Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
I very rarely get on facebook these days but I did today to wish my little sister a happy birthday. While there, my 'feed' was full of families complaining about their children being dropped off in the wrong locations, children getting on to the wrong buses, children missed at school (bus left without them) or left on the bus after correct bus stops were passed by.
I get it that this must be a logistical mind-blowing nightmare task, but so many problems, and just in my facebook feed? I mean, I'm not connected to every family in Polk County there, but here, I am.
Do you have concerns for your children when busing back and forth to school?
How's your school busing experience going so far?
My kids are walkers (I'm blessed to be able to walk with them), but, I have to admit, some of these stories from yesterday have me glad they're not bus riders.
I am so glad I have the ability to drive my daughter to school.
It took my child 3 hours to go 20 miles. Go figure.
Whereas he used to walk 1/2 mile to his bus stop. He now has to walk 1 1/2 miles. This is in orange grove territory where coyotes and rattlesnakes have been seen. There are no lights and people speed all the time. I also recently found out a high school student was robbed while waiting for a bus on this road. When I asked about a safety study, I was told there is no consideration for middle school students in regards to safety.
High school students still get picked up at the end of the road.
I have heard of a Lena Vista kindergartener being told to walk 1.9 miles down Berkley Road. Students are being told they have to cross 17 (in Dundee) where there are no crosswalks or street lights and the bus passes right by the edge of their road.
The response from the district is heartless; "we don't have to provide transportation." Well, it is no wonder people are also choosing other places for their children to attend school and more FTE funding is being lost. Who will be left will be the children of the parents who do not care. (Let's see how those school grades work out.)
Even though the district is cutting the funds and budget from bus transportation, they have now contracted and are paying for Citrus Connection for all high school students. If they cannot transport and meet the services that were in place, why are they cutting (and compromising safety) to add services to provide transportation for after school activities and free transportation on weekends???!!!!
Those of us who are upset want to feel a sense of safety for our kids.
There will be a lawsuit; then I wonder which choice would have been cheaper to make.
I liked it.
Honestly, these stories need to be told and tallied. Common sense could kick in to those making decisions at the school board level if enough communication is carried out. Trust me, what we say here can be far reaching and part of a strong total and force.
Thank you for putting in your voice!
Kelly Hansell said:
It's not just transportation. I have 2 special needs kids that one was hospital/homebound the last 2 years. I chose to have the other sent to a special school that was suppose to help her and it turned out not to be such a good idea. She wound up so stressed she is being treated for stomache problems. She wouldn't even go the last 3 weeks last year. I chose to homeschool her this year and leave the other with h/h. I found out the first day of school that they cut his teacher's hours so he was going to get a new teacher. I immediately sent the homeschool form for him to the school board. They completely cut the parent liazon positions from our county. They are now requiring all ESE students to do the same core standards as everyone else.
I do have an older son who would qualify for the bus transportation. The permission actually states the students can receive free transportation to the movies or the mall! WHEN did those trips become the responsibility of the school board?
We live so close to our elementary school that bussing is a non-issue there -- either I drive my younger son, or he walks.
My high schooler just started IB and part of that is that the county does provide transportation. I sent in my voters registration card and my power bill as proof of residence, and IB verified receipt. I personally SAW his name on the list IB sent on to PCSB Transportation. Transportation, though, completely left him off the list.
However, thanks to the marvelous folks at IB and PCSB Transporation fixing the issue promptly, he's now got a bus assignment. Yay :) His stop is over a mile away though, and with as dark as it is when he catches the bus I've decided on driving him to the stop in the mornings. We need time to talk anyway, and without that drive I don't think I'd exchange more than 5 words with the child, so it's not exactly a bad thing.
As for the walk home in the afternoon, it's good for the boy.