Students from Idlewood Elementary School wait for a bus that never came on April 18, part of a bus driver sick-out. Some parents say their childrens’ buses have not been consistent so far this year. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb Schools: Not every bus route has been smooth sailing

Some DeKalb Schools parents and students say bus services have been sporadic since school started two weeks ago.

Maria Sugey Pulido said her daughter, an 11th-grade Chamblee Charter High School student with special needs, has not been picked up at all. 

“I called the district and they said she had to wait two more weeks, until the 27th,” she said through a translator. “It is not right for my daughter to miss three weeks of classes.”

Social media posts and text groups have been abuzz about the inconsistent bus schedule so far this year. District officials say they are working through kinks as the new school year gets under way.

"We apologize for the inconvenience the students and families have faced in their bus transportation to Chamblee (High School),” the district said via email. “Please know that the school bus routes are fluid during the first few weeks of school as we are constantly refining the routes." 

Dan Drake, the district’s interim chief operations officer, said the district is short eight drivers to fill all its routes, but are covering those routes through double-runs, where a driver will work his or her initial route, then pick up on a separate route that is missing a driver. 

“We’re doing even more to up our recruiting efforts,” Drake said. “But we’re having the same issues as the other districts in retaining and recruiting drivers.”

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