- Pierz Schools
- District News Blog
An Important Message About Bussing
Posted by Superintendent George Weber on 8/31/2023
Hello Pierz Pioneer Parents,
We are excited about the start of this school year. Pierz Schools are functioning at an amazingly high level and we are very, very blessed to have so many caring and committed staff members who consistently do much more than what is in their job description in an effort to continue being among the best at what we do.
We have some important information to share and explain as it relates to one of our significant challenges, which is transportation. We will try to summarize some of our challenges as well as some of our solutions to those challenges, and at the same time allow you a deeper understanding of those challenges as well as the grace to see the big picture of getting 1,400 children to and from 3 schools each day.
Safety and Respect
Our Drivers are very caring and very committed. Their main goal is safety. Driving 65 children around in a vehicle is one of the most challenging of duties. We need all parents to expect that their children always listen to the driver. No adult can manage that many children safely if 5 to 10 to 20 of those children believe they can have their “own agenda” nor “constantly negotiate” what is appropriate and what is not. It’s imperative that while on the bus, children respect the necessary decisions of the bus driver.
As mentioned above, we need children and parents to understand that they are one of 50 or 60 on that route at that time. If 50 individuals think they need an extra 2 minutes, that adds up to 100 minutes. We do our best to stick to timelines, and if they are off, it is seldom related to the driver. We need your help in guaranteeing children are ready.
Bus Capacity and Flexibility
We have more children riding buses than ever. We are doing our best to create space for all children to ride. This year, in order to make it work, we may have to have some of the shorter routes closer to Pierz drop off students earlier and then go back to pick up with in-town students living west of Highway 25. The students living east of Highway 25 already walk to school.
We will have to work this out over the first week or two of school as we verify which children are riding each day and which ones are not. For those parents on those routes, please understand that we are still working through this challenge and need some time to actually see how it will function.
Going Above and Beyond
We have a long history of trying to accommodate as much as possible. This includes:
- going into driveways even when it takes extra time;
- going outside of district boundaries to accommodate families
- picking up students at various locations or dropping them off at various locations based upon changes in who is caring for that child on that particular week or even day of the week.
All of these things seem critical to that family at that moment in time. And we have often done all we can to make it work. At the same time, all of these things add to the length of the route and the capacity of the routes.
We ask for understanding and support that we simply cannot do it all. Thus there are some things we ask of parents that include:
-We have and will continue to establish meeting points for families out of district when going to the door presents a challenge.
-We will ask that parents find ways to get their child to the end of their driveway: there are narrow roads, and busy roads, and times when we cannot stop, or back up, or turn around, or go into a yard.
Even though our Drivers and our Transportation Coordinator would love to accommodate all requests at all times, they simply cannot. We ask for your understanding and support.
Join our Team
We need another Bus Driver right now. We can promise you good pay and support if you are interested. We need more Bus Aides. We are so committed to providing safety and support for children and our Drivers that we are willing to pay for another adult to be on every route. We just need to find those people willing to take on that role.
Our team is fun, and supportive and you can join that family of caring and loyal adults who get to show their patience, guidance and getting to know children every day. Until we can fill this position, we will be rotating people and doing what we can to make it work every day.
Thanks you for your understanding and support as we navigate this added challenge.