Wednesday, April 30, 2008

AA Goes on His First Field Trip

or as I origianlly was going to call this post, PV school district transportation lost my son today!

The afternoon started with AA's afternoon bus showing up 10 minutes late. I tried to call his regular bus driver to see if there was a problem, but she did not answer her cell phone (I realized she was not working today). I had him half-way loaded into the car to take him to work. The bus driver was a substitute and there was no assistant on the bus. He got on the bus, no problem.

Half an hour later, the school called to see why AA was not in school today. NOT IN SCHOOL? I put him on the bus, so he should be there. The admin person said she would check back with his class to see what the mix-up was and call me RIGHT BACK. Half hour later I had not heard from her. So I called. She said that Transportation should have called me. Now I am thinking maybe there was a bus crash. But no. AA had fallen asleep on the bus and was never taken off the bus. The school loaded more students to take home (the 1:30 run). AA was never taken off the bus. The bus driver would be bringing him back after she did the stop she was nearing. The school said they would call me as soon as AA was back to school.

So I used the time to call the Supervisor as Transportation to find out why I had never been called and why this had happened in the first place. He said he did not know that Transportation was suppose to call me, but that he knew of the issue and would research (speak to the substitute driver) and get back to me.

Since I had to get AH from school, I called DH every 15 minutes to see if he had heard from the school yet. Our regular bus driver (cell phone call earlier) called me eventhough I had not left a message. I told her the whole story. Of course she was not surprised he had fallen asleep as he does this most days for a little cat-nap. I asked her why it should be so hard to count x number of students on the bus and x number of students off. Or the very lease to look through the bus after all the kids off-load. I mean, it is a short bus with very few seats and these kids have some issues which is why they qualify for transportation in the first place!

Finally at 3:25 (5 minutes before school was over), I called the school to talk to the admin who had said she would call me back when AA got to school. But instead I found out that she had gone for the day!! The person answering the phone said that AA had been at school for about 30 minutes and sympathized with my concerns (polite way to describe my end of the conversation).

Anyway, AA's teacher called me about 15 minutes later to see how I was and to add her appologies. She is soooo upbeat, she said that he had just been on a "field trip" and was in good spirits when he got to school at 2:45. He had had a snack, socialzed and went potty on his own.

Thirty minutes later the Director of transportation called me to follow up. Again, very applogetic and said that they had learned something new in the way they were handling the kids. Love being the issue that sparks change!! Anyway, our regular bus driver had called him based on our conversation earlier in the day - he said she felt just horrible that the whole thing had happened (and she was not even involved).

Fortunately they have assigned a different (better) substitute for tomorrow, so I am not going to keep him off the bus. But the whole thing was very nerve racking to the least. Wonder why I am so against putting him on a big bus for kindergarten with kids ranging from 5 to 10, no seatbelts, and no assistant!

I asked AA about his bus adventure, and it had very little effect on him. He just told me that he was on the bus for a long time before he got to school. But once he was there, so were all his friends:)