Hello Pine Bush families and staff,
Today’s message contains a variety of clarifications regarding our efforts to solve the bus challenge created by the current driver shortage at Birnie Bus.
First, I want to remind families that even though tomorrow (Monday) is a Superintendent’s Conference Day, special education students who attend schools outside of the district and students enrolled in a BOCES C-Tech program will all be transported to their programs. C-Tech students who need bus transportation will need to check our website on the Transportation page, which can be found under the Departments tab. There will be three routes for AM C-Tech and three routes for PM C-Tech. There are a series of group stops identified for pick up on each route. As long as you can get to one of those stops for pick up, the bus at the end of your program will drop you off at your house. We were unable to schedule pick up times from your house, because we don’t know who is driving or has a ride and who really needs a bus.
For those wanting more detail about tomorrow’s Conference Day, the day will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The agenda will be set by the principal in each building.
Some schools will be handing out Chromebooks to families who have completed the use agreement sent to their child’s email account, but whose child has not yet received their Chromebook. As a reminder, if you haven’t yet completed that form, please do that today.
Over the weekend we have literally reformatted every in-district bus route (and several to programs outside the district). There are a series of digital handshakes required to get that info from the routing software, into SchoolTool and then into an email message for each of our 5,000 students. That info should hit your child’s email address sometime tomorrow. I’ve also requested that all families be called to ensure you receive that critical information.
To create some protection for us moving forward, I am announcing today a new Pine Bush initiative to identify current employees who may be interested in learning how to drive a bus. If you work in any job category and would be willing to get your CDL license, we will help you get that license and teach you how to drive a big bus. This could include athletic coaches, SRPs, O&M staff, anyone really who has the interest and the available to time. Hourly staff who want to help out could get unlimited overtime pay for driving a bus beyond their regular duties. If you want to join this new corps of Pine Bush Backup Bus Drivers, call or email Kurt Wickham in the Transportation office.
By the time school restarts on Tuesday, we will have all routes covered and we have already launched efforts that can transition the temporary fix back to our regular school schedule within the next six weeks.
Have a great rest of your Sunday,
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent