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keonli 08-30-2012 02:09 PM

Not happy with our elementary school!
:banghead: This is long. Feel free to skip.

DS started school 3 days ago. It's only half day for kindy so he is in class from noon to 2:30 pm. We heard that our son might qualify for bus transportation, and with a baby on the way and DH working nights, we decided to dig into it.

The first day, we went to the office. It took half an hour for the staff to talk to us about transportation (but they were very busy so I let it slide). Then the ladies couldn't verify if we qualified because they lost the list. She said she "thinks we should be able to get him on the bus." She took down our names and number and promised to call.

We opted instead to have DH stop by the office again yesterday. (I was at work.) The information was still unclear, but we were told he was on Bus No. 1 and given a list of drop off locations. We were told that starting the next day, he could start taking the bus home. They still weren't sure about pick up. She told us that since he's so young, he'll most likely be dropped off right at our house.

Today DH dropped our son off at school. He went again to the main office to make sure he had the correct information and to see if our son needed a bus pass or something to board the bus this afternoon. He also went to verify the time he should go out to meet him. We were told our son was all set. The bus would come at about 3:05 pm and told the bus would come to our home.

Well, our son arrived on the bus. Fortunately our neighbor's daughter is also on the bus. I am thanking my lucky stars that a close neighbor was there with him.

When DH went to retrieve our son as it stopped at the corner of the street, the bus driver asked: "Is this your child? He has no name tag or address on him." :headscratch: The bus driver had NO IDEA where he was supposed to get dropped off! Or who he was! Thankfully our neighbor was there with him!

So basically they put my son on the bus and sent him on his way. Then they gave him to a man who says he's the father (but didn't need to verify this other than with an affirmative) and we're expected to think this was a success story! :banghead: They also did NOT drop him off directly at our home (how could they, they didn't know our address!).

We live in an area where there are registered sex offenders (the police will mail me letters about this every once in a while). Across the street is the capital city, where crime is rising. We did everything as parents to ensure we had the correct information about the bus drop off. And this is what happens!

The school was already closed by the time I tried to call them. I am NOT HAPPY. I sent the principal an email about this matter. I let her know that I did not appreciate that her staff is handing out misinformation, nor was that acceptable when a parent visits 3 days in a row trying to obtain the correct information. I let her know that even after 3 days of office visits, we, as parents, aren't even sure of the proper protocol for bus transportation.

I wasn't overly harsh in the email. I let her know that I understand the first few weeks of school are super busy and hectic, but that I am not pleased with this matter at all. I left my number and even offered to come in and speak to her directly about this.

DH thinks I am overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing. He is taking it easy since our son is safe.

So how would you mamas have responded?

Suzi 08-30-2012 02:24 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
My only other thought to help not be angry at the school is your son is 5, he should be able to say if someone is his dad......but otherwise I would be totally frustrated by that situation!!!! My youngest son is non verbal and would have gladly gone with a stranger, grrrr.

firstimemommy44 08-30-2012 03:47 PM

I would have been so angry!!! That is ridiculous.

escapethevillage 08-30-2012 04:08 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
The bus incident is not alarming. If he's old enough to ride the bus, he's old enough to know who his dad is. That part is not the bus driver's job.

BUT, the fact that the office staff is giving out information that isn't even correct, AND that they can't seem to find the info is a problem.

In our districts we have the bus garage... the school is not responsible for any of the transportation issues (other than making sure they get on the bus) but, the bus garage is, so if you had questions about busing, you would not call the school at all, you would call the garage where they have the information. BUT, our office staff would tell you that in the beginning. Not lead you to believe they knew the answers.

I'm very glad the neighbor girl is there. My daughter was unofficially responsible for our neighbor kids on the bus too.

earthflower 08-30-2012 04:22 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
sounds like riding the bus, we live about a mile away from the elementary school but it takes 45 mins because its one of the last stops on the bus route, plus he would still have to walk 2 blocks to get home. I think its the students responsibility to know which bus stop they get on and off.

AcrossTheUniverse 08-30-2012 04:34 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
We've been having bus issues, as well.

The first day of school I took my daughters and picked them up because I didn't know bussing was available to our neighborhood (we just moved here). When I found at pickup on the first day of school, I talked to the office and my girls had already been assigned a bus and the lady told me where the dropoff/pickup location was. That morning I took them there (about half a mile away from our house). The particular bus they ride has 2 stops, 1 right before ours. I told them, "Do not get off the bus until you see me standing here!" I called the school about 1/2 hour before the end of the day to ask them to remind my oldest daughter and they said they would. Well, I am waiting at the bus stop and the bus comes, it empties and my daughters are not there. The driver sees me looking around and asks, "Are you missing someone?" I told him my daughters and described them and he said, "They got off at the last stop." I proceeded to run as fast as I could to the previous stop (about a block down). Pushing my 2 little boys in a stroller with my 3yo tagging behind me in 113 degree weather. I got there and they were nowhere to be found. I called for them and started walking and looking for them. Nothing. I was getting frantic and so I called 911 and started walking home with my boys, it was just too hot. The 911 operator was going to discharge some police officers to drive thru our neighborhood looking for them. She stayed on the phone with me as I was walking up to my house and lo and behold, my girls were sitting right in front of the front door waiting for me. One of our neighbor kids had helped them find their way home!!! I was so relieved as all I was thinking was someone had taken them or they got lost in the heat and would get ill. Now the bus driver does not let them off at all unless he sees me. One time I was getting there right as the bus was letting out and he didn't see me so he took them back to school. Inconvenient but at least he was watching out for them! They are 6 and 5.

keonli 08-30-2012 06:49 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

Originally Posted by earthflower (Post 15616111)
sounds like riding the bus, we live about a mile away from the elementary school but it takes 45 mins because its one of the last stops on the bus route, plus he would still have to walk 2 blocks to get home. I think its the students responsibility to know which bus stop they get on and off.

I would agree IF it wasn't a kindergartner and if the parents had the right information all along. Yes, he knows his dad but it was unsettling that the bus driver wasn't even sure of anything regarding his identity or his location.

Had we been told to contact the bus company directly ourselves, we would have. We were never told that but kept receiving the wrong information over and over.

I am hoping the principal can offer some answers. I am willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and hear them out.

pumkinsmommy 08-30-2012 07:04 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
This is not acceptable. Anywhere I have lived kindergarteners are handled differently than the other students. They have to be dropped off with a person who is responsible for them. I would def. need the the principle to look into the situation and confirm everything.

keonli 08-30-2012 07:10 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
So...I just checked my email and received a reply. The principal is no longer the principal there. She hasn't been the principal there for the past 10 days! She forwarded my email to the current principal. I checked all my files from the school...not once have they noted a new principal in charge and the website hasn't been updated.

I am just hoping to get some answers, really. If it was a misunderstanding, then that's fine. After talking to DS, it seems that the teacher made sure he got on the right bus but that was it.

musicalisa 08-30-2012 07:10 PM

Re: Not happy with our elementary school!
Pretty shady. Transportation issues are HUGE and the bus companies have a ton of responsibility, IMO. You can't rely on little kids who might not even be tall enough to see out the window to recognize their house and stop on the third day of school!!

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