I just put the wee ones on the bus. Today, it arrived at 8:25, and the thing I'm most excited about the fact that the bus looks like it will be coming 40 minutes later to pick them up this year than it did last year? The fact that I get to sleep in longer.
But it hasn't exactly been a smooth journey to the bus.
Technically, Mister Man isn't supposed to be allowed to ride the bus, because we petitioned him into the school Little Miss attends as part of the Spanish immersion program she's in. I'm supposed to have to drive him - anyone who petitions is. However, there is a bus that stops in our driveway to pick up Little Miss. And it has three students on it, including her. Fortunately, I was able to negotiate with the district and bus company, and he's there with a fee.
On Thursday last week, this letter arrived.
Ok, so great. We're supposed to go. Oh. Wait. That part is blank. It's ok, though. We know the bus comes to our house because we're the only stop anywhere near us. And the bus will pick us up at... oh. Wait. That part is blank, too. Hmmm.
So of course I called the bus company. The nice woman there told me that it would probably be about the same time as it was last year. When I pointed out that sometimes the bus picked us up at 7:40 or 7:50 and sometimes at 8:10 and that one of the children who had ridden the bus previously was no longer at the school, which would probably affect the route since he lives ten minutes away. She investigated and let me know that they were still working on those routes and that we'd get a call that afternoon.
Monday morning, I called again, still having heard nothing. They were still working on the schedule. I called later in the afternoon, and we finally learned that the bus would arrive between 8:10 and 8:15. Phew.
A side note. In the letter, you'll notice that it says that "if your child is starting kindergarten their (sic) route information will be delivered to you under separate cover at a later date." So all kindergartners received this letter that tells them nothing. And they'll get another letter printed later. That's a waste of time (printing, stuffing) and money (postage). As a taxpayer, that irks me. Then I discovered that not only were the children in the Spanish immersion program receiving a blank letter, but every student in the district that doesn't ride a bus for whatever reason, including all others who petitioned to schools other than their home schools - and we have a lot of walkers for our neighborhood schools - received the same letter. So now in addition to wasting time and money by sending useless letters, you also have very confused people calling the number listed, taking up time to answer questions that should never have been stirred up and annoying people. Government at its best. So when they talk budget cuts next year, I'm going to request that this be there, too. It isn't a huge difference, but it's enough.
So back to our bus story.
Yesterday, we went outside a little before 8 so I could take the obligatory first day of school pictures. Tell me they aren't adorable.
At 8:26, I called the bus company. Eleven minutes past the later time the bus was supposed to pick them up? If it wasn't close, I would need to drive them to ensure they get there on time. The line was busy, not surprising. After seventeen tries, I got through. And they tracked down the bus, which was fortunately only two minutes away by that point.
The bus pulled into our driveway. The bus driver introduced himself and confirmed that he was picking up Little Miss. Ummm and Mister Man? Nope, he wasn't on the list. I sighed and explained that he should be, and the very nice bus driver wrote him down. It isn't a huge issue on the way to school, but he can't get on the bus (and what bus route; no one would even know) if he isn't on the list for the after school bus. So I called the contact at the district again. And left her a message.
It wasn't the worst issue yesterday, as I was picking them up to get Mister Man to tae kwon do on time (which we were still late to, oops). And today I'm picking them up, too. Tomorrow, however, he needs to be on the route. I'm still waiting for that call back.
So how has government been working for you lately?