ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Today was the first day back from Winter Break for tens of thousands of Stateline students and it got off to a rough start for some kids in District 205, after one bus was an hour late leaving kids waiting outside in the cold conditions.
“With the temperatures the way they’ve been in the past two days of schools being closed, this was kind of a concern.”
District 205 parent Dawn Weeks is frustrated that her 13-year-old son who goes to Resa Middle Schoool had to wait at his bus stop much longer than the usual 5 to 10 minutes in the cold.
Some kids waited at the bus stop for a half an hour and finally went home. The bus was an hour late. Weeks says parents should be notified if they’re running that late.
“You know just these frigid temperatures, I wish that there was some kind of communication they could give the parents, even an automated phone call, anything to let us know there’s a possible bus running late,” said Weeks.
However transportation director Gregg Wilson says it’s not that simple. An automated message wouldn’t work because in most cases, buses aren’t late to every stop.
“We don’t have the staff to call every parent, because we have parents calling in just asking us, is our bus on time,” Wilson said.
Wilson says hopefully within a year, parents will be able to connect with the District’s GPS system which is on every school bus.
“Parents can sign up and it will send a signal and tell them that their bus is within 10 minutes of the stop.”
“I think that would be great just so we can know where the buses will be, how long our kids will be standing outside.”
District 205 had several bus issues today, including two that froze but in this case, the regular bus driver fell. They had to get a back0up driver which time, especially to figure out an unfamiliar route.
In the meantime, parents can find out if their kids’ bus is running late by calling the transportation center and asking, however keep in mind when a lot of people call in, the lines can get jammed so people are waiting or eve disconnected. That’s what happened to Weeks today. The district is working to fix that problem.