Commentary

COMMENTARY: Southside finds temporary transportation solution

John Schilling writes to update residents on the transportation challenges families at the Hollister Migrant Center are experiencing.

This commentary was contributed by Southside Elementary School District Superintendent John Schilling. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

 

Hollister High School and Southside School have been working in collaboration to provide a transportation solution to support migrant education students residing at the Hollister Migrant Center. Although this is not a permanent solution to the transportation issue for migrant education families, Hollister High School has reallocated resources in the eleventh hour to provide support to Southside students. The coordination between the High school and Southside School is a glowing example of the supportive nature and collaborative relationship between educational agencies within our community.  

A recent article published in Benitolink highlighted the transportation challenges for the migrant education parents residing at the Hollister Migrant Center. The parents stated they were left in limbo without answers and frustrated with the lack of support. Southside has been working with the Migrant education families and understands the unique challenges they face with transporting students to and from school. 

In the past, San Benito County Express provided transportation to migrant education students to Southside School. Southside School would provide tokens for students to ride to and from school and this arrangement continued up until the closures of our schools and community agencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, County Express has experienced a historic driver shortage and has not been able to provide transportation for Southside migrant students. County Express has stated that they are committed to support Southside students and families in the future. 

Since last school year and throughout the summer migrant education parents, Southside School, County Express, and the Santa Clara Migrant Education Regional office have met to problem solve the transportation issue for students. Over the course of many meetings a solution was not found. This week, a temporary solution was arranged for Southside migrant students by Hollister High School by the reallocation of high school transportation resources. 

I would especially like to thank Dr. Tennenbaum, Superintendent of San Benito High School District and Manager of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation Mrs. Kristy Bettencourt for the last-minute efforts to coordinate transportation for our Southside students. Secondly, I would like to thank Mr. Rigoberto Elenas, Director of Migrant Education for Region 1 and Mrs. Cindy Camilleri Program Recruiter for the Migrant Education Program of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Southside School is honored to have these educational partners supporting our students and parents. 

It’s a great day to be a Baler and a Bulldog!

 

John Schilling Ed.D.

Superintendent/Principal of Southside Elementary School District

 

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