Madeline started Kindergarten this year. Our public school has a 4 year old program that she attended last year where the kids ride the bus and everything, so in reality, Madeline was an old pro. Mommy still hasn't gotten used to saying goodbye to my baby for an entire day.
The first day was a bit rocky. On August 22nd our school finally posted the bus routes. We estimated that Madeline would get on the bus around 7:10 or 7:15. So on August 26th we were a bit surprised to see the bus at our driveway at 6:45! Apparently between the 22nd and 26th they had changed the bus routes, but didn't inform the parents. (Shawn, if you're reading this, God bless you for dealing with this stuff. I love you, but it was very frustrating). So Madeline is the first one on in the morning, and the driver said she'd be the first one off in the afternoon. They get out of school at 2pm and we live less than 2 miles away.
Maddie got on the bus, and I left for jury duty. Didn't get pics since the bus was so early, and cried because I didn't think I'd be there to greet her after her first day. But, hooray, the guy pled guilty and we were dismissed without stepping foot into the court room. I made it home before lunch.
I was out waiting for the bus at 2pm. I was still waiting at 2:30, 2:45, and 3:00. FINALLY, at 3:10, Maddie got off of the bus. One hour and 10 minutes after school was dismissed, and remember, she's the first one off. This means that Madeline was away for 8.5 hours - more than the average adult work day. I was not pleased. The second day was slightly better - she got off at 2:55pm. I'm not sure what happens between 2 and 2:55.
Here's the deal with transportation this year - and Moms not in our district, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I have not raised a fuss, YET, because I'm giving it a chance, but I am very uncomfortable with it. . . .All of the kids ride the same bus. So my 5 year old is riding the same bus as the 18 year olds. When they did this 2 years ago they had ed techs ride the buses as monitors. I didn't get to go to the orientation meeting (jury duty), but according to Dan the parents were informed that the district trusts the high school students and that there would be students monitoring the buses. As of that date they didn't know exactly how that would work or who the kids were that would be trusted with the safety of my child, but that was there plan. I still haven't heard who the kids are or how it is working, how they are chosen etc. It concerns me. I try to keep in mind that I see a lot of horrible things at work and that this makes me more paranoid about this sort of situation, but I just plain don't like it. And the plan is terrible. What I really want is a list of criteria the high school kids have to meet, and a list of names of the high school kids that will be monitoring my daughter.
For now, I'm bringing her to school and picking her up when I'm home, and she will ride the bus only on days that I work.
She loves school, loves her teacher, and loves being back with her friends. She is a wreck when she gets home from being so very tired, and I can't bring myself to put her to bed earlier than 7:30pm. I'm hoping she'll adjust to the long days and I'll eventually have my happy, chatty little girl back. I'm hoping this happens very soon. And I wish that I had pics of her first day. But I'm so proud of her and love that she loves school.