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Patchogue-Medford Busing

Patchogue-Medford SD Takes Busing Away From Students One Week Prior to School Without Letting Parents Know

Can someone from the Patchogue-Medford BOE and/or Administration please explain why busing was taken away from several students throughout the district, including my child who attends Tremont, without officially notifying parents?  This is a major change, and with major change, it seems only fair that parents should have been officially notified by the school district with ample time to make alternative arrangements. Many parents, myself included, realized this change when bus passes were not received when students received their teacher notification one week prior to the start of school.  I have tried to contact the Transportation office several times, and NO ONE has an answer or has returned my calls.  When the district keeps talking about doing things "for the kids", this certainly seems like something that is AGAINST the kids. When the bus drives on my street to pick up the other children that receive busing, I guess we'll have to wave.  DO THE RIGHT THING AND RESTORE THE BUSING!  The district is making enemies of many parents who always help to pass your budget.  

JD, Tremont Mom 

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Mary Kassner September 05, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Perhaps they can re-assign one of the 2 busses that pick up on the east and west sides of North Ocean and Thorne Street. In the last 6 years we have never had a bus stop on the east side of the block just the west side and it has worked out perfectly. Why the change this year?
sheila September 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
We have the same issue! No notice at all that my daughter & half the neighborhood would no longer get a bus to school!? I heard from a neighbor on Monday about it! Yesterday I finally get through to the superintendent & was told we n longer get a bus because they have new software to route the busses! Really!? The "solution" was that the kids could take the bus for 30days while they reevaluate the situation. All the excited kids waited out there for a bus that finally arrived at at 9:26, of course after most I is have up waiting & drove so the kids wouldn't be late! On top of that the bus was packed & could never have held all of the kids anyway! No budget cuts, no austerity means there should have been No Change!! ~ Upset Tremont Mom
r m September 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
only problem i had was that the high school bus went flying down my block and then i watched it fly along the block behind me, scary that these drivers dont care how fast they go especially in a residential area, now we have to worry about our kids on and off the bus, not happy
Fed Up September 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
My child attends Holy Angels, and when we did not receive any communication from the bus company, the district told us yeasterday that she lived within one mile and being in 6th grade, they were no longer providing busing. of course, a bus for Holy Angels and Emmanuel Lutheran stops 10 feet from my house! Lets make a 10 year old walk across Main Street and the railroad tracks with a 30 pound bag of books I pay my taxes and choose to send my child to Catholic school, thus, the district saves. At least give me a bus
Laura miller September 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I also have a huge problem with the High School busses flying down my block. It is unnessary and unsafe.
Melissa September 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM
The bus stop has been at the end of my driveway since before my son started school. The past two years he has gotten the bus. In with the teacher assignment I got a letter stating that the district is providing transportation and to find enclosed bus pass. There was none. Transportation said that they have a new more accurate system to figure out who gets a bus. They eliminated my entire block from bus services. Being as I work nights and sleep when he is at school this is a huge deal for me, and cuts into my sleep time. More than one weeks notice should have been given.
sheila September 05, 2012 at 08:47 PM
The school dist. is just compounding the problem here. 1st they make changes & cuts for no reason,then they don't notify anyone of the changes. Then the bus comes 25 minutes late this a.m & 35mins. this afternoon! On top of the fact that as mentioned above the bus was packed & did not have enough seating for our children! Unbelievable...
JD September 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Update: After being afforded temporary busing of 30-days, today was the first true test of how the new bussing system worked. The bus to pick up children in my neighborhood arrived after 9:20, which is the same time that they were to begin first day of school. Some parents ended up driving their children to Tremont so they would not be late. Additionally, this bus was crammed with students. Had those parents not driven their children to school, they probably would not have been room for them on the bus. With the first day of school being crucial to setting the tone for the year, this is unacceptable, however, I am willing to chalk it up to being the first day. When I went to pick my child up at the bus stop at 3:30, which is when I previously would arrive at the bus stop in years passed, all the other usual parents were waiting, and waiting, and waiting. A nearly empty bus drove by to drop off kids in the "far" end of the neighborhood, without our children. So we waited some more and then some more. The bus did not arrive at the bus stop until 4:19. This is one hour after the end of school and nearly 40 minutes of our children being kept on the bus. Upon speaking with the bus driver, we were informed that these bus stops were added to her route, which drops off Tremont children in another area of Medford. Luckily today, I did not have any after school activities, but what about next week, when activities begin? (To be cont'd)
JD September 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
The actions being taken by the school district are shameful and irresponsible to these students. I am still waiting for some type of response from BOE members. I know for a fact that BOE Trustees Houdek, LaVelle, and Rignola have all used the Patchogue Patch as a forum to promote their campaigns for the positions of the district's board of education. I would certainly hope they would respond to this blog and provide information as to why bussing was taken away from students who have received it for years and why parents were not informed. I don't want to hear it is because of the new routing system. Again, the solution is simple. Restore the bussing and leave things status quo. If you do, you will be the heroes and keep the parents happy who consistently vote yes to pass your budget. This will put a cease to the endless barrage of phone calls to the Transportation Office, Tremont Elementary, and the Superintendent's Office. DO THE RIGHT THING. How can the district expect elementary school students walk on Southaven Avenue to get the Tremont?
Dan September 06, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Dan JD, what is the policy ? Is it one mile , or a half mile for elementary schools, in order to receive transportation? Seems to me either you have the right to a bus or you don't. What baffles me is that you keep bringing up the budget, as if you don't get your bus you won't vote for the budget. You support a budget only if your child benefits from transportation? Based on that theory all residents without transportation or without children should vote no.
Jon Thomas September 07, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Tell me what I'm missing (putting aside the communication issue): 1. The district looked at busing and determined that there were people who should not get buses BUT WERE based on busing limits. 2. Giving buses to students who don't deserve them, costs money and this takes away from the real educational opportunities for all the other students in the district. 3. The district took a proactive step at containing costs thus helping all the students and taxpayers. Isn’t that the bottom-line? They did something for the kids. In this discussion however: 1. We have parents who want something they are not entitled to. 2. We have parents who aren’t grateful for all the years they received a service but weren’t supposed to. 3. We have parents who want something for their kids at the expense of everyone else in the district. 4. We have parents who seem too inconvenienced by being responsible to provide for the needs of their children, someone else should. 5. We have self indulgent parents who now consider themselves heroes for voting themselves a service form someone else’s pocketbook. 6. We have parents who don’t know who the real heroes are in our society, and it’s a real shame.
JD September 07, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I think it's hard to put aside the communication issue because the lack of communication is the issue. After speaking with both the school and Transportation Office, I was informed that students one half mile away are entitled to buses. I went out three times, with two different cars and clocked the distance from my home to the school. It is one half mile, as it is for many of my neighbors. The new system being used my the district is obviously inaccurate. Someone from the district needs to get in their car and clock the distance themselves. It's that simple. I apologize if I seemed selfish and/or ungrateful. Perhaps it's being reactionary or out of frustration, but it just seems there should have been a proper procedure in place by the district to inform the many parents throughout the district that there was going to be a major change. One week's notice is not enough. Quite honestly, one cannot even call it notice because we were never notified. And by the way, it's my pocket too that helps pay for the transportation. And yes, I will continue to vote yes for the budget even if it's not restored because it is the right thing to do for the children and the community. I am simply asking that this new system be reevaluated.
Laura Hoffmann September 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I want to put in my 2 cents about the school bus issue, why is it all of a sudden that my neighbors daughter doesn't get a bus when her brother who's 20 and my children all got busses and so did she up until this past week. Now my daughter who's in high school has to be on the bus stop 20 minutes earlier and gets home 10 minutes later because her bus goes from my neighborhood which is east of 112 to a neighborhood that's on the other side of 112 to pick up kids. What happened to all the kids east of 112. I know there are many. This system doesn't seem to be cost effective. I feel better now that I've vented.
sheila September 12, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I was just informed that there will be a parent meeting with the school board about the bus issue on next Wed.night,Sept.19th at Saxton Middle School. I hope everyone that is having transportation issues will attend
sheila September 18, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Just a reminder that there will be a parent meeting with the school board tomorrow night at Saxton Middle School to discuss the transportation issues as well as the new lunch guidelines & issues.
Sarah Munger Hale September 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM
For the people who are suffering from the bus issues especially an overpacked and unsafe bus where children are in the aisles I contacted the news 12 hotline and a gentleman named Doug Richards wants to hear your personal story. (516) 393- 1394 they want to help if they can but they would like to hear from the patents of unsafe kids. But by all means call. I told them we have no sidewalks and no crossing guard so we will be sharing road space with cars when the plow comes through (we means me and a 6 & 4 year old) plus if its too cold to play at 40 degrees ya think making a kid walk a mile would be a no no lol. But whatever this is why I am not buying their stuff or fundraising this year for them. No box tops from me. No bus. No fundraising. Use the $900,000 you saved by putting my kids lives at risk. Plus do u really need new paint and tile? Srsly? The eno boards are fancy sell them if you're having a budget crisis and buy a chalkboard. Tell the landscapers that you already have a grounds crew that you pay. Stop wasting the budget to make the school look fancy and use it for what it's intended the safety and education of our kids. Rant over sorry but please call this guy there is power in numbers.

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