Wake County Schools

Wake reports few problems as new school year starts

Posted August 25

— Wake County Public School System administrators reported few problems Monday as thousands of children in traditional-calendar schools returned to class for the first day of the 2014-15 school year.

Lynn Long disputes that assessment, noting that she waited for an hour for a school bus that never came and eventually drove her son to Apex Middle School. Long said the bus stop was changed this year, and she had to search online for information about the new location for the bus stop.

"They like to spin things in their favor and make it sound like things are going well," she said of the district's report of few problems. "Judging by what happened with myself and another bus route that was supposed to stop in our neighborhood – the looks from all the parents taking their kids to school – I don't think that was the case.

School district officials said 99 percent of the 910 buses arrived at schools within 15 minutes of class start times, and "an overwhelming majority" arrived on time. A record 75,000 students are riding buses in the district this year, they said.

Superintendent Jim Merrill said 4,000 bus stops and 116 routes were eliminated this year to save money.

"We found that there were too many stops that were too close to each other, which was wasteful, and we've got to tighten the efficiency," Merrill said.

Officials were trying to sort out what happened to the bus that Long's son was supposed to take, but a district spokeswoman said buses sometimes have substitute drivers who miss a stop – Wake County now has 50 substitute school bus drivers and is recruiting to fill the positions full time – or have mechanical problems that delay the route.

The driver on one route at Dillard Drive Middle School in Cary did not follow the scheduled route, so some students missed the bus.

The school district's Transportation Office plans to make any necessary adjustments to the bus schedules in the coming weeks, officials said, adding that parents should check the district's website for live updates of the location of a bus on a specific route.

35 Comments

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  • theliberadicator Aug 28, 4:29 p.m.

    There are few problems that a tax hike via an approved bond can't fix.

  • ochsenhirtj Aug 26, 1:36 p.m.

    NONE OF Jim Merrill's STATISTICS INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUNDENTS USING 3RD... View More

    — Posted by ochsenhirtj

    NO. JUST NO.
    I PAY A TON OF TAXES, I WORK FULL TIME, I DONATE & VOLUNTEER AT THE SCHOOL. MY SON IS SPECIAL NEEDS AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANYTHING LESS THAN EXCELLENT SERVICE.

    NO ONE IS ASKING FOR PEANUTS. DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA HOW REDICULOUS YOU SOUND. I AM ASKING THEM TO DO THEIR JOB!!

    YOU ARE A BUTTHEAD.
    THIS IS MY CHILD WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. ONE THAT CAN'T TALK OR EXPRESS MUCH OF ANYTHING...

    YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTY. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. WE DO NOT NEED THAT ATTITUDE UP IN HERE!!!!

  • ochsenhirtj Aug 26, 1:30 p.m.

    The schoolbus didn't pull all the way into my driveway to pick up my kid and the driver was not... View More

    — Posted by heelhawk

    LOL! and can you believe they stopped serving peanuts and pretzels?! oh the audacity!!

    — Posted by heard-it-all-before

    heard-it-all-before Aug 26, 12:58 p.m.
    The schoolbus didn't pull all the way into my driveway to pick up my kid and the driver was not... View More
    — Posted by heelhawk

    NO. JUST NO.
    I PAY A TON OF TAXES, I WORK FULL TIME, I DONATE & VOLUNTEER AT THE SCHOOL. MY SON IS SPECIAL NEEDS AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANYTHING LESS THAN EXCELLENT SERVICE FOR HIM.

    YOU ARE A BUTTHEAD.
    THIS IS MY CHILD WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. ONE THAT CAN'T TALK OR EXPRESS MUCH OF ANYTHING... I AM NOT ASKING FOR NO STUPID PEANUTS!!! I HOPE YOU RELIZE HOW COMPLETELY REDICULOUS YOU SOUND. I AM ASKING THEY DO THEIR JOB!

    YOU ARE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTY. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. WE DO NOT NEED THAT ATTITUDE UP IN HERE!!!!

    LOL! and can you believe they stopped serving peanuts and pretzels?! oh the audacity!!

    LOL! and can you believe they stopped serving peanuts and pretzels?! oh the audacity!!

    Read more at http://www.wral.com/share/page/1896337/?id=1392246

  • nic Aug 26, 1:25 p.m.

    Western Wake County is a mess. Green Hope HS is a cluster. Landed up dropping my son off behind the school and letting him walk so he would be on time. My other two are in year round and everything was fine until yesterday. Bus was late for Middle School- reason-a substitute bus driver that didn't know the route. So when they say there were no problems it is just untrue. There were many buses that showed up hours late or not at all in Western Wake

  • ochsenhirtj Aug 26, 1:12 p.m.

    NONE OF Jim Merrill's STATISTICS INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUNDENTS USING 3RD PARTY CONTRACTORS!!! WHO IS HOLDING THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE?
    THE "CAB" WAS 1.5 HOURS LATE FOR MY SON YESTERDAY AND THE STAFF AT ASSOCIATE TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN GROSSLY NEGLIGENT WITH MY CHILD'S TRANSPORTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • heard-it-all-before Aug 26, 12:58 p.m.

    The schoolbus didn't pull all the way into my driveway to pick up my kid and the driver was not... View More

    — Posted by heelhawk

    LOL! and can you believe they stopped serving peanuts and pretzels?! oh the audacity!!

  • jellybiscuit Aug 26, 11:10 a.m.

    "and not a single person at the school claims to be responsible for buses or even knows anything... View More

    — Posted by injameswetrust2003

    Apparently you missed my comment that the transportation dept is directing all "urgent" questions to the schools.

    That, or you're willingly taking comments out of context.

  • injameswetrust2003 Aug 26, 10:20 a.m.

    "and not a single person at the school claims to be responsible for buses or even knows anything at all about them."- jelly biscuit

    The schools do not operate the buses.

  • RanMan Aug 26, 10:18 a.m.

    One day maybe, we will have enough infrastructure to support the population in Wake Co., or maybe not...

  • RanMan Aug 26, 10:03 a.m.

    I think this is a play on words. "Reports", of course they would report few problems. Who would be truthful an report problems? Son's bus was late to school because the driver started his route in reverse. Last week for the orintation day his bus did not show at all. Called WCPC transportation and of course you can not get a live person, so left message as instructed with all contact info as instructed. But no call back to date...They stated they would call back in order calls received....What a joke...Things happen, I get it but to not do what you say (call back) is inexcusable. Guess they had such a high volume of calls they have not been able to call me back yet....Can't believe, I pay taxes for this level of service....Welcome to Wake County all...

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