements at Willow Lane without first looking at the process of picking up and dropping off kids at the school. 

3. East Penn School District will go before the Lower Macungie Township Planning and Zoning Committee on March 14 looking for approval of the site improvements presented by district engineer Paul Szewczak of Liberty Engineering at Monday night’s school board meeting. Superintendent Thomas Seidenberger emphasized that he would rather go to Lower Macungie officials with a plan approved by the board. The plan will come up for another vote at the March 11 school board meeting.
 
4. Seidenberger said a parent committee, led by Willow Lane Principal Anthony Moyer, will address four main topics: traffic before school, traffic after school, traffic during bad weather and the organization of a "walking bus." A walking bus is a concept created by PennDOT and would simply mean a parent would walk a group of children to school, according to School Director Francee Fuller.
 
5. Julian Stolz withdrew a motion directing the district administration to form a committee comprising “but not necessarily limited to, a representative or representatives from the East Penn School Board, members of the administrations, parental representatives from the Willow Lane School who shall not be employees of nor closely related to employees of the East Penn School District and a representative or representatives from the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners….” He will reintroduce the motion after it’s determined how the committee he is suggesting will work with or fit in with the committee to be headed by principal Moyer.

Mike S February 27, 2013 at 12:37 AM
charge parents inside the walking zoen extra if they want busing, case closed.
Mike S February 27, 2013 at 12:40 AM
let the kids walk and get some exercise, too many fattys in school nowadays. too many sheltered in their homes on the naughty net and playing xbox getting fat WALK and exercise
ted.dobracki February 27, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Since EPSD is a relatively wealthy district with a low aid ratio, it gets reimbursed for only about one quarter of its eligible costs.
taxed-enough February 27, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Exactly, there is a formula regarding the state reimbursing for transportation over 1.5 miles, as I have heard at school board meetings and found online. The formula is so complicated that most newspaper articles don't get into that much detail, and it can't be explained here. Our school district does not get reimbursed dollar for dollar for students that live more than 1.5 miles from a school. Suffice it to say, that we pay millions to bus kids, and the Willow Lane parents pay property taxes too. So, the Willow Lane parents help pay to bus all the other students, while the Willow Lane parents are being told to walk 1.5 miles to school, which is not a feasible walking distance for a five year old. One parent suggested to have a maximum of .75 miles like other school boards have done which would apply to all of our elementary schools. This is called OPTION #2. There are very few walkers in our district that are walking over .75 mile to school (41 students in the entire district according to the study). It would cost nothing to bus those 41 students since there is room on existing buses. At Willow Lane, they are proposing to have 341 students walk over .75 miles. That is too far to be reasonable in my opinion. If a parent actually lets their five year old walk to school 1.5 miles as the school board is suggesting, I think they would get arrested for child endangerment.
Jeff Brosky April 12, 2013 at 08:03 PM
i wa driving past willow lane school the other day and about 100 kids and several parents or gym instruters were walking with he kids crossed the street into the development in a big circle no buses in site if the kids can ealk or jog into the development why in gods name do we need buses???

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