5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Discussions about the town school transportation system.

5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby moretpani on Wed Mar 14, 2001 2:02 pm

[This message has been edited by moretpani (edited 03-15-2001).]
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby Astle on Wed Mar 14, 2001 2:13 pm

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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby bferrari on Wed Mar 14, 2001 3:12 pm

Common sense dictates that you don't leave a young child on a street alone. You don't have to blame a school for that.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby Smarty on Wed Mar 14, 2001 4:08 pm

I believe kindergarten was canceled that day. I think for more than one reason. One reason could be the danger of having such young children getting on, riding, and getting off buses in such inclement weather. But if your school doesnt cancel, what choice do you have if you do not want your child to be absent? the issue still stands that this poor mom had no idea her child was going to be left on the street early and at the wrong stop. The policy should come from the school. I hope a policy is set so parents from this school are notified is school is let out, even if it is a few minutes early. this is the case at my child's school, leaving me secure, and leaving it out of the hands of a bus driver put needlessly into a stressful position.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby Astle on Thu Mar 15, 2001 1:46 am

[QUOTE]Originally posted by duffyhouse:
[B]Chapter 1:
Dear Mrs. Duffyhouse,
First let me state that I am not a bus driver or a schoolteacher or in fact employed by any school of town department. I work for a private company that has nothing to do with education or transportation. I am a parent and I have had my children attend Tewksbury Public schools for a number of years. I do care about what happens in our schools, and on the school buses and in our town.
I agree that there have been some problems in the past with a very few bus drivers. Most of these problems have been resolved with the effort of Dr. McGrath, Dave Libby and the management of Tewksbury Transit. In some cases, drivers have been suspended from doing school runs and others have been fired. One that I know of was issued a ticket for speeding with students on the bus. I hope and pray that that person no longer drives a school bus, but I don't know.
You have been asked what school did your child attend and as of yet you have not answered. I and a number of other residents would assume that your child attends the Burke School, as I believe that Tewksbury Public Schools had no Kindergarten classes that day.
My question is, if it was the Burke School, why would you expect the Superintendent of Schools of Tewksbury to respond to this issue when the problem did not occur from a Tewksbury Public School? The Superintendent and the School Department don't set the rules for private schools. Granted, they do have to pay for their transportation because of a state mandate. The Burke School is a Private Educational Organization.
I would assume that the Burke School sets their own rules and should be responsible to resolve their own problems, on or off of a school bus transporting their students. I think it's time for the Burke School to resolve their own problems and finally pay their own way. And, you as a parent of a Burke School student have been barking up the wrong tree! Lay the blame where it really belongs, with the Burke School administration.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:38 am

Replies to Astle, Smarty, and mrs23b:

Let me reiterate:

Yes, Burke should have called, or attempted to call the parents. I did talk with them, (boy did I!)they apologized over and over again, and I have their assurance that if they ever let the buses go early, proper procedure will be followed in the future. With the Burke, I did what Lee said I should do with the driver, ask for an apology and go on. I got that.

The fact remains that I was NEVER told that if my Kindergartener bus stop was changed to a "regular route bus stop", that if I was late, "regular bus stop rules apply". I and a neighbor were told the wrong bus stop location-and then I was basically called a liar by Mr. Libby when he said, I never told you that" referring to the bus stop location. And the funny thing is that the location of the stop really isn't an issue, because that location I thought the stop would be at, is within eyesight of the stop the kids were left off at. The issue is the lying and cover up that took place when this all hit the fan.

I was then told by our Superintendent that it was MY fault that I did not know about the policy regarding "regular bus stop rules", but such a policy doesn't exist!

Re the Burke School and the Transit Co., ANY child in private school in the town they live in are entitled to ALL of the services a public student is entitled to, and that means bus service, special education services, and access to public school sports to name a few. My tax dollars pay for these services and my child is entitled to utilize those services.

I didn't want to get into this, but for those of you who think that I am sending my child to the Burke because I am rich and hate public schools, NOTHING could be further from the truth. My child's developmental needs at this time REQUIRE that he be in a small teacher-to-student ratio class (only 9 kids are in his class), with individualized instruction for him to succeed in the future. In fact, we had thought that maybe he would be attending public school this year, but will not. But he may be in the future. I went to public schools and got a great education. End of story.

Bottom Line:

Put yourself in my shoes-if I don't at least try to ensure that this doesn't happen to another 5 year old child, and god forbid something terrible happens to a child as a result, I could not live with myself. No matter what school my child goes to, or who should have done what, or called who, or said this or that, the policy and procedures CAN be improved, the communication CAN be improved, and all of us-parents, bus drivers and school administrators may have a little more peace of mind.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby Liza on Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:45 am

Other than the very young special needs classes and teachers (which are superlative!), stick with private school.

Did you see how Tewksbury schools rate in the state, at the 50% mark. Wonderful, not.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:50 am

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Liza:
[B]"Other than the very young special needs classes and teachers (which are superlative!), stick with private school."

I didn't really want to get into a debate re private vs. public. That is a whole other topic.
But thanks.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:51 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bferrari:
Common sense dictates that you don't leave a young child on a street alone. You don't have to blame a school for that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Couldn't have said it better. And thanks, to you, and to all of whom have been concerned and supportive regarding this incident.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby mrs23b on Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:02 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rippington:
Ahh,

People are saying "there's only a few bad apples". Yet you chose to ignore that statement and then make a snide remark about people who send their kids to private schools.

Your bus company chose to service the Burke "private school". Thus they have to deal with early release as with the public school. Would you have left those two children unattended?

You're really not helping the bus drivers with that snide "private school" statement.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


re-mrs23b to duffyhouse-etc...

Dear Rippington, duffyhouse, etc - I will apoligize for the "snide" remark concerning the Burke "Private" school, however even by stating that there are always a few "Bad Apples" labels us the drivers. Unless we wear signs around our necks you don't know who the good guys are at all. I will retract that comment and replace it with -If you (The Parent) decide to choose an altenate type of schooling other than Public Schooling maybe you should also look into the transportation issues too. Evidently she(duffyhouse) was on the net checking out the school , the tuition, and everything else but not once did she ask "How are the transportation issues handled?" She couldn't rely on the school to answer all her other questions so she asked people on the net. I do not live in Tewksbury and my children didn't go to thier schools however i was always in dirrect contact with the bus driver and the school principal and was right on the phone if the weather situation took a bad turn or i thought there might be a chance of eary dismissal or a problem with the transportation.The fault was not with the driver- that driver was only following directions but with the Burke school for #1-Dismissing the kids early. #2- Not notifing the parents of the early dismissal. and #3- Not keeping the parents up to date with transportation procedure. Go to the top of the list where the problem started GO BACK TO THE SCHOOL! and she should get to know her childs driver. Don't be so defensive and lighten up-coulda shoulda and woulda but it didn't-it's over your kid is okay and if you(duffyhouse0 want to change the way things are done get off your high horse (and outta your desk chair)get rid of the attitude and check things out maybe then you can change things and do so good instead of getting people riled up......
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:52 am

[QUOTE]
"Evidently she(duffyhouse) was on the net checking out the school , the tuition, and everything else but not once did she ask "How are the transportation issues handled?" She couldn't rely on the school to answer all her other questions so she asked people on the net"[QUOTE]

MRS23B: You couldn't be more wrong-I did do a lot of research re the transportation policy-spoke with the school and Mr. Libby many times before school started.
Re me not being "in touch"-EVERY bad weather day, I would call the bus company and ask them if they were coming up my street, instead of waiting for Mr. Libby to call which he also would do. Every delayed opening or snow day I would call the school and verify openings/closings/delays-as I just wanted to be sure. Every time my son did not need a pick up or drop off I would not only call the dispatcher, but re the drop offs I would verify with the driver at the school that afternoon if he/she got the message.

Re the Burke's responsibility-I have already spoken on that. My final point to you is-let's look at another potential situation:

It is a bad weather day. The bus stop is at the regular route bus stop which I know about. The school lets out ON TIME. But I have a car accident, and don't make it to the bus stop on time. Then that means that my child STILL would have been let off the bus on a busy, snowy street corner in the "charge" of a seven year old he barely knows. THAT IS THE POLICY I WANT TO CHANGE, OR AT MINIMUM, TO ENSURE THAT ALL PARENTS ARE AWARE OF THAT POLICY. IF I had known about that policy beforehand, I (and my neighbor), would NOT have let our children come home on the bus.

And I am sorry, but regarding my child and any other child put into that potentially dangerous situation, I won't "lighten up".

But I will respectfully agree to disagree.




[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-15-2001).]

[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-15-2001).]
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby mrs23b on Thu Mar 15, 2001 9:52 pm

Yes duffyhouse a change needs to be made concerning the School policy but, what i'm saying is that it needs to be looked at with the Burke school, you can't basically lump all the schools together just like you can't lump all the bus drivers together. You did make a valid point but with the attitude you are putting forth all you are doing is getting people upset and that does nobody any good. If you have already straightened things out with the driver get together with the school principal and hash things out with him/her so that this does not happen again. The bus company handles 7 or 8 schools with parents calling all the time and in bad weather situations it doesn't handle just 1 or 2 problems at a time- it handles dozens of concerned parents calling about all the schools, it would make more sense to go to the Burke directly and talk with them 1st hand or on another bad weather day stay in touch with the school concerning dismissal times tell them what you would like to see done, suggest that a letter or memo be sent to the parents explaining the problem and ask for their imput on the situtation and how they would like it handled, then have the principal take it to Ms Mcgrath or Dave Libby. If it is handled in a calm manner things will get done much more quickly and efficently then by getting upset and starting a lynching on the transportation dept heads. Good Luck
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Fri Mar 16, 2001 5:53 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mrs23b:

"Yes, duffyhouse a change needs to be made concerning the School policy"

Thank you.

..."lump all the bus drivers together"

I didn't.

"You did make a valid point..."

Again, thank you. THAT is the reason I made this public.

..."attitude you are putting forth all you are doing is getting people upset..."

I have a right to be upset-any parent would be. I'm sorry, but I won't apologize for that.

I did not "lump" anyone together-the headmaster did not inform the parents, he apologized and won't do it again-the driver followed the supposed policy-I accept that. It was implied by the Transportation Coordinator and the Superintendent that I was a liar, and was uninformed so it was my fault. (Shame on me for not getting this in writing last summer before I put my child on the bus. Now I know better.)

...."get together with the school principal and hash things out with him/her so that this does not happen again."

As stated above and many times before, I already have.


..."suggest that a letter or memo be sent to the parents"...take it to Ms Mcgrath or Dave Libby. "

I am in the process of doing just that.


..."starting a lynching on the transportation dept heads..."

Mr. LaFortune apologized-I accepted his apology. Mr. Libby apologized for the incident, but I haven't spoke to him further, (he's on vacation), re his "miscommunication", and I have yet to speak with Ms. McGrath face to face, but will soon.

"Good Luck"
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thank you.
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby Smarty on Fri Mar 23, 2001 2:28 pm

I saw the article today in the Tewksbury Advertiser regarding this issue.

Postings on this site say the bus left early to insure the children got home safely but in the Advetiser article the CFO of the school says the buses left on time????
If the bus left on time, there would not be an issue? Am I right? I just hate to see the wrong people blamed (ie. the bus driver)
What is the story?
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5 Yr. Old Left Off on Busy Street Corner 20 Min. Early With

Postby duffyhouse on Fri Mar 23, 2001 4:07 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Smarty:
I saw the article today in the Tewksbury Advertiser regarding this issue.

Postings on this site say the bus left early to insure the children got home safely but in the Advetiser article the CFO of the school says the buses left on time????
If the bus left on time, there would not be an issue? Am I right? I just hate to see the wrong people blamed (ie. the bus driver)
What is the story?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have already drafted a letter to the editor. I really didn't want to get into this again, but here goes.

I respectfully disagree with Ms. Diggans regarding the time the buses left. I'd rather not name names, so I will just say that I was told by 2 Burke school officials (and one pretty high up), that the buses left at around 2:50-2:55pm. And, 2 parents who were at the school when the buses left (they pick up their children at 2:45 each day), stated that the buses left prior to them leaving with their own kids also at around 2:50 pm. In fact one parent said she was surprised to see the buses leave before she did, because that did not usually happen.

I also did not like the article implying that I and my neighbor were not told the wrong bus stop location. We have not lied about what we were told. The location doesn't really matter because the 2 stops are only within a few houses of each other, and within eye sight of each other. Mr. Libby knows what the truth is-I just don't appreciate being viewed as a liar.

All of this is water under the bridge. The only reason I went public with this is the fact that there is not a clear written policy regarding K-Student drop offs. That is the bottom line. And I will work to get such a policy in place so that this doesn't happen to another 5 year old again.

Thank you.
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