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December 14, 2007
What happened to the school buses?
Public schools in Providence -- like others across the state -- were delayed an hour this morning.
But unlike other schools in the state, many Providence students haven't yet been home for 12 hours after a snowy jumble of traffic left school buses stranded with other traffic on unplowed streets and highways.
Christina O’Reilly, spokeswoman for Providence schools, knows what the topic of discussion will be today at the Providence School Department: Buses.
“I empathize with the parents,” she said, “I can’t imagine what it must have been like to sit around until 10 and wait for your child.”
This, she said, is what happened yesterday.
School dismissals were staggered: high school and middle school students were let out at 12:45 p.m. and younger students left near 1 p.m. It’s the same time difference as usual; buses take the older kids home, and return for the younger students.
“By the time the buses completed their first run and got back to the kids for the second run,” O’Reilly said, the streets were already packed. And because students in Providence can attend schools around the city, buses weren’t restricted to neighborhoods, but had to traverse traffic across the city.
In most cases, the elementary school kids had to wait in the school building – with teachers and principals – for a few hours. Then they got on the buses and had the same experience other commuters did.
“Once the hour started to get really late,” O’Reilly said police and other state personnel were able to reach the buses and try to clear paths in traffic. They brought drinks and snacks for the students too.
“Something like this has not happened in institutional memory,” O’Reilly said. “I’m certain that there will be plenty of discussion around the policy.”
Reporters query: If you waited for hours for your child last night, or are a Providence school bus driver, please contact Linda Borg at email@example.com
-- projo.com staff writer Brandie M. Jefferson
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 9:52 AM | Permalink
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