Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kindergarten Already!

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.


Michelleybelle said...

Kristy - I am so out of the loop, I had no idea this was how they were doing it this year! It sounds like a terrible idea! As a teacher at our district's high school, I can tell you right now that I probably wouldn't worry as much about the high school kids as I would the middle school kids. That being said, when you find out which high school students will act as monitors on Maddie's bus, let me know, and I will give you the scoop on them!

nic said...

you probably have an idea by now how I would feel about the bus situation. I would be making some calls. It's a small town so you should be able to make some noise. I sometimes have to up the ranks here (AND THERE ARE SOOOO MANY RANKS!).

Bottom line is you should not have to put your daughter on a bus (which is her right to ride) where you question her safety. period.

ColleenC said...

oh no, that does sound awful. we had our own beef with the buses down here this year and the lack of communication between the district and the parents, but yeah no way i'd be okay with that (maybe this is the former juvenile prosecutor in me talking but it seems to me that that is a very bad idea!).

Anonymous said...

Parents need to get together and question and push. I wonder if the HS kids even know they're supposed to be doing this? I'll bet not and it's a way to save money. If that was my child's safety, I'd be calling the superintendent or principal and getting answers. If you don't push for your kid(s), no one will. If you're uncomfortable doing it alone, get lots of parents together. It could be a great system, but the bus rides are way too long. If they told you she was first off, I doubt it, she's last off now, right? I choose not to sign this b/c you know who I am and I'll do what I can :)

missy said...

That bus situation is BULL!!! Down here in Bristol, we have hired bus monitors (adults) for every bus. They cross the kids, get them on and off the bus, and check around and underneath the bus before the bus leaves. They also monitor behavior. This policy has been in place for 25 years because when I was in 2nd grade, a beautiful young boy was run over by his bus as it pulled out and didn't see him slip on the ice.

The bus company's number 1 priority should be children's safety, whether it's an extreme situation like the one I described, or their well being during the ride. I would get a PTO together and start demanding change. If money is truly an issue, perhaps some stay at home parents could serve as voluntary bus monitors? Regardless, this is a horrible plan the district has put forth, and it cannot be accepted.

If you need back up, tell the superintendent that Madeline's Godfather and Godmother are from that wickedly corrupt little state of RI, and if we have to, we'll come up there..... :)
Much love!

Marleina said...

Our school has the K-12 kids together, too. Most of the drivers have the older kids sit in the back (which they would, anyway), then has a row or two of empty seats, then the littler kids sit in front.

Marleina said...

Oh, and if they have monitors, they should make sure they're background checked thoroughly. They had one working in Glenburn a couple years ago who was discovered to be a convicted sex offender. Scary!