MUNCIE, Ind. — Some parents in Muncie are fed up with the district’s busing system after school was canceled for two days to sort out the issues.
Some parents said the bus never picked up their child from school and were told to bring them to school. One mother said she was an hour late to work because the bus never came to her home and she had to drop her daughter off at school.
Last week, Muncie Community Schools said a handful of bus drivers quit before school started. They also cited communication issues between Auxilio, the new company contracted to provide busing services, and True Consultants, the routing company.
Today, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) sent Michael LaRocco, the state’s director of school transpiration to Muncie to help sort out the issues.
“You’ve got all these players. One of the things we’re able to do is sort of come to the table and kind of bring everybody together and you know, again, kind of navigate those conversations to get everyone on the same page,” said IDOE Press Secretary, Adam Baker.
Administrator Assistance sent this statement in regards to the bus situation:
Michael LaRocco, IDOE Director of School Transportation spent the day in Muncie observing the procedures and processes in place. Mr. LaRocco stated that, “I would see today as a normal start to a school year considering all the changes that have taken place. Not perfect, but the kids arrived at school and back home safely.”
District spokesperson Ana Pichardo said, “We are hopeful many of the issues from last week have been resolved, but we will continue to revise and improve the transportation routes on a daily basis for the next couple of weeks.”
MCS administrators and transportation employees worked both days the district was closed last week and over the weekend to address the issues that plagued transportation the first day of school last Wednesday.
Glitches are a normal part of the start of school for any school district, which the MCS website addresses in the following statement on the website Transportation page:
“During the first two weeks, we ask for your patience as drivers are learning their roadways, their times, learning their students/families, and traffic patterns. In the afternoon, it takes longer the first two weeks as schools are learning which students ride which buses. It takes about two weeks for your child’s driver to be acclimated with their route. We ask for your patience during the first few weeks.”
“There are many working parts that have to synch up in a normal year,” Pichardo said. “This year, with a new company, we expected busing to be a greater challenge at the start. We are committed to working together on any remaining concerns after today, so that families can be confident their children will be safely transported to and from school.”
Parents are encouraged to check the MCS website Transportation page for updates and information.