CARY — A year after the start of school was marred by widespread bus problems, interim Wake County Schools Superintendent Cathy Moore said the opening of year-round schools went smoothly Monday.
Moore said initiatives such as adding more bus drivers and putting more school buses on the road have helped to improve the situation from last year, when the district received widespread complaints about buses coming late or not at all. She said they havent received a large number of communications from principals about bus concerns Monday when 20,000 year-round students reported back to class.
I think weve had a pretty smooth opening, Moore said at a press briefing. We havent had a lot of concerns weve had to address at the beginning.
School officials are still encouraging parents to be patient during the first few weeks when buses may run 20 to 30 minutes late. Moore noted that bus drivers stop at every stop during the first two weeks to see whether any children get on or off.
Moore said parents at year-round schools who havent received information about matters such as bus schedules and supply lists should contact their schools principal.
Extra scrutiny has been placed on bus service following last years issues, which were far worse than usual. As a result, Wake is reorganizing the transportation department, trying to hire 100 additional drivers, putting more buses in service and offering bonuses to retain drivers.
Were still looking for drivers, Moore said. We will continue to look for drivers. Thats a never-ending thing.
The true test of Wakes preparation will come Aug. 26 when traditional-calendar schools return, bringing back the majority of Wakes more than 150,000 students. Wake ultimately expects to transport more than 75,000 students each day.