My oldest child is starting second grade at Roosevelt School. Our family attended the wonderful open house last week, where we found out about the new bus routes.
At the open house I learned that our day care is in the new Kennedy area. I was told that my daughter can leave class early to take a shuttle bus to Kennedy in the afternoon, but from there she would be on her own to get the next seven blocks to her day care. We were told there is no option to pay for bus service within the mile radius of school as there has been in the past. I am very uncomfortable with the thought of my 7-year-old child walking the streets of Willmar and crossing major roads on her own. The letter to the editor on Sept. 2 about how dangerous it is to be a pedestrian in Willmar only reinforces that feeling. We live four blocks from Roosevelt, but I will be driving her to school in the mornings so that she doesn't have to walk.
I read the article in the Sept. 2 Tribune that said that the options for parents are to use Cardinal Place or change day cares to one in your school's area. My problem with this is that I also have a non-school-age child, so Cardinal Place would mean two day cares. Our family is quite happy with the day care we have been using for about five years and even if I did want to change to one in the Roosevelt area, I would need to find one that was more than a mile from school or my daughter will still be required to walk.
Many parents' jobs are not going to allow them to leave each afternoon to pick their children up from school and transport them. Are we really supposed to leave young children to walk the streets of Willmar alone?