Changes looming for Waynesboro bus students

School board talks about students being transported to different locations during the week

August 16, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Changes could be coming to the way students are bused to baby sitters, grandparents and other locations in the Waynesboro Area School District.

The school board talked Tuesday about students being transported to different locations during the week.

While school board members said they're OK with students being picked up at one site in the morning and dropped off at another site in the afternoon, they said they have concerns about those stops changing depending on the day of the week.

"There are a lot of times the parent doesn't even know the schedule," said Bryan McCleaf, of McCleaf Bus Lines Inc.

School board member Firmadge Crutchfield said caregivers should transport children from their regular stops if they need to go somewhere else. He said district officials need to decide how much notice is required to make a permanent change.

"Those types of issues need to be flushed out a little more," Crutchfield said.

He suggested soliciting feedback from parents about changing the busing policy at an upcoming meeting.

"The current situation, frankly, I think is terrible. I'm amazed we don't lose more children," Crutchfield said.

McCleaf said he knows of three problems last year with children being dropped off at the wrong place.

"It's a recipe for disaster," Crutchfield said.

Superintendent James Robertson asked McCleaf how many students he thinks have different morning and afternoon stops. McCleaf answered he believes hundreds of students are in that situation.

Board member Sherry Cline questioned how other school districts handle transportation.

Washington County Public Schools in Maryland and the Chambersburg (Pa.) Area School District require the morning and afternoon stops to remain consistent throughout the week, according to McCleaf.

Diana Stevenson of D&S Buses said she feels the current policy accommodates parents' work schedules, which she said is important in the down economy.

"We don't want to see those kids going home to no one," said her son, Bryan Stevenson.

The school district contracts with about a half-dozen bus companies, including McCleaf and D&S, to transport more than 3,330 students each year, Maintenance and Transportation Coordinator Missie Baer said last year.

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