Monday, January 8, 2018

Frozen Commuication

This morning my middle school aged son, his brother,  and I waited over 30 minutes for the middle school bus to 12* weather! We live on a busy county road in a rural section of our town, so not only was the temperature dangerous, but the bus stop can be as well. In the end, after three calls to transportation, I made the decision to drive him to school myself. It was one of those mornings where I think anyone would need time to recover from the disruption to a pretty tight, but efficient routine. Adding to the craziness, I was scheduled to attend training in my district, and the delay with the bus made me late (imagine walking into a packed room 15-20 minutes after the session has started).

Eventually, the training and conversations around me took my mind off of the troubles of my morning, however, as we drew closer to the end of the day, and my younger son's district was sending out notification that after school activities were cancelled, I was reminded of the chaos of the morning.

In an attempt to gain some insight from the failure in communication this morning, I decided to communicate with my son's principal via email to figure out where the break down took place. Here is the letter I wrote:

Good evening, Dr. yyyyyy,

I am writing this evening to inquire as to the communication policy the school has in place for buses that are running late in the morning and/or evening. 

This morning my son, R, waited for over 30 minutes in 12* weather for his bus (bus H) to pick him up at his bus stop. After three calls to transportation, and with no estimate for an arrival time, it was necessary for me to drive my son to school. While the delays and inconvenience experienced by my family this morning are upsetting enough, the lack of communication between the school and the affected community members is troubling. Had I not been at the stop waiting with my son, I can only imagine the anxiety he would have felt waiting, and waiting, and waiting for his bus. Compounding the issue, my husband received notifications that my son was marked absent for homeroom and first period. 

My question is two-fold, how is there a.) no communication to the community that buses are running late, especially with freezing temperatures and a bus that reportedly did not arrive to school until after period 1-2 and b.) no communication to teachers that there is a delay in buses, thus reducing confusion in the SIS system?

You are an administrator who seems quite adept at keeping the school community informed; I enjoy reading your weekly emails and follow you on Twitter. With so many methods for communication, I wonder why no information regarding this was shared with the community. 

I thank you for your time with this matter and look forward to your response.

Stacey Lindes

If you are a parent, what would you have done in my situation?
If you are an administrator, what could the school and administration done differently? How would you have handled this?
If you're reading this, what are your thoughts?
I'm sure there are sides of this that I'm not considering, clue me in.

Gotta run (I'm running late),


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