OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — Oshkosh children who open-enrolled to the Winneconne School District used to catch their bus at a park-and-ride by the intersection of County Highway S and County Highway Y, but are now dropped off about half-a-mile up the road, right on the side of Highway S.
Jodie Skadahl is a mom to three kids who rely on the bus to get to school. She says the Winneconne Community School District informed her and other families who ride the bus from Oshkosh in the spring of 2022, that the old stop was actually within the Oshkosh Area School District's boundaries, forcing them to move it to a new spot. Skadahl says the new location is not safe though.
“There are local businesses around with very big work trucks," she said, "so as the children are getting off and coming on the bus, those workshop trucks can actually be weaving through the children as they’re trying to get on the bus or to their ride.”
She added that, in contrast to the old location, the new spot doesn't allow the bus driver to wait long enough to ensure all the kids get picked up, leaving them with nowhere to go if their rides home from the stop don't arrive on time.
Winnebago County Executive Jon Doemel agrees with Skadahl's concerns about the new stop's safety, and says, in his opinion, "the best solution for the safety of these kids is clearly the park and ride."
Doemel says the Oshkosh School Board has the power to allow Winneconne to pick up children at the old location, but hasn't done so yet. While Doemel says he respect's the board's power to make its own decisions, he says he's still urged them to reconsider.
“For me, paramount should be the safety of the kids…." he said. "If there’s ever a strategic plan for a parking lot, this is what it’s for. It makes it the safest for these kids to be picked up and dropped off. If that’s on the top of our mind, then we need to take a look at our priorities.”
NBC 26 reached out to the Oshkosh School District for comment, and they replied "We have full confidence in Winneconne's ability to provide transportation options for families inside their attendance area."