School Bus Routes Frustrate Parents, School Board
Green Brook district wrestles with fitting 1,000 students at three schools onto five buses.
Here's a math problem you won't find on the state NJASK tests: how do you get more than 1,000 students to class at three different schools, with five buses?
Take your time—and be sure to show your work.
The Green Brook School District plotted one set of solutions to the challenge of busing its students to school, but the complicated routing sometimes has kids on the bus for longer rides than anyone intended.
At Monday's Board of Education meeting, Tuttle Street resident Jody Britten told the board members that she was concerned about the length of time her 10-year-old son is riding on school buses on his way to and from classes each day, which she said can be as much as 45 minutes each way.
"Our route goes from IEF, then kind of goes all the way up the mountain and everything else before it comes down," she said, describing the afternoon ride home for her son.
She asked if the routes would be shortened or changed, or if the district is waiting for the return of Transportation Supervisor Nancy Farinella, who has been out on a leave since June, before making any changes.
Business Administrator Michael Colling said the district won't be making any changes in the routes, now that school has started.
"We're continuing to evaluate our routes, and at this point, we monitor them daily as to when the drivers are arriving," Colling said.
Britten added that she thought students living south of Route 22 wouldn't have to be bused to the other side of the road, but Colling said with the number of students at IEF riding buses, that wasn't possible.
"We do schedule our routes in the most safe manner we can," he said.
Britten said knowing her son will take a 45-minute ride to school that's "about five minutes away" is "a little disconcerting."
The board approved hiring two additional drivers at Monday's meeting, and
Parent Lisa Couch had a different issue regarding the bus her kids catch to school: originally scheduled to pick kids up at 7:28 a.m., the bus didn't pick up the kids until after 7:50 a.m.—until Monday morning, when the bus returned to its regular schedule unbeknownst to Couch and some of the other parents.
She said the only notifications sent to parents were through the students, which she said she didn't receive.
"For all of the times this school district has sent out email blast and all of the voicemails that all of my telephones get that there's absolutely no reason that technology could not have been used," she said.
Colling apologized for the inconvenience and said the district would evaluate the procedures used in case the issue comes again.