PLYMOUTH – After some delays with buses during the first day of school, Superintendent Brian Falcone has written a letter to parents assuring them these problems will be addressed.
Falcone said he sent a letter to parents of elementary school children Tuesday following several parents reporting their children arrived home late, in some cases by more than an hour. Although parents were frustrated by the situation, many of them still expressed gratitude to the bus drivers for getting their children home safe.
Rebecca Jackson said her daughter was on the bus for more than an hour-and-a-half on the first day of school and didn’t make it home until 4:45 p.m. This, she said, was earlier than some children returned home. She said she felt just as bad for the drivers.
“This morning she was nervous and the bus missed our whole street,” she said. “Even though she wanted a ride at that point they were around the corner and on their way back.”
Tricia Benedetto said her children arrived home an hour and 15 minutes late on the first day.
“I knew Miss Mary (the bus driver) would bring them home safely and she did, late but safe,” Benedetto said.
Falcone said some delays are not uncommon on the first day of school. However, this time, it also had to do with the recent reconfiguration of town elementary schools.”
“We have a new bus route now that pre-K through grade 2 are going to Plymouth Center School and grades 3 to 5 are going to Harry Fisher Elementary School,” he said.
Falcon said Wednesday “things got much better time-wise” by the second day of school.
“We shaved about 25 to 30 minutes off the routes,” he said. “We’re seeing that this is still the best way to go about transporting the kids at the beginning of the day. We’re looking into other alternatives with the bus company for bringing students home at the end of the day.”
The following is the letter that Falcone sent to parents:
Dear Plymouth Center and Fisher Elementary Parents and Guardians,
I hope your children enjoyed their first two days of the 2021-2022 school year. While the overall transition back to school has gone exceptionally well in our classrooms and buildings, we have come across a number of concerns with our elementary school bus schedule.
The purpose of this letter is to acknowledge the transportation issues our students have experienced due to the school reconfiguration. Even though we have only been in school for two days, I want to assure you that we are looking into the concern of how long our students are riding the bus. At this point in time, all of our buses stop at Fisher Elementary School prior to either dropping off or picking up the students from Plymouth Center School. The sharing of the buses in this manner has added time to both school bus routes due to the travel time between the schools and the loading and unloading of the children.
Over the next few days, we will continue to assess the elementary bus situation and work to address the issue. We appreciate your anticipated patience and understanding.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.