Some Columbia School Buses Fail to Start
COLUMBIA - Some children were left stranded Monday morning as 17 buses never got going, leaving parents wondering what their children were supposed to do. Columbia School Board President Jan Mees told KOMU 8 Monday the district utilizes 150 buses, and she attributed the 17 not functioning to temperatures below 10 degrees overnight.
A parent's e-mail to KOMU said her son waited for a bus for 35 minutes. She also said she never found out the bus wouldn't be coming.
The district has various forms of communication to try and notify parents of closings and changes via text messaging, email, television, and its website. However, Columbia Communications Coordinator Michelle Baumstark still wants to work on getting messages to parents.
"We're certainly working with First Student to look at ways we can improve that level of communication, looking at what we do with our text alert system, seeing if that would be a benefit to do it by route," Baumstark said.
First Student, the company Columbia Schools uses for buses, would not go on camera in an interview Monday. However, Assistant Contract Manager Denise Apperson said its drivers will get to work 15 minutes earlier Tuesday, at 4:30 a.m., to start the buses. She also said the failure of the buses to start had nothing to do with not enough fuel or antifreeze in any of them.