More than week into school year, transfer student buses still late -

More than week into school year, transfer student buses still late

( - Just over a week since school began at Francis Howell, some parents of transfer students tell us the buses are still consistently late.

Paul Davis says his son's bus has been late every day of the new school year.  His son, Robert, is a freshman at Francis Howell High School and has missed at least 20 minutes of his first period Spanish class every day.

"The earliest he's gotten there is 7:45 a.m. and the latest is 7:55," said Davis.  Class starts at 7:20 a.m. at Francis Howell.

Earlier this week, Davis began looking for answers.  He started at his former school district, Normandy, which is the district that hired First Student bus company to take the transfer students to schools in the Francis Howell School District.

But Normandy told Davis to report the issue to First Student.

On Friday, News 4 received a similar response.  A spokesman for Normandy Schools says First Student is responsible for making sure transfer students are picked up on time, even though Normandy pays First Student to get the job done.

"I feel like if you hire someone to do a job, it's still your responsibility to oversee it and make sure they do that job well," said Davis.

First Student responded to News 4 by e-mail, saying:

First Student regrets that delays have occurred during the recent return to school.  With the decision of many families to send their students from Normandy to Francis Howell, First Student not only had to increase the number of routes and the number of drivers to accommodate the change, but also has continually had to make adjustments to these new routes. The routes, from Normandy to Francis Howell ,are taking from 45 to 60 minutes each way, depending upon the flow of highway traffic. We are working to adjust the timing of each route accordingly. The situation continues to improve daily. It is our hope that, by next week, the ongoing list of new students entering Francis Howell has been finalized so that their transportation needs are clearly identified and accommodated. We are fully committed to providing safe, reliable and on-time transportation for all of our students.

On Thursday, Davis' son brought home a letter from First Student that said his pickup times would change.  Starting August 19th, the bus would pick up Davis' son 14 minutes earlier.

"All I want out of all this is for Robert to get to school at 7:05 a.m. with 15 minutes before the bell so he could be prepared to go to class in a normal fashion.  That's it.  That's all I'm asking out of all of this," said Davis.


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