In my last post, I mentioned that we had the Monster’s IEP meeting. This obviously means that I was at his school, in the morning, rather than my usual Thursday afternoon stop to grab my kid. While I was waiting for the meeting-time, I saw a school bus pull into the school lot, discharging their kids and then going on its merry way.
The problem? It was 9:25, and the school starts at 9 AM.
As mentioned, the Monster hasn’t had any bussing problems since he was transferred to a new route – the new bus is more often early than on-time in the mornings, and we only have had one or two times where it’s been late to drop him off. And the fact that the late bus was another bus from Durham Transportation didn’t factor into my being irate about a bus being late…but rather the brazen fact that, on a sunny, pleasant morning with a minimum of traffic on the roads, the bus was 25 minutes late to school.
So, we all know what kind of a parent I am, and I asked the IEP chair, Ms.R, about the matter after the IEP meeting was resolved.
Apparently, in Baltimore City, they have to have a FAPE meeting for any IEP student whose bussing has them arriving at school 90 minutes late over the course of a quarter. Ms. R went on to tell me that such means she’s having to meet with most of the parents during any given term, and that she was “pleasantly surprised” to see that the Monster wasn’t on that list.
Now, the fact that they’re already prepared to do FAPE meetings for this situation isn’t what upsets me most – it’s that the school system seems resigned to the fact that the busses are going to be late often enough that they’re going to have to do the meetings. Worse, when I asked what the schools were doing about the constant tardiness, there was a very fatalistic answer that, frankly, it seems like the folks at the central office aren’t doing anything about it.
(You all know me well enough to know that I mailed the head of the Department of Transportation about the problem, and did not get a response. I’m imagining that’s because it did not pertain to my own child’s bus.)
It just seems like we’re short-changing all of our children when we’re more prepared to figure out how to ‘compensate’ for someone not doing their job with our children, rather than trying to find ways to ‘encourage’ said people to do their jobs properly…