School bus

Beginning next school year, the Lake Wales Charter System will provide its own bus transportation for all of its students.

Previously, the charter system only provided bus transportation for three of its six schools: Bok Academy, Babson Park Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary.

"Transportation for us is very important because it gives us control over the bell schedule," said Robin Gibson, a Lake Wales lawyer who represents the charter schools.

Gibson said the system is considering changing its school hours to possibly a longer day.

"We haven't decided anything but we need the options for the length of the scheduling," Gibson said.

During the 2009-10 school year, it cost the Polk County School District $532,621 to provide bus service to charter schools. Of that amount, $338,938 was spent on the Lake Wales Charter System for Janie Howard Wilson Elementary, Polk Avenue Elementary and Lake Wales High School, said Rob Davis, the district's director of transportation operations.

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