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frsandi Sep 6, 6:42 p.m.
This is just the bus system. This doesn't even tough the drama parents, I included, have gone through with the choice program. Traditional calendar, modified calendar, year-round calendar with 4 tracks...what in the world? They put my older daughter in a traditional school that wasn't even on her list and my other on a totally different yr round school. You have to go to Cary to do anything now and wait with the massive amount of parents for 3 hours for them to explain why they need to bus your child over 40 miles away. I have heard countless stories of wake county sending children miles and miles away to school and then you add the bus debacle on top of it. I don't care what anyone says. This is a complete and utter mess from A to Z.
frsandi Sep 6, 6:34 p.m.
Some people think we should not be upset and that this happens every year. I have lived in NC for 7 months and it has been pure nightmarish with Wake County school system. This bus fiasco is just more icing on the cake. A lot of parents rely on their older children to pick up the younger ones so yes it is a HUGE deal when buses are hours late. I have lived in states all over the US and I HAVE NEVER EVER EVER seen a school system or bus system with this many problems. Just because you are accustomed to it does not mean we shouldn't be screaming for something to be done about it. Complacency is why things don't change. To find out that the problems have been going on for years is shocking. Bus drivers are saying this is the worst it's ever been. What happens to a problem when it is not addressed? It's just grown into a bigger problem and now here we are. Maybe if Wake County had done something about it yrs ago we wouldn't be at this tragedy now. I feel for anyone dealing with this stress
frsandi Sep 6, 6:28 p.m.
I'm the mother of this child in the linked story. I don't know who made a comment that this is not a big deal and to wait for them to work out the kinks. This is a HUGE deal because this involves OUR CHILDREN! These are not isolated incidents. We have parents holding on to their jobs with both hands and having to leave work to go find their children. There is ABSOLUTELY NO COMMUNICATION from the bus system on delays. You can't get through and when you do they are no help.
Yes we need to rally, picket, do whatever we have to. WE are the majority! Our tax dollars support the school system. We should not be told by Wake County that we have to deal with this kind of system breakdown and they seem helpless to have any control over it at all. I feel like they've tied their hands and in doing so have tied our hands as parents as well.
I reiterate that these are our CHILDREN who are under the care of competent adults.
bawilliams816 Aug 29, 5:24 p.m.
LoL hours late to and from school... thats a mess. if you feel like this behavior is OK in any instance.. your parenting card needs to be pulled.
Lets put things in a different perspective... if you drove your kids to and from school and you were late dropping them off, the child would be penalized.. and late picking them up, you would be penalized (some schools charge by the minute/hour for late-pick -ups)
Parents i beg you to continue to complain about this as someone has to care about these kids... and now-a-days most people don't.. including Teachers, principals, and BUS DRIVERS
ncpilot2 Aug 29, 3:14 p.m.
Those of you who do not want to hold the school officials accountable for incredibly poor planning concern me. Yes, new procedures are expected to have a FEW glitches, but this is a system-wide breakdown and that is poor leadership.
It's not like the management of the school bus system did not know what roads they would be traveling on or not have access to a database where parents had already informed the system of whether their children would be using the buses or not.
Public school systems across the state are not improving, they are deteriorating and yet hide behind skewed numbers of so-called improvement within their schools.
This bus fiasco is just another example of poor management and a reason why it is becoming increasing difficult for a parent to trust the system to give our children a good education. If they can't get this right, what else are they inept at doing.
esource3 Aug 29, 1:53 p.m.
As a parent of a 6 year old being transported via Wake School Bus this is a major problem!
1. There is little communication by the Bus Drivers to the Dept. of Transportation while in route.
2. Many School Bus drivers have no GPS or Map systems giving them direction. In fact, several children are telling the Bus drivers directions on where to turn.
3. No relay is being communicated as to the whereabouts your child is. So our child sat on a School Bus for over 1 1/2 hours (for a 20 minute trip). And today the Driver "didn't see us" missed our stop: both parent and child emotionally exhausted instead of being excited to start a new school year.
Both parents have used the school bus and this is the first time we ever called the Transportation Dept to file a complaint. We implore the Dept. to use efficiency measures:1. Install GPS systems in the Buses 2. Communicate directly between the Driver and the DOT while in route 3. Communicate with parents who are anxiously waiting.
dawgpaw4 Aug 29, 1:42 p.m.
It is the first few days of school, so relax, the Wake County Schools and officials and "most" parents know it takes the first couple of weeks to get the routines running smoothly for the rest of the year, not just bus schedules, but classrooms too. There will be times that you need to address things, but like anything new, whether new job, new car, new whatever... you have to work the "kinks" out, figure out what works and go from there. So again, HUSH, RELAX, BUT KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SITUATION!
MyOwnTwoCents Aug 29, 1:03 p.m.
I think Wake County parents should hold a rally! Enough is enough! This new plan is interfering with my childrens education.
Deb1003 Aug 29, 12:25 p.m.
I wasn't happy w/ Wake transportation 7yrs ago. That's when I got into a carpool w/ a neighbor to take our boys to school. We continued to drive them until their junior yr. At that point, they were driving themselves or riding w/ others. This transportation dilemma didn't start this year, it's been going on for at least 10 yrs.
crckttsgr Aug 29, 12:17 p.m.
I get the feeling that most of the parents complaining, did not grow up and go to school here. If so, they would know that the 1st week of school NEVER goes smoothly. Buses were late or no shows, 30 yrs ago when I was in school. This isn't a surprise. Aggravating, yes, but not earth shattering. The real uproar should be over the little kids that get dropped off somewhere they shouldn't and have no one waiting for them. Now THAT is something to get upset over....but not late buses. It's a pain, yes, but it happens e v e r y year.
bikely Aug 29, 12:05 p.m.
Remember the "choice plan"? When every street could have kids potentially going to 5 different elementary schools? My first thought was how on earth could they possibly have bus routes for all that....
I have looked over all the bus routes for our school, that seem to cover 1/2 of Raleigh, and I can tell just by looking they would take over an hour to drive.
righthere1234 Aug 29, 11:37 a.m.
With each story I read about WCPSS, I grow even more confident in my decision to put my son in private school. Yes, it really sucks hauling my 5 year old out of bed at 6:30 a.m. every morning and then driving 30 minutes to the school that starts at 8, and it's tough on my work-at-home husband to rearrange his work schedule every afternoon to be back in the carpool line by 1:30 to have my son picked up by 2:00. I would much rather make those sacrifices and pay tuition (in addition to my property taxes going to school) than deal with the ineptness of WCPSS. I'm a product of WCPSS and rode the bus every year I was there until I started driving, and I can't remember the transportation issues being this bad. I've been following WCPSS news stories ever since my son was born and don't remember reading about these issues in the past. I really feel for all the parents and their kids having to be the guinea pigs.
Not_So_Dumb Aug 29, 10:07 a.m.
"This situation is emblematic of poor planning"
The calling card of the WCPSS!
WHEEL Aug 29, 9:12 a.m.
I have real sympathy for the Wake County bus system what with the suprise of school starting back and everything. I expect that letting half of the high priced supervisory people go would send a message to the remaining half that they should get off their bums and do their job.
Toonces Aug 29, 9:02 a.m.
Scubagirl "Kids should go to schools closer to their homes and much of this could be avoided." My children go to schools less than a mile and a half from our house and we still experienced massive problems over the past two days. In fact. the majority of children in our neighborhood go to "neighborhood schools", but that didn't prevent the 2 hour bus rides, bus drivers leaving kids stranded because the buses were already full and kids being left at the school (temporarily) because their bus was over capacity for the ride home. This situation is emblematic of poor planning and had little to do with whether or not a child attends neighborhood schools. Come on, the school system couldn't count up the number of seats on a bus, determine the number of kids on that route and realize that they needed two buses rather than one? I think WCPSS' grand scheme is to get parents to carpool, which would make their plan to drop 53 buses work.
Not_So_Dumb Aug 29, 8:18 a.m.
"separate and the ones outside of raleigh will complain their schools are no good." - wakemom
Actually, the school district thinks the other way. That is why they put the magnet schools in Raleigh. The schools in the city are the ones in need of help. Split up the district and I guarantee you that you won't see drops in scores in the western parts of the county. Quite the contrary, actually.
beaupeep Aug 28, 7:59 p.m.
You don't need an educational background to move troops around.
westernwake1 Aug 28, 7:59 p.m.
"they'll fix it by Friday AND do it with less buses. Why are you people complaining about start-up issues? Is a few days sorting it out not worth the millions they're saving?" - beaupeep
The only way to fix it is to spend millions of dollars and put more busses on the road.
beaupeep Aug 28, 7:54 p.m.
they'll fix it by Friday AND do it with less buses. Why are you people complaining about start-up issues? Is a few days sorting it out not worth the millions they're saving?
sbr1963 Aug 28, 7:54 p.m.
The solution is to ASK parents prior to the start of the school year how they plan on getting to school- walk, bus, carpool? --Apexisbest
Great idea, however, a week before school started I received a letter stating that I had declined transportation for my two children. A surprise to me. Transportation could not even tell how they acquired the information; telephone, letter, e-mail. They had no idea. I keep my information current with my children's schools each year so I don't know how they can have an excuse.
westernwake1 Aug 28, 7:52 p.m.
"The last time a student got home past 5 p.m. was probably the Jan 21 2005 gridlock when some kids stayed overnight. And THAT was due to mother nature. Not a man made disaster." - a-moment-of-truth
This man-made transportation disaster is bigger than any storm that hit the Wake County School System - by several orders of magnitude.
no IT man Aug 28, 7:51 p.m.
Y'all just kill me. Do you really think the system of routing so many buses and picking up so many children with probably new bus drivers is actually going to run smoothly after two days? I live in the country where it still takes the new bus driver about a week to get things just right. If you want to complain about something, complain about how gas prices went up 28 cents in just two days.
westernwake1 Aug 28, 7:48 p.m.
"And you think they won't fix it by Friday, westernwake?" - beaupeep
Every school year starts with transportation issues. This is nothing new with WCPSS. However the size and scope of the problems this year is unprecedented in Wake County School history.
I certainly hope that they will fix the problems by Friday but it will require quick thinking, immediate re-planning & shifting of resources, hiring more drivers, and placing more busses on the road.
I do not believe this transportation debacle will be sorted out rapidly but I would welcome being proven wrong.
a-moment-of-truth Aug 28, 7:45 p.m.
I am a product of Wake schools and I have a senior this year. To boot I have also many years ago worked at the afterschool program at the old Oberlin Road YWCA (my part time after school job I walked to from Broughton) and in daycares during college...I have NEVER seen no mess like this. So kudos to whomever said folks living here their whole LIVES have never even seen Wake County carry on like this. The last time a student got home past 5 p.m. was probably the Jan 21 2005 gridlock when some kids stayed overnight. And THAT was due to mother nature. Not a man made disaster.
donnaferguson21 Aug 28, 7:41 p.m.
5 and 6 year old children do not need to be sitting in a hallway for TWO hours waiting for a bus to show up. We ended up going to the school because we were frantic and could not reach anyone in the transportation department. Calls to them went unreturned, I emailed the school board member from this district---we'll see if there is any positive feed back.
a-moment-of-truth Aug 28, 7:40 p.m.
Someone (or several people) need to be held accountable and FIRED. The unmitigated debacle is unacceptable
The dude who runs the district and has ZERO educational background. These are kids...NOT paratroopers in a battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division...
beaupeep Aug 28, 7:38 p.m.
And you think they won't fix it by Friday, westernwake?
a-moment-of-truth Aug 28, 7:35 p.m.
I am still angry @pick up your own kids...8-5 Monday thru Friday from Kdale to Durham...a 45 minute commute and I am perplexed at how this is even an OPTION for at least 95% of the parents I know. Single parent and married homes INCLUDED.
charlenebarnes15 Aug 28, 7:34 p.m.
westernwake1 Aug 28, 7:32 p.m.
For months, the Wake County School System promoted the idea that they had a new transportation plan that would save 10 million dollars and take 100 busses off the road. They also stated that the new assignment plan was key to enabling these savings.
This has now all been revealed as a hollow failure. The transportation plan is a disaster. Kids are not being picked up at stops, busses are not showing up at schools, kids are being forced to sit on the floor of busses, bus runs with over 35 stops that take 2 hour, and Teachers & TAs are being forced to stay with kids at school until 7pm when they are picked up by irate parents.
The entire situation reflects a complete failure in planning and common sense. Someone (or several people) need to be held accountable and FIRED. The unmitigated debacle is unacceptable.
a-moment-of-truth Aug 28, 7:32 p.m.
I live in Knightdale and work in Durham. PLEASE somebody tell me how I am supposed to take 2 kids to school and pick them up and work 8 hours on a job? And they go to their ASSIGNED school....If I didnt work then I would be lazy, typical single welfare collecting mom. But b/c I work now I am a bad parent and I should be doing the job of the school system? HAVE A SEAT someplace and HUSH to whoever said pick up your own kids.
Hippy_mom Aug 28, 7:32 p.m.
"The school board is comprised primarily of Raleigh residents who see Wake County as their domain." SaveIt, this is not the case. Board members reside in the districts they represent—Tedesco in Garner, Goldman in Cary, etc. The central office isn't even located in Raleigh. It was relocated to Cary. Check out the website if you don't believe me.
As if .... Aug 28, 7:28 p.m.
Injames2003..... It was the ops managers at the local transportation offices.
Good luck with anyone returning your calls.
As if .... Aug 28, 7:26 p.m.
Sorry,thing for the is" over their heads" but i am exhausted from this non stop stress and have to go to sleep by 9:00 to be ready for the 5:15 departure to get the High school kids.
injameswetrust2003 Aug 28, 7:23 p.m.
This isn't the busdrivers, schools, secretaries' fault...it is whoever planned these routes.
"If the public knew how much of a dictator he was and how many good people he has caused to leave.." He is after all a general, what did you expect?
As if .... Aug 28, 7:13 p.m.
As of 5:35 we were still dropping of kid's that were released at 3:45. In all my years and everyone i work with agrees, we have NEVER seen craziness such as this! How parent's don't descend on our so called leaders in Cary and demand that this never happens again is beyond me.
Too many kids on all new routes that cover even more miles,is why this is happening.
They prefer to pay a whole lot of overtime than to put on more drivers,and by the way no one to tell us what to say to parents that are angry as heck!
Our supervisors and transportation is over their heads and sinking quickly,oh well carry on...
Scubagirl Aug 28, 7:10 p.m.
busses were cut with the money cuts, can't have it both ways. Kids should go to schools closer to their homes and much of this could be avoided. Spend the money that would save on more teachers/etc at the neighborhood schools. Seems simple to me.
apric23 Aug 28, 7:06 p.m.
Getting better everyday? I don't see it. My children didn't get home till almost 6pm on Monday and Tuesday plus they said it would be the same for the rest of the week, so how's that getting better?
sharonwhite Aug 28, 7:03 p.m.
ddm76 Here is a novel idea... not all of us have cars so if you are willing to help get the kids to school I would welcome you with open arms. Thank you for you lovely comment.
disgusted2010 Aug 28, 6:56 p.m.
Maybe if Tata would spend as much time trying to run the school system as he does feeding his ego at news conferences or being briefed by the mindless drones he brought from DC, then things would be better. Tata is an egomaniac who requires that staff members who come into his presence be briefed on his rules, which include never disagreeing with him or telling him something he does not want to hear. If the public knew how much of a dictator he was and how many good people he has caused to leave, they would rise up and demand his immediate termination.
Unfortunately, the news media loves him and therefore, nothing will happen.
wildpig777 Aug 28, 6:55 p.m.
thats what yall get for putting a retired gen ral with zero experience in charge of yer school system. can we say -- politics?
ddm76 Aug 28, 6:36 p.m.
here is a novel idea.... parents, be responsible for getting your kids to and from school. The Gov't promised a free education.... not transportation.
sharonwhite Aug 28, 6:33 p.m.
My daughter attends York and she just got off of the bus at 6:15. School lets out at 3:45pm. This is the second day she was very late. I am seriously thinking the Wake County School Transportation did not assign a bus for the students at York. Do we have enough buses for the schools since they cut funding??? It does not look like it. I find this really crazy that there is no organization and no one knows anything!! The bus driver asked me today if I had ever seen the afternoon bus driver. I told her no. I have no idea what bus driver is assigned to the kids in the afternoon. Wake County School Board/ Transportation really needs to step their game up and have more organization and know where the buses are assigned.
Toonces Aug 28, 6:17 p.m.
The superintendent and the system spokeswoman have said that that things will improve quickly because of the feedback parents are providing. I don't know where they are getting the feedback since no one picks up at the Apex office and the voicemail box has been full for two days. I did send my comments in via the online form this afternoon - thanks to the suggestion of one of the commenters here. Maybe the other offices are actually answering the phone....
In our case, the bus was full halfway through the route and so the driver decided to take the kids on the bus to school, leaving all the other children at the remaining stops to fend for themselves. The least they could have done was drive past the remaining stops, explain that the bus was full and tell the kids that their parents would have to bring them in. But that would have required some thought and planning.
LovemyPirates Aug 28, 6:10 p.m.
Spongebob - An 8th grader isn't a young adult. Many in 8th grade aren't even teenagers.
MyOwnTwoCents Aug 28, 6:02 p.m.
This is not the second day of this going on. My child is in year around and it has been going on for 3 weeks for us. She has missed 2 days because the bus did not show up and has been late around 8 times. My other daughter is in middle school and has to be at her bus stop at 5:55am and school does not start until 8:15. I would take them to school but I am unable because I have 3 children in 3 different schools in 3 different towns. This is their assigned school "feeder pattern". I also work.
srenae Aug 28, 6:00 p.m.
My son has missed 6 out of 16 days so far because wcpss is unreliable. I have called almost every number in the transportation department trying to get answers. No one will answer your calls because they are trying to avoid his horrific nightmare they have created. Does anyone at wcpss have common sense? I am completely fed up with wcpss!!!!
Spongebob Aug 28, 5:47 p.m.
"I heard that a middle and elem. school in western wake have schedules within 5 minutes so they can all ride the same bus. I would sure like that opportunity at our kids' elem and middle school in Raleigh.injameswetrust2003"
My kids attend schools like this although they do not ride the bus. There is quite a difference of interests between a child in kindergarten and a young adult in 8th grade. Also, the elementary school students get out a little early to board the bus and then have to sit and wait for the middle school to get out and then the middle schoolers sit in the back. Not so sure it's the best set up.
Save It Aug 28, 5:25 p.m.
"Wake County is nowhere near the largest system in the country."
We are 21st in the US by enrollment. Right behind Charlotte by 41 students last year. But at 857.7 sq. miles we are also geographically one of the largest on the east coast. That's what matters... how far the buses are traveling to pick up 128,748 students per day.
Dazd N Confused Aug 28, 5:23 p.m.
"My husband and I were told by the Assistant Principal that there are not enough busses nor correct routes to ensure our daughter would be at school prior to the first bell. I guest the first 45 minutes of the school day are not important."
Interesting, apparently $30-40/yr per student savings is worth children losing their education as well. Why is the US the only place in the world that doesn't value education anymore?
Published: 2008-01-11 14:37:00
Updated: 2010-06-21 13:53:03