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Star Lake Elementary traffic stirs up parents

If you noticed all the traffic backed up around Star Lake Elementary, TAF Academy and Totem Middle School, then rest assured — you aren't alone.

Several parents came forward about the issue at the Sept. 22 school board meeting.

"The gridlock is due to the same start as the middle school," Star Lake parent Michael Scudari said. "It's a safety issue for the walkers. We need to find a solution before someone gets hurt."

"There are only two crossing guards," daycare owner Sue Paskiewitz said. "We can't walk through the neighborhood because there are no sidewalks. How am I going to make them safe? This idea is a nightmare. What happens if a child gets injured?"

School board member Angela Griffin confirmed the problem, saying she routinely gets caught in the long line of cars waiting to drop off students. Griffin requested the board look at the issue quickly.

The issue came about this year. The start time at Star Lake was changed to match the middle school's and allow buses to transport students from both schools at the same time, saving money for the district.

This means that three schools, Star Lake, Totem and the TAF Academy all have start times around the same time.

Last year, Star Lake's school day went from 8:50 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The new time means that the school, which is a K-5, can run an after-school program and use Totem's existing after-school buses.

The move also saves the district $75,000 a year in transportation costs.

The district is continuing to look into the traffic congestion.

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