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NNCS parents shares bus pick-up, drop-off concerns

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NORFOLK - Norwood-Norfolk Central School officials say they’re trying to resolve a busing issue in which a parent says her child has been forgotten 12 times by a bus driver.

Megan Gagner said her daughter Sofie, 4, is attending her first year of universal pre-kindergarten at the school.

“The bus has forgotten to drop her off nine times, forgot to pick her up two times and forgot to send her from Head Start to school one time. A total of 12 times my daughter has been forgotten,” Ms. Gagner said.

She said her daughter attends Head Start daily, leaving the house at 7:15 a.m. A Norwood-Norfolk bus picks up her daughter and other students from Head Start at noon to take them to the school for their universal pre-kindergarten class. She is scheduled to return home at 3:20 p.m.

But that hasn’t always been the case. This week, Ms. Gagner said, there was one instance where the driver dropped off other children in her area, but not her daughter, who remained on the bus and didn’t return home until the driver’s route was complete - nearly 40 minutes after her scheduled time.

“We can see the bus go by us. She’s supposed to be dropped off around 3:20 every day. She didn’t get dropped off last night until 3:57,” she said.

Ms. Gagner said she has spoken to school officials, including Superintendent James M. Cruikshank; Bill Meeder, the district’s transportation director and the bus driver. She said she has also emailed board of education President Jon Hazen.

“I told Jamie we stand out in the middle of the street and wave our hands. This has gotten me nowhere but apologies that mean nothing,” she said. “They have done daily reminders to the bus driver. They left a sticky note on the steering wheel with her name. I have called the school to remind them. I don’t know what more I can do.”

Mr. Cruikshank said they’re working to get the situation resolved. One of the problems, he said, is that the driver only has to travel down the road in the afternoon to drop off Ms. Gagner’s daughter since another bus takes her to Head Start in the morning.

“It’s a situation that the child is only on the return because she’s only a half-day student. The regular driver has a morning routine and afternoon routine and they’re not the same. The driver has not had to go down that road in the morning. In the afternoon he does,” he said.

Mr. Cruikshank said he has met with the parents, and they will continue to work on the situation until it’s resolved.

“I have met with the mom and dad. We all want the same thing. We are taking steps to ensure that all children are safe and accounted for and attended to. We are going to take steps to ensure that every child is safe and secure on the bus,” he said.

“I’m not happy until I don’t have to have the situation occur anymore,” Mr. Cruikshank said. “I can understand the first week or two or school, but we’re well beyond that. I understand why the parents are upset. We’ll take every step we can to make sure her child is safe and secure.”

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