Ann Arbor elementary children miss buses after communication snafu
Ann Arbor Public Schools’ effort to communicate with parents about late buses Friday morning backfired and resulted in children missing the bus and showing up late for school.
“This will never happen again on my watch,” said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.
The Washtenaw Intermediate School District Transportation Department, which operates busing for AAPS, communicated to Ann Arbor’s Executive Director of Physical Properties, Randy Trent, that slick road conditions were affecting drivers. By the time drivers finished the secondary bus routes, Trent was warned, they would be 10 minutes behind schedule for the elementary routes.
Margolis said while the district never has informed parents of late buses before, parents repeatedly have asked to be notified of transportation delays, so the district tried to comply.
She said she made the decision to send out the nearly 7,500 emails and “a little less than that” in phone calls with the guidance of Trent and Superintendent Patricia Green. However, there was obviously a breakdown in communication and “what we thought was happening on the roads, wasn’t actually happening and (the buses) got there on time,” Margolis said.
District officials met with WISD transportation officials shortly after school began Friday to discuss what happened. Margolis said there was a miscommunication and buses actually were running “up to” 10 minutes late rather than “at least” 10 minutes late.
Transportation officials rerouted many buses to avoid the highways Friday since there were a number of accidents, Margolis said.
She sent out a second email to elementary parents at about 10:30 a.m. apologizing for the sanfu. The email read:
Dear AAPS Families,
I apologize for the inaccurate information that was communicated to you this morning regarding delays in bus service. There was obviously a break down between transportation and AAPS in what was actually happening out on the roads and what we needed to communicate to families. The end result for some students was missed pick-ups and confusion. This is not acceptable and I apologize. We just met with transportation to ensure this does not happen again.
Sincerely, Liz Margolis