Superintendent’s Update: Opening Week and Transportation

August 29, 2014
Dear Community,

In my visits to schools this week I’ve seen nothing but teacher enthusiasm and student excitement. The schools look great and classrooms are welcoming. The first day of school is always a wonderful event and this year has been no different. From this perspective, it’s been a great first week of school.

On the other hand, when it comes to student transportation, it’s been a difficult week for some parents. We continue to work with Student Transportation of America, Inc. (STA) to overcome significant busing issues that have impacted students. There have been some improvements as the week progressed, but problems remain.

A number of buses are still arriving late for morning pickups and afternoon drop-offs. On occasion, stops have been missed and a few students are still unassigned to a route. Certain bus routes are too long and STA is in the process of splitting them to shorten student ride times. The biggest problem has been that the volume of parent phone calls coming in to STA was underestimated; resulting in return calls not being made in a timely manner. To help correct this issue, three additional phone lines were added to STA’s call center earlier this week, a voicemail system has been installed, and more personnel were added to handle parent calls.

I apologize to the families who have encountered transportation issues. We are working with STA around the clock to correct problems, address concerns, and inform parents. I met with STA management this morning to review their overall performance and develop a remedial action plan. They will be working all weekend to make sure all students are scheduled and transported properly on Tuesday and I am counting on STA to respond to each parent who called over the last few days. While not all routing and stop change requests can be honored, each one will be reviewed and a decision communicated back to the parent.

Even though STA is an outside contractor, it is the district’s responsibility, and ultimately my responsibility, to make sure these problems are corrected and we will do so in the quickest way possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Michael Schilder, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Guidance Information Night for Seniors

The EHS Counseling Department would like to invite parents of seniors to a Guidance Information Night on Thursday, September 4, at 6:00 pm in the high school auditorium.  The focus of the evening will be Naviance, the online college and career planning tool that is used for electronic delivery of transcripts and other documents. Counselors will be meeting with the senior class during the week of September 2 to review procedures for using Naviance. Thursday night’s program will focus on using Naviance to manage the college application process.  Naviance is the required method for sending high school transcripts to colleges.  If you have not registered for your Naviance parent account, please bring a photo ID to the program.  We hope to see you there!

First Day of School (August 25th, 2014) Drop-off Information

All 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students should follow the new drop-off procedures that were communicated in the “Welcome Back” mailing and report to school by 7:23 a.m. If you did not receive a copy of the mailing, please refer to the high school website for all of the important information.

If possible, all 9th grade students should ride the bus on the first day of school. Ninth grade walkers and drop-offs should enter the auditorium door by 10:00 a.m. Beginning on the second day of school (August 26, 2014), all students will follow the new drop-off procedures.