Late Buses Disrupt Student Learning

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Late Buses Disrupt Student Learning

Timmy Jones and Haley Moreau

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Lateness to school is something no one likes, especially if it is because of a late bus. While it is understandable when a bus is a few minutes late or late only once or twice, when a bus is twenty to thirty minutes late repeatedly, that’s a problem.

One bus in particular has been extremely late picking up students more than twenty times since the beginning of the school year, causing students to rush into school and scramble to prevent missing class time.  The students who ride the bus began tracking its latenesses in early October after it was repeatedly late during the first month of school.

It’s more than just a minor inconvenience; for many students, including junior Yuting Cui, the bus is the only way to school.  She finds it especially annoying when a substitute bus driver doesn’t really know where he or she is taking the bus full of students. One time the bus completely missed two stops, and the driver had turn the bus around and go back to pick up the rest of the students.

Trying to find other ways to school can be disruptive.

“Not only do I usually miss the drills in the morning, I have to get a ride from my parents which messes their schedule up,” said sophomore Anna Evans. “It’s not fair to miss class time due to a late bus. It’s also not fair to walk out to the bus stop and wait in cold, rainy weather.”

Missing the start to the school day is one of the biggest impacts of late buses on their student riders. A lot happens at the start of first period, and students feel like they miss out when they are late.

“It feels weird coming in late, and we miss the teacher’s directions,” Cui said.

Evans agreed, commenting, “You sit there not knowing what to do.”

Both wish the substitute bus drivers would be more prepared and know where they are taking the students. There have been occasions when the substitute bus driver has to turn around and ask the students where he/she is taking the students.

“One substitute driver is extremely inconsistent with pick up in the mornings. On a rainy, cold, Tuesday morning, the bus came at 7:29. That was the day it was sleeting. The following day the bus came at 7:06, causing a lot of students to miss the bus because they were used to the bus coming late,” explained Evans.

It’s even worse when it’s raining, and the bus is late or extremely inconsistent; it’s not a good way to start off the school day.

“I wouldn’t have gotten soaked by a car splash when I was waiting for the bus,” Junior Elliah Young said.

Junior Rebecca McFalls agrees; she hates how she has to “stay in soaking wet clothes all day.”

Because the route has different drivers on different days, the bus comes at different times. When the driver is unfamiliar with the route, he or she takes the long way to get to school which takes up even more time.  A few days, the bus driver has dropped students off at school after the late bell

“One day [the bus] came so late, I went home and didn’t go to school until after 1st period because my dad had to leave work to come pick me up [at home],” Young said.

Assistant principal Eric Eiswert is aware of the bus lateness.

He advised students to “wait as long as you can, get a ride to school, and come to me if this has happened more than once. I will put a call into transportation.”

According to Mr. Eiswert, “buses are controlled through the county- the school itself has little control on the buses until they enter onto our property [where we handle] drop off/pick procedures and student behavior on buses.”