This morning I was late dropping my daughter off to school. She hates that. But also today, hundreds of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) students were late by no fault of their own or their parents’.
Safeway Transportation, their usual bus contractor, was unable to pick students up due to failure to pay insurance premiums. The district had no other choice but to make other accommodations for those families.
Monday night, calls went out and letters were posted on the districts website to inform families of the inconvenience.
April Jones expected the bus to be late this morning but hoped her four children would get to school in time for their field trip by 9:30. Her biggest concerns were that they not miss instructional time and how long this will go on.
She wondered if they would make it in time to still eat breakfast and hoped they would not miss a field trip. Her sons’ concern was his perfect attendance status at Marcus Garvey Academy, which he recently received an award for.
“Yesterday the bus never came. We waited until 9:30 and by then I figured it was too late. My kids were cold and we walked home.” As they were half a block away, they heard the bus coming and turned back toward the stop—but it was too late, the bus had left.
This morning when I met the family, they were once again waiting.
It frustrates me, as I am sure most families, that students were once again not thought about. Safeway Transportation Company should have warned DPSCD. The district would have had more opportunities to make better provisions for the families. Students who have IEPs were affected, not to mention parents and caregivers who had to work.
How many students missed instructional time?
How many sat at bus stops?
Will this be resolved by next Monday?
And one question on behalf of the young prompt student of Marcus Garvey Academy, and on behalf of all students involved. Will their absences be excused?
Safeway Transportation Company, you owe Detroit families an apology. For future reference, families really do count on every support their schools offer and you failed them and put children in danger.
Thank you to the bus drivers who went out of their daily schedules making extra trips to get the students to class.