Quincy School District evaluates school bus system

The Quincy School District is rethinking the way it alerts parents of their child's bus routes and pick-up times.

A new change to this year's busing system caused quite the panic for some parents who never got that information.

The Quincy School District decided to save money this year by not sending out the usual letter to parents about their child's bus schedule. Instead, the responsibility fell on bus drivers to call all of the families on their routes. But it didn't go as smoothly as they would have liked.

"We received a list of students on Wednesday of last week. We started making our phone calls Wednesday through the weekend," Dan Bartelt, a long-time bus driver said.

Many bus drivers had a student list of anywhere from 200 to 300 families.

"It was a lot of phone calls and all in a course of three days after we finally received them," Bartelt said.

But not all bus drivers made contact with every family. A handful of phone numbers were disconnected or did not include a voicemail. That made for a very difficult ride to school Monday morning.

"It was ringing off the hook on Monday. It was awful busy yesterday. Today, we're already seeing an improvement," Transportation Director Shane Barnes said.

Barnes says these problems didn't just begin with the new system.

"We also had these problems when we sent letters. The letters went to the wrong address and that was a major part of the problem with that method, too," Barnes said.

So what will the district do to smooth out the system for the next school year?

"We'll sit down Friday after things slow down and calm down and see whether that was a good decision or whether we need to tweak the decision," Barnes said.

Barnes says one thing's for certain. The district will not go through with the same process for next year.