MUNCIE, Ind. – Students at Muncie Community Schools will head back to class Monday after bus issues caused the school corporation to close during the first week of the school year.
"To miss two days in the first week of school, is ridiculous," said Jolene Murphy. "I have no confidence that things are going to go the way they should be. And I don’t like to feel that way."
Murphy says her son was one of the many students who had to help drivers navigate the routes home.
"The routes were too hard to figure out," said Jordan Murphy, who says he sat behind his driver, mapping from stop to stop with Google Maps on his phone. "The page that they have isn’t really a map. It just tells you where to go, but not in detail."
Although Murphy believes the school should've worked out transportation issues before school started, she says canceling school for two days to figure things out was the right decision under the circumstances.
Parents told FOX59 that issues also included pickup and drop-off times and unreturned calls to Auxilio, the new bus company the district hired to operate its transportation as one of many cost-cutting measures.
District sources said bad route information, families not reporting new addresses and 20 percent of drivers quitting just days before the first day of school contributed to the problems. MCS also recently hired a new bus company, which the school system's website says was unfamiliar with the area.
"It has to get better because if it doesn’t, I’ll have to find another school for my child," said Nicolle Courtney, another Muncie Schools parent.
Parents are being encouraged to visit the website of their children’s school for all transportation information, such as updated bus numbers, routes and the names of their bus drivers.
The district says elementary school students will be dismissed early in order to have adequate time for dismissal.
“Elementary students who ride the buses will be dismissed at 2:00 p.m., students who are picked up will be dismissed at 2:15 p.m., and students who walk will be dismissed at 2:30 p.m.,” said MCS on Facebook. “Elementary students will be as much as a half hour early in being dropped off after school next week.”
MCS also says parents should expect their child’s bus between 10 minutes before or after their normal pickup or drop off time.
Anyone with questions regarding a child’s bus route is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Auxillo Office #'s:
- 765-201-4254 - Main Line
The chart below shows the time schedules for each school: