I live in EPA… and it’s not fair.



Sophomore Alenna Winfield waits outside in the cold to catch one of the busses to Carlmont High School. Her school day begins 75 minutes before many of her classmates’.

Winfield lives in Redwood City half of the time and East Palo Alto the other half.

During the time she lives in EPA, she wakes up between 5:30 am and 6:00 am to take the bus to Carlmont.

“I usually take either the 6:45 am bus or the 7:10 am bus. It all depends on what time I wake up that morning,” said Winfield.

No big deal, right? Wrong.

Students who take the bus from EPA are at a disadvantage to those who live closer to the school. While they must wake up early to catch a bus, their classmates are able to get roughly an extra hour and a half of sleep.

“In the morning on the bus, it’s pretty dead. People are still waking up and it’s really quiet. I have a seventh period, so there aren’t that many people on the bus after school. But I have taken a bus after sixth period before and there are a lot of people and it’s pretty noisy,” added Winfield.

The bus stops at various locations throughout EPA, some as early as 6:45 am on regular days and 7:45 on late start days.

Many students who live closer to Carlmont do not leave for school until 7:30 am, giving them much more time for sleep and time to get ready.

Although Winfield must wake up early, she has a positive outlook on the situation. “It is far, but I am glad I have a ride to school.”

There are eight different bus routes, they do not all stop at the same locations.

On occasion, the bus is late to school due to morning traffic, causing students to miss part of their first period classes. According to Winfield, “some teachers will get mad at you when the bus is late to school.”

Athletes who live in EPA are at a further disadvantage, as there is only one “sports” bus that picks students up from Carlmont at 6:30 p.m. Those who rely on this bus to get back home may have to leave practice early in order to do so.

Sophomore Willie Teo, who participates in both football and track and field, has experienced hardships with juggling athletics and the bus back to EPA.

“Our track practice ends before the bus comes, but occasionally I have had to leave a practice early to catch the bus,” commented Teo. “I usually don’t get back to EPA until 7:10 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Everyone sleeps on the bus ride home.”

Teo also expressed that social time with friends can be influenced or affected by the bus.

“If practice does end early, you have to base your free time around the bus schedule. One time, I was coming back from the shopping center and I saw the buses leaving the school, so I had to call my mom to come pick me up,” added Teo. “I also missed the late bus in the morning one time, and had no other way to school, so I just didn’t go that day.”

Many students, like Teo shouldn’t have to constantly worry about catching a bus back home. They shouldn’t have to gauge their free time around a bus schedule and shouldn’t have to miss a day of school if they miss a bus.

It is not fair for students living in EPA to wake up an hour and a half before their classmates.

It is not fair for students living in EPA to travel roughly 11 miles to school every day.

It is not fair for students living in EPA to worry about the bus arriving late.

It is not fair for students living in EPA to alter their lives to coincide with the bus schedule.

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