Broward parents upset for lack of school bus info
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Hundreds of parents were left up in arms after finding a school transportation headache due to a delay in mailing bus cards.
The parents are furious that they had to spend the final day of summer vacation with their children at a bus depot to try and figure out how their kids would get to school on time on Monday. They had to stand in a line outside a building's door that wrapped around the structure in the middle of a scorching hot day, all to figure out where they need to take their children to meet the bus the following day and when to be there.
"Trying to get a bus situation done," said Marcy Carabelli. "This don't make no sense. It's hot as hell!"
Instead of packing their children's backpacks, hundreds of Broward County parents suffered in the heat Sunday to try and find out important school transportation information before they send their children to school. "We were informed on Friday that our son may not even have bus service at all," said Bill Swick. "He goes to a specialized pre-school for autistic children about an hour from our house."
Broward County Schools admitted they sent the bus slips out two days late last week, but it was not in time to make it to some mailboxes. Carabelli said, "They had plenty of time to mail those schedules out to us."
So, parents were forced to take a number. "An hour and a half, and they've called less than 50 people," said Brian Lapointe.
Broward County Schools later told parents the situation has been resolved and that parents and kids would know where and when to wait for the bus Monday morning.
Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade, many students will step on to one of 225 new, state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient buses. "These buses have increased safety features," said Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. "They all have safety belts, and as a result of us buying these buses, we are completely retiring buses that were not air conditioned."
Miami-Dade Schools will unveil 36 new magnet school programs this school year, along with the Latin Builders Association Academy for ninth grade students. Gyovania Marante, the principal of LBA Academy said, "We will have academies in construction management, which also entails engineering and drafting. We'll have the marketing, and we'll have the business entrepreneurship."
The Broward County School District also has changes for the 2012-13 school year in store, including the introduction of the Hollywood Hills High School Military Academy. "This military academy offers students the opportunity to engage in rigorous academics while developing leadership skills and personal discipline," said Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, "guided by a team of teachers, mentors and dedicated and retired military instructors."
Also, Dillard Elementary and several others schools will offer single-gender classes, and West Hollywood Elementary will now feature an aeronautical science program.
All Broward County high schools will now have a seven period day instead of a five period day, in an effort to comply with the state mandate to reduce class sizes. "This is not a desirable position and decision that we have to make," Runcie said. "I'd be upset about getting my workload increased, so we're trying to work with the union."
Meanwhile, back at the bus depot, they line outside dwindled away. Those inside the building said they are still working to get every concerned parent the information they need about bus services to school. They do not plan to close until every parent's concern has been addressed, they said.
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