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Brunswick County students head to school, buses back in action

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY (WWAY) -- It’s the final few hours of summer for Brunswick County students, and big preparations are in order to make sure the first day flows smoothly.

Brunswick County students head back to school tomorrow, but getting there can be a pain, especially on the first day. Luckily, one man says he has the solution.

The first day of school can be challenging, especially for those riding the bus. But new students, new bus routes, and nearly 7-thousand daily riders don't frighten Brunswick County Schools Transportation Director Bobby Taylor.

He says he and his team are prepared to transport students safely and effectively.

While students enjoy the last few hours of the last day of summer, Taylor is working hard to make sure students get to class on time.

"We're very, very conscientious of making sure that every ‘T’ is crossed, and every 'I' is dotted when it comes to students,” Taylor said. “Student's safety is our number one priority."

He says they have great bus drivers on staff who are willing to take on the huge responsibility.

"As I tell our drivers day in and day out, that they're the only employee in the school system that literally holds the power of life and death in the palms of their hands,” Taylor explained.

He says their bus drivers are well trained to keep kids safe, but there are plenty of things he says students can do to keep themselves safe as well.

"When they're at the bus stop, they need to remain standing still until the door is open and the stop lines, the stop arm, and the stop sign has been extended,” Taylor said.

Taylor says it's also important for students to look before crossing, even with the bus nearby to make sure all cars have stopped.

One student says he takes it safe when it comes to the bus.

"At our house we have to stay at the driveway, and the bus will pull up and we get on it,” 5th grade student Andrew Wilson said.

He says riding the bus gives him time to hang out with friends.

"I like it on the first days because you get to see your friends and last days that way you can say goodbye to your friends,” Wilson said.

Another student says she doesn't mind riding the bus.

"I usually just sit down, and look out the window the whole time,” 4th grade student Bianca Gibson said.

But she can't quite make up her mind about school.

"I'm kind of looking forward to school and not sitting at the house and being bored but I also don't want school to start," Gibson said.

Brunswick County School's spokeswoman says even with the best planning, there may still be some bumps in the road.

She asks parents with transportation concerns to contact their child's school.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Staggered School Schedule

I hope the money saved is worth the elementary kids getting home so late. Was behind a bus on Hwy 904 this evening letting an elementary school student off at 6:25 pm. That is absolutely ridiculous.

brunswick county schools

My granddaughter was supposed to get out of school at 3:45. I left work a little late and got home around 5:35 from Wilmington and she had yet to get home from school. We live about 10 minutes from Town Creek Elementary. This is not good planning. What gives Brunswick County Schools?

Mom of 2 at TCES

Buses were just boarding at Town Creek at 5pm

Everyone needs to get together and take these concerns to the next Board of Education Meeting. You must call ahead to be placed on the agenda to speak. These are real concerns and they need to be heard. Speaking out and expressing these concerns causes actions to be taken. Staggered start has caused more headaches than 1 for working parents. More expense, altered work schedules if they are fortunate enough to be able to do so, even job resignations in some cases where it is more feasible to stay home than to pay expenses that come along with the delayed start/release.

Patience...

It'll take a few days to get things running smoothly. Staggered schedules are a big money saver for schools and require some sacrifice on everyone's part. The way our legislature is gutting public school funding the schools need to save any way they can. The biggest objection to the last time they tried staggered schedules was young children waiting on the bus so early it was still dark, so this time they reversed it. This system is by no means perfect, but it's necessary.

How does the staggered

How does the staggered school schedule save money? The buses are on the road the same amount of time. Drivers get paid the same amount of money. The same amount of gas, if not more, is being used.

The schools emphasize how important it is for parents to be involved in their child's education, yet they do everything they can to make it hard on the parents. Being someone that knows what sacrifice is, I can say that there is not much more that can be sacrificed. As hard as it is to find a job in today's economy, it is not right to put this hardship on working parents. Not many employers are going to be open to schedule changes to accommodate the staggered schedule. Putting parents out of work is not the right thing to do.

The reversed staggered schedule may make it so that, in the winter, the elementary students aren't at the bus stop before the sun comes out, but they will be getting home after the sun goes down.

Okay...for the Millionth Time...

It saves money by allowing the county to lease or buy fewer buses. The routes are run once to pick up the Earlier Start (in this case Middle and High Schools), and then the SAME BUSES AND SAME DRIVERS run the same route to pick up the Later Start (Elementary Students). The Staggered schedule survey was sent home with ALL Brunswick County Students. The majority wanted the Elementary Students to start later (which is the opposite of the way it was tried two years ago). Had the staggered schedule been left in place after it was implemented two years ago instead of tried once and then dropped, we'd be on our third year of this, the bugs would all be worked out and a specific dollar figure could be placed on the savings. It has saved teachers jobs (however, it has eliminated some part time bus drivers).Can't have it both ways folks. You can't elect legislators who continually cut the Education Budget and keep the same amount of teachers without sacrificing somewhere. The problem with the school system in the last few years is constant tinkering. Establish a plan and STICK TO IT long enough for it to succeed or fail instead of continuously changing courses in mid-stream.

You are still paying for the

You are still paying for the same number of hours for the drivers to be on the road. You are still paying for the same amount of gas, if not more because the buses are traveling to the different schools in addition to the routes. The maintenance is going to be more on the buses because they are going to wear out more quickly due to being on the road longer.

For your information, the buses cannot run the same routes for the elementary schools that they do for the high schools and middle schools. The districts are different. There are only three sets of schools with the exact same districts, who will run the exact same routes. And they have been doing that all along.

I am aware of the survey sent home to the parents. I am also aware that they did not give us a choice to keep the schedule normal. They only gave us a choice to decide who would be on what schedule. They didn't give us the choice to keep the schedule because they knew we would vote it down, just like we did two years ago at the end of the first year that they tried it.

You made my point...

Again, the staggered schedule was not voted down by parents, It was not renewed by a single vote of the Board of Education, who immediately voted the opposite way the next time it was raised when they saw the savings. You also made my point. Pick a plan and stick to it! Don't change it every time someone with too much time on their hands and a stick up their rear complains. And the majority of the over $500,000 savings (I'll type it a little slower so you can understand it o v e r $500,000) comes from not having to purchase/lease/maintain as many buses. Again, not every route can be doubled, but most can. The two years the schedules have been staggered, my child rode the same bus (one for elementary, and then two years later middle school). If you really want to eliminate the need for staggered schedules, stop electing these moronic state legislators who treat the state's education budget like their own personal whipping boy. Until then grow up, shut up and learn to deal with it like the rest of us.

Elementary Students Home at Dark

Now they will just be home at dark. Hope it's smoothy sailing before the time changes!