LCS reports improved results with switch to old bus routes

By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 19, 2019

After a chaotic start to the school year, leaders with the Leon County School District are hoping for calmer days. It appears they're on the right track.

District spokesperson Chris Petley told WCTV the call center resolved 150 issues from parents Monday - the first day old bus routes were back in use across the county.

Those numbers are an improvement from a first week of school that most in the community want to forget. By Wednesday, the district had scrapped a new bus routing system after a disastrous roll out.

With the return to the old, some parents report improvements.

"I had a great day at the bus stop," said Zina Wiggins.

"They were on time, they were happy! So now they know where they're going. and it's not so stressful on the kids, because they were scared as well."

Like other parents, Wiggins panicked last week when her 11-year-old never came home from school after the first day.

She eventually found him at the Hartsfield Elementary media center. He was one of 29 kids stranded at school with bus drivers unsure where to take them.

Despite last week's chaos, Wiggins isn't blaming LCS Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

"He has a lot on his plate," she said.

"I totally understand, I really do appreciate Rocky Hanna, getting this back on the right track."

Other parents are still frustrated. Candy Osborne has a daughter with learning disabilities.

She claims the district is supposed to send a bus right to her home. Instead, Osborne learned over the weekend she'd have to walk fifteen minutes to get to a bus stop.

"I'm getting the runaround, different stories, no one is calling me back," she said. "My daughter is missing too much school."

Osborne said her daughter has yet to attend class this year. A long walk could lead to problems for her daughter.

"Anything could freak her out, " Osborne said. "Loud noises, music, cars, anything. She could have an episode right there in the middle of the street."

Petley said Osborne lives on a street buses can't access. The district will get the bus "as close as possible," while making sure every student is in "the best situation to succeed."

He recommended any concerned parent to continue reaching out using the hotline.

"We are working at a fast pace, and will sort this out," he said.