So imagine my dismay when I was told on the phone that not only hadn't the options expanded, the bus that stopped last year 3/4 of a mile from my house was no longer operational.
The guy answering the phone suggested that maybe nobody had used that bus at the end of the year.
Not true--there were about 12 kids there on most days.
I was upset.
I left a message for the route supervisor. [Whom, it should be mentioned here, never called me back.]
I also emailed some of my friends in the neighborhood about this. One of them called Todd Robert's office (the superintendent), and spoke with his secretary. She was following my grandfather's adage, "Don't waste your time. I always go straight to the top."
[In case you need it, the Superintendent's Office number is in the phone book. And it is: 994-2230.]
A few hours later, my friend gets a call back--the person I had spoken to had, in fact, given me the "wrong" information--there was a bus that went to the old spots, and a few other spots too (which are, in fact, closer to my house). You might have thought that "all's well that ends well."
Except for a few things. (Of course there is more.)
When the Back-to-School Bus Schedules came, the promised route was...ABSENT. This prompted a whole 'nother round of phone calls among our friends. What did this mean???
At Skyline registration, the route in question was indeed posted. [Although I didn't go to registration--if my child hadn't asked the right question, would we know the answer?]
Obviously, they had to print the schedules earlier, so I still don't know: did they add this route under our questioning? Or was its omission an editing mistake that they couldn't rectify in time? And if the route was there all the time, then why was the person answering the phone using the (clearly incorrect) printed bus schedule--at least the AAPS transportation department should have access to the correct schedule.
One more thing: twice last year, for good reasons, my daughter's morning bus schedule had major changes in time and location. But did they give us more than a day's notice? NO! Did they change the posted information on the AAPS Web Site? NO! And really, there is no good reason for that. Families deserve at least a few days notice. The web site should be updated.
A few days after the first set of events, one of the other parents whose child rides the bus calls me to find out if there was an update. I told her what had happened. "Typical of the school district," she says (and she works for the district). "And the confusion is all so unnecessary."
Lessons learned about the bussing:
Call early about the schedule
Read the schedule. Re-read the schedule. If you don't see what you need, be persistent and ask for what you deserve.
If you don't like the answers, go up the chain of command. The squeaky wheel does get the grease--at least sometimes. I don't think most of us are asking for all that much.
Oh--and--give the bus drivers a break, especially the first couple of weeks of the year...