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Old 08-31-2012, 09:21 AM   #21
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

It is the same here. They do not have a separate transportation department. Not all of the schools in our district have bussing. In fact, I think our school might be the only one because it is farther away from the students' residences than any other school. So we go directly through the front office. In our situation, nobody told the bus driver my daughters were only 1st and K so he let them off without checking if anybody was there for them. Now that he knows he will only let them off if he sees me there.

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:21 AM   #22
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

Also, make sure that neighbor girl is willing to keep track of him when she gets off the bus. If he knows she's in charge, he can get off the bus when she does, and if you aren't there, he can walk with her.

He'll be fine. A week of this, and he'll be a pro.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #23
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

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Originally Posted by keonli View Post
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.
Here, (DH is a bus driver) the drivers are given a paper with the NUMBER of students that should be at each spot and that's it. No names or anything, even for kindy

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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!!
I guess it depends on where you are. Here, the bus drivers are school system employees, not contracted or anything, it is part of the school system. And the drivers aren't responsible for knowing what kids are supposed to be on their bus, no one tells them. After they are on the route for a while, they know the kids, but it's not automatic that they would know anything, they go to the school, the school puts the kids on the right bus.

OP our school system has a transportation person at each school and they are out there as the teachers get the kids on the buses to tell the buses when to go or to wait for a kid, etc.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #24
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

The funny thing is that my son was fine. He enjoyed the bus ride while I have been freaking out over it. We talked to our neighbors and they agreed that their daughter will make sure he gets off each time. This is her last year at that school, so we really lucked out.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:38 AM   #25
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

First, how scary! I'd be really angry too if my 5 yo was put on a bus without the bus driver being informed where he should be going. And that the bus driver let him off without correct verification. A 5 yo might know who his dad is, but can't necessarily know whether there's a special custody/supervision arrangement in place; they know their neighbors, but whether a particular neighbor is a safe person to go with or not. It IS the bus driver's job to make sure that such a young child is let off the bus to the proper person.

It sounds like your issues are as much with the bus company as with the school, perhaps even more so. The school probably doesn't run the buses, but contracts out; it's to bus company's job to coordinate the routes
and give the school accurate information about routes, and to train their drivers about safety procedures. I'd take this up with the company. If the new principal is any good he or she probably already has done so, but I'd call the bus company myself, too.

As far as the school goes, their communication about the routes likely depends on the bus company's communication with them. That seems kind of an unknown... someone wasn't communicating well with you beforehand, but was that the bus company not giving the school accurate info, or the school not passing that info along to you? It sounds like the school did put your son on the correct bus, so they did do that part of the job correctly. However, if part of their procedure is to give every K child a name tag with an address and your son didn't get one, then they definitely fell short.

Seeing how procedures change from here, and what kind of response you get from the new principal and bus company will be a good indicator of whether they are reliable or not. If they don't see this as a big safety lapse (despite your son being fine), that would be very concerning to me, enough that I wouldn't use the bus again.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:39 PM   #26
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Re: Not happy with our elementary school!

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Melissa, the staff misplaced the Master List that first day and told me they'd get back to us the next. Apparently they couldn't run another because it comes directly from transportation.

Principal also mentioned that I should always contact the school about concerns with bussing issues because I would NEVER be able to reach transportation, who is responsible for over 10,000 students in the school system.
That is just mind boggling-especially since everything is done electronically now. Seems like they should have been able to pull it up somewhere, make a call, refer you to someone who knows, something.

There must be something in the air this year. DD's school was less than stellar with some of their organization this year. The other two schools have been great, but I'm raising my eyebrows at DD's principal on a regular basis this year. I try to be forgiving, but I have a hard time with disorganization.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by champatlife
our school has a bus transportation # that handles everything. You call give them your address, they tell you the bus number and pick up/drop off times. I have always put a 3x5 notecard in my DD's book bag with her name, school name, teacher, bus number, our address and contact information, in case she "forgot" or got stressed out when someone asks her. I check everyday to make sure that card is still in her bag (her first day of school it wasn't, so she used it) so I remade it, and slipped it back in and told her, where it was. Last year when she was in kindergarten, I made two when she first started school one for her bag, and one for her pocket.
I think that's a great idea. When my 4 year old was allowed to wander off to the bathroom alone in our very large church, she ended up back in the wrong room. The next day, I sharpied my name and number on her leg. A card probably wouldn't have been as overkill

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Originally Posted by shrijnana
First, how scary! I'd be really angry too if my 5 yo was put on a bus without the bus driver being informed where he should be going. And that the bus driver let him off without correct verification. A 5 yo might know who his dad is, but can't necessarily know whether there's a special custody/supervision arrangement in place; they know their neighbors, but whether a particular neighbor is a safe person to go with or not. It IS the bus driver's job to make sure that such a young child is let off the bus to the proper person..
I was thinking this while reading, but I know my propensity for thinking the worst and I thought it was just me. My daughter definitely knows who we are. But she also knows who her grandmother (who only visits supervised, in our home) looks like, as well as my husband's very dangerous unstable sister who loves to buy people's affection and attention with toys, candy, and princess dresses. So that's just another reason why I'm glad that we are able to work out drop off and pickup.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:38 PM   #28
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