Tag Archives: school bus

Daddy Ramblings: First Day of Summer School

8:01 am:  Call from neighbor “Is Stacie OK?”  Yes, I reply, “Why?”  
In response: “I saw her running down the street screaming at a bus in her night gown.”  
Me: “oh, that, yeah I noticed that too.  First day of summer school. (pause)  Went better than I hoped for.”… some time earlier….
First day of school for a Special Needs kid.  When
the bus driver who never dealt with a special needs kid (or protective ”
mother bear” as I call them) expects kids to be waiting on the corner,
even though the route is a specific address, she will do a 30 second
count and quickly drive away (bus schedule).  Bus pulled up, Stacie sees it and promptly finished brushing Riley’s teeth.  Started to wheel him out/at door 15 seconds later.  Bus starts to pulls away.   
Stacie
looks to first person she sees Ronan (younger son),  “Watch Riley” who
then looks to me (Dad standing next to Riley~!?/chopped liver?…
Ronan’s expression is like “watch him do what?”) I tell Ronan I will be
taking him to summer camp late. 
In
her momentum Stacie starts to exit with wheelchair in hand (at door!!)
and quickly is out (The Greeks really should have used a wheelchair for a
battering-ram). The door flies open.  Stacie is off. The bus is off.  Third time in my marriage I saw my wife actually run.  Bus pulls away.  Ronan, Riley and I standing at the door:  Ronan asks “what is mommy doing?”  I
sip my coffee as we all look out the door…. Stacie (running), bus
(driving) and curious neighbors (standing) on street… and I reply
“being mommy.”  So begins the first day of summer program.

Again, better than I hoped for as far as first day of summer school goes.


John Buck
Facebook: The Shark Tooth Guy

Let’s Play Bus Driver Roulette Again

Tuesday I discovered an actual message on my phone from the ESE Supervisor for Lee CountySchools Transportation.   Someone from the Department was calling me without my even  making the first phone call. 

This could not be good news.  And so I heard it… for the sixth time this school year they were changing Riley’s bus driver.  “This will be Mr. Dave’s last day.  He is retiring at the end of the work day today…”  My eyes were growing wider with every word.  The caller had already anticipated my reaction.  “Sheryl in our office has made arrangements for Krystal to return as your driver.”  Oh, thank goodness.  They already knew that Momma Bear needed some appeasement.
When the bus arrived Mr. Dave was met with camera and lecture for not letting me know sooner.  I have been grateful for his pleasant ways and caring manner with my son.  Most of the time the people are wonderful… but I still believe that ESE buses need a little extra attention to staffing as I mentioned previously.  However, I have discovered it is a behemoth organization with very high walls and are dealing with a poor economy just like the rest of us.
Wednesday morning arrived… without Krystal.  Thursday morning arrived and still there stands a substitute.  We miss Krystal.  At least they did not send us back those two from last September.  So, as long as the bus system can send us reasonable drivers who can at least greet my son and watch over his well-being  while in their care I can handle the Bus Driver Roulette game.
Happy Retirement Mr. Dave!  Riley and I wish you well.
We are all special… by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

Driver #5

Lee County Public Schools Transportation’s Driver #5 is very nice.  I feel comfortable with him at the wheel of Riley’s bus.  I do maintain that the Transportation Department should be called upon to consider the ESE bus assignments carefully.  If they ever allow me to speak to them, I will have to ask about this.  They are charged with the safety of my child, not my mail.  I consider it only appropriate that they be capable of communicating with the student’s parents. 

Came across Ten Coping Strategies for Crisis by Linda Cole this morning on the parents forum Support for Special Needs.  It is a good reminder on keeping us balanced during the crisis we each go through with our children.

Bus Driver Roulette

This year we began with two miserable human beings as Riley’s bus driver and assistant.  Every morning I felt sick to my stomach when I handed him over to them.  A simple “hello” was completely beyond them and I always wondered how if Riley received any aid at all during the long trip.  When he returned home his head was often stuck underneath the head rest.  They did not care.  There will be “more on this later” to uncover the transportation story.  One day substitutes arrived with great big smiles and “hello’s.”  They misery women had “bid” off the bus and I danced in the street.  Thank you, thank you for taking this on with great big hearts!

What I didn’t understand at the time is that as substitutes these two had to be switched out every time someone else with higher status made a bid.  Our busload of special needs children are going to find the driver changed for the fifth time this year come Monday morning.  I also have no power.  The Lee County Public Schools Transportation Department on two occasions in the past 4 years has only twice even attempted to discuss my son’s transportation issues.  I’ve sought help from every source in the school system but it appears that Transportation is completely isolated and insulated from addressing any concerns.
They have their systems and must abide by union rules, etc.  However, I do not understand why they cannot even communicate with the parents of their very precious cargo.  They are delivering a child… not my mail.  Which by the way, my husband wonders why I would even attempt to take on Transportation and declares I may as well take USPS to task.
Monday morning we lose Krystal.  I am grateful that for a little while Riley had a driver who truly cared about her charges.  It may well be that the new gentleman will be just as wonderful.  It may also be that he may be just as miserable as the first two.  
Welcome to bus driver roulette.
Anyone else out there have similar experiences?  Anyone fortunate enough to achieve a dialogue with Transportation?  I really would like to hear about it.
Stacie Wiesenbaugh

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