DPS students transported to wrong schools; meeting addresses first day disaster

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Many Dayton Public Schools transportation leaders spoke at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, calling the first day of school “horrific” for some families. They say some kids were transported to wrong schools or left waiting at bus stops for over two hours.

“Today, kids were going to wrong schools because of hub and group stops and that’s just unacceptable,” said Dayton City Bus Drivers 0627 President Marie Winfrey.

Dayton Public School staff and transportation leaders said their first day back was a complete disaster due to miscommunication and poor preparation. Horizon Science Academy Principal Alyse Pennington said DPS’s current busing system is failing state regulations.

“My buses are arriving up to two hours past the end of the school day,” said Pennington. “Just yesterday, I was at my school at 5 o’clock waiting on the bus, school let out at 2:30. It is the law to transport students within a 30 minute buffer at this time, Dayton Public Schools is not meeting that.”

Principal Pennington has sent emails to DPS’s transportation since February, warning them of the chaos they’re unfolding as students return and staff return.

“Our bus routes are being changed, parents are not being notified, schools are not being notified,” said Pennington. “My bus drivers are warning me about their buses being emptier than normal after their routes were changed without warning, which parents weren’t told about either.”

However, the Board of Education approved the 2022-to-2023 Bus Stop Amendment. Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said they have to vote on the stop within 10 days of the first day of school, but the hub stops are flexible to change at any time.

“We gave them four days to check routes this year but things change, they may run into a dead end or construction and change those, they change them automatically sometimes on a weekly basis or even day-to-day,” said Superintendent Lolli.

Although President Winfrey said the first day of school did not go as planned, she says every student’s safety is her priority.

“I want to thank the parents and students because we know transportation is an uproar but we want to thank you for allowing us to transport your children safely,” said Winfry. “Please be patient with us until we get these things taken care of correctly.”

Board President Will Smith said the board will be taking action immediately to address transportation concerns.


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