MILLBURN, NJ - I apologize that start of the 2017-18 school year has been such a difficult one with regards to transportation. I would like to inform you of the work that has transpired this weekend to review and correct all routes, and to plan for the implementation of new routes.
On Thursday of last week I brought in expert consultants who worked through the weekend to develop new routes for Washington School, and also review all of the bus routes district-wide. In total, all 46 bus runs for the morning and afternoon routes (a total of 92 bus routes) were analyzed. They have assessed the routes for safety concerns along and across busy streets, intersections, route distances and numbers of students per bus. As a result of this comprehensive review, an additional route will be added to Washington School, and portions of some routes were deleted or combined with others to make them safer and more efficient.
Over the next week, we will need to verify all of the directions and road test the new routes for accuracy in order to provide correct directions to our drivers. All drivers, district and contracted, will then complete a number of test runs to familiarize themselves with the routes. We will then distribute revised bus passes electronically for all students.
The tentative timeframe for the review and testing of the runs will be during this coming week, with the expectation of getting the passes out by Friday, September 15th. We anticipate the new routes to be implemented on Monday, September 18th, with the assistance of bus chaperones for the coming weeks.
In the meantime, for the week of September 11:
We will continue to use the routes that ran last week, with tweaks made as a result of our chaperones’ recommendations.
Chaperones will continue to ride on routes that have experienced significant delays or issues.
I am well aware that the unfortunate events that have transpired this week raise doubts about the safety, management and trust that families have in the leadership of the district. I want to assure you that I acknowledge that this was a colossal failure and I take full responsibility for it. We will continue to rectify every aspect of our process until it meets our expectations of safety for our students first and foremost. We will keep you abreast of the review process and the reissuance of bus passes as soon as they are ready to be sent.
I want to thank all of our families for their patience as we rectify the transportation issue to affirm that the welfare of all our students is our highest priority. I hope to regain your trust in our schools, and the work we do each day to provide your children with the safe environment and excellence in education you expect from the Millburn Schools.