Hello Pine Bush families and staff,
Today our entire Pine Bush administrative team met to design a temporary fix to our transportation challenge in a way that gets all kids back in school every day. The fix will require some buses to drive two routes to the same school one after the other in order to compensate for routes currently uncovered due to the driver shortage. That means that some buses will have to get to schools much earlier than usual and some will be picking up students in the afternoon much later than normal. That, of course, will require us to identify staff willing to
provide added supervision beyond the scope of the normal school day. Principals have already begun to recruit those critical positions.
Working with Birnie Bus, we were also able to consolidate some additional runs today that should improve the situation. However, we still have to recast nearly every student’s pick-up and drop-off times, be able to prepare the staff at each school to know which students are coming or leaving at which times and also be able to communicate that important information to all of of our families.
The staff selected to provide supervision will also need to be briefed on their responsibilities and provided a roster of the children assigned to them either before or after school. Even working through the weekend to try to get approximately 100 routes recast, we simply will not be able to put this plan in place by Monday, so I am extending our emergency closure by one more day. The seven Pine Bush schools will be closed again on Monday, Sept. 13, to finish the preparations needed to put this new temporary plan into action.
While there will be no bus transportation to our seven district schools, there will be bus transportation for all special needs students who attend an out-of-district school. We are also spending the weekend creating a set of bus routes directly from the homes of high school students enrolled in C-Tech programs to their classes at BOCES and back. Those routes may be needed later in the year, but they should be operational for Monday morning.
I understand that some are alarmed that I will now be using two of our emergency days so early in the school year. You should know that we have five scheduled days to use for any type of emergency. As we get further into the school year, should we need to use more than five, we can, on those occasions, pivot to remote instruction if need be.
Finally, I want you to know that I spoke with Senator James Skoufis this afternoon, who is trying to help many school districts in his Senate district that are facing problems similar to our own. His assistance may very well help us get to our long-term solution that returns our school schedules back to what they normally are.
I will be calling back on Sunday to let you know about our progress, and to let you know when you should expect to see the bus route pick-up and drop-off times in your child’s school email. I wish I could get this fixed faster, but we need to be sure that we are doing it right.
Have a good night,
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent