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Buses don't leave school until after 5 p.m.; district hopes for improvement today


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman says the district hopes for improvements today after some students at one elementary school did not get on their buses until after 5 p.m. yesterday.

District spokeswoman Jessica Swencki says a "perfect storm" of issues on the first day of school led to the long delay for students at Town Creek Elementary School. Some students reportedly did not get home until after 6 p.m.

Under the district's staggered schedule, the buses for Town Creek first run a route taking home students from North Brunswick High School and Leland Middle School. An hour later, they should be at Town Creek for the school's 3:45 p.m. release time, Swencki said. But she said yesterday heavy traffic on Old Fayetteville Road in Leland caused the buses to wait at least 20 minutes to get onto the road to start their routes.

Swencki said the school district had traffic control in place on Old Fayetteville Road Tuesday to relieve the problem.

Swencki also said there were issues at the schools with verifying students' addresses and making sure they were on the right bus to get home. She said that's a typical issue at the start of the school year, but combined with the traffic issues to make the delays worse. Further compounding the issue was a problem with the district's automated phone system that was supposed to let parents know of the delay.

The students at Town Creek were supervised and safe while they waited for their buses, Swencki said. She said administrators were on the phone with parents upset about the delays as late as 7 p.m.

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School Board Meeting Minutes from Staggered Start Discussion

Below is a link to the minutes from the staggered start/budget discussion. Mr. Thoraen voted against staggered start.

Voice your concerns to the board.

I am sure you meant to type

I am sure you meant to type Thorsen. He is the best thing on the school board that the students have going for them. And he actually cares about what the parents have to say. He is the only who disputed Pruden's claim that the parents of Brunswick County need to be reprogrammed.

late buses ala carte

Hate to go all family guy on all of you whiners but here we go!

It really grinds my gears that you "people" are complaining about a free service that we all pay for(even if we choose not to have kids) first you get free schools for your rug rats that I did not make or receive any tax benefit from. and then they get a free ride back and forth to the free school on a free bus and you have the unmitigated gall to complain. how about you say thank you kind sir for contributing to pay for little johnny's financial burden of education. After all they are your offspring not mine. Maybe they could come by and wash my car or do a little lawn work that would be a nice change of pace.
Or here's a novel Idea
How about you take own kids to school and pick them up, instead of freeloading off the system!

I have paid income taxes for

I have paid income taxes for 27 years now. I have paid sales tax on everything I have ever purchased in my lifetime. I have paid property taxes for twenty years. I have paid taxes on phone, cable, internet, trash, electric and other services I have utilized over the past twenty years. I pay taxes at the gas pump. I believe that I have paid enough into the system that you cannot call me a freeloader.

As a citizen of this country and as a resident of Brunswick County, I have every right to complain about how the schools are doing things. As a parent of a child in the school system, I have a responsibility to do my part to ensure that the schools are doing what is in the best interest of not only my child, but the other children in the system.

Everyone PAYS taxes. Not JUST YOU SIR!

You're a tax payer. So what? So is everyone else! You once went to school as well and guess what? If it was public school, TAX payers paid for it! If you were fortunate enough to go to private school, that's great but unfortunately, not everyone has that priviledge. Do you use the services of local law enforcement? Are they readily avaliable to you if you need the service? Sure are. What about the fire department? Guess what? THOSE TOO ARE TAX PAYER FUNDED! If you do not have children in the public school system, this forum does not apply to you. You have a right to comment but don't waste your time. EVERYONE is going to pay taxes and the amount that is to be divided to NC Public Schools is going to be distributed that way regardless of what you say, do or think and REGARDLESS if you have children in the public school system. You're still paying the same amount whether there is staggered start or not. Whether buses drop elementary children off within a reasonable time or 2 1/2 hours late. If it was as easy as putting children in private schools and transporting them to and from school or paying someone to do so or care for the children during the time difference between parent's work schedules, I am sure that would happen but unfortunatley, many middle class families must work because they don't live off the government, are not provided FREE before/after school care as lower class families are and are not fortunate enough to be able to afford it.

Think before you speak. It's a great virtue.

In addition to that, the

In addition to that, the parents that send their kids to private schools still pay the taxes that send the other kids to the government schools.

Brunswick Schools

We need to not complain about each others words not being spelled right. We need to worry about the children who attend the schools in Brunswick County, Our children are having to go with a new schedule which is not right. In a few weeks it will be getting dark early and our children will be getting home at dark. The Board of Education in Brunswick County doesn't care about the kids. Just trying to save money for their paychecks, They added 5 more days to the school schedule. This will cost the schools more money for lunch and power for lights and fuel for buses. Bus drivers who do not work full time will get benefits from the schools. Our tax money should be used to educate our children not cost the schools and Brunswick County Board of Education more money.. There is nothing wrong with part time drivers. Parents who drive the buses had the same hours as their children and could save money on daycare... ELECTION SHOULD BE A FUN TIME.. Hope that someone will help us to remember all this then


I love this schedule.
Instead of my kids catching the bus at 6:50 in the morning, they are getting on a little after 8am.
And yes the first day they were later than I liked. But this always happens the first few weeks of school here. It will level out and go normal in the second week.
Quit whining and vote next time.


I voted and although it did not go in my favor, parents had to vote on the lesser of the 2 evils dependent on thier lifestyle. I am glad you love the new schedule. For working parents who have to be at work before school hours, the cost for before/after school care by CIS for 2 children is $560. I am glad the schedule worked out to your benefit but it did not for everyone else. There are issues with the start and release times, the expenses and conflicts with work schedules, being pushed for time to get everything done (homework, baths, dinner, bedtime) especially for students in higher grades who have 2+hours of homework each time--and with students home over 2 hours late off the bus the first week, not only is it not easy, it is not dependable.

I work as well. I own my

I work as well. I own my own business so I have hours from 9am to 3pm.
So I do have an advantage. Don't complain about your plight as a mother and provider...that comes with wanting to play house and have kids.
Don't you assume I don't work because your schedule does not go hand in hand with mine.

Don't assume

Don't assume that I assumed you don't work. I never said that. I said the schedule was hard on working parents. It's Great that you have an advantage of owning your own business, however, most don't.

They change the school

They change the school schedule, but the schools won't change their policy about the times the kids can be dropped off in the morning. So, if a school is starting at 9:00, the kids can be dropped off no earlier than 8:30. With most parents having to be at work no later than 8:30, what are they supposed to do? It puts an undue burden on the working family.

My experience with picking up kids at Supply Elementary was that it went off without a hitch, with few exceptions. Yesterday was my first time picking up a child at Shallotte Middle in four years. It went off without a hitch yesterday and today. The schools who have a system in place make it so that the cars get out quickly. I don't know how the other high schools are, but picking up my child at West was always a nightmare, unless I got there very early and waited forever.

They say there was a problem with the phone system. They never have problems with it when they want to tell us about booster club, band club, football schedules, events at Odell and other non-urgent, unimportant stuff. You would think they could get it right when they actually need to communicate something properly.

that's the problem with most

that's the problem with most government workers that are in a "management" postion, the old saying is, "when life deals you a lemon, you make lemonade", these people know what is coming and what needs to be done to accomodate the changes, but they procrastinate and point the finger instead of preparing, there is no excuse for the bus route's to getso disorganized.

BC Schools transportation director needs to go

Ok, delayed buses to and from the schools is one thing. This genius that they have running the transportation department for Brunswick County schools decided to fix his incorrect planning after Monday's fiasco. He decided to run the buses TO school earlier this morning. Not a few minutes early, but 20 minutes early. So, my kid who has to walk about a half mile to stand on the edge of a major road to wait for the bus left about 15 minutes early. He missed the bus anyway, as did most of the kids on the route. So, I called down to transportation and got this arrogant woman named Teresa on the phone. "We told you your kids are supposed to be at the stop early" Seems like that would be reasonable, but running the buses so early that there's no kids to pick up to make up time isn't the answer. Being snotty about the negative result of your error isn't very nice either.

I got to drop my kid off at school. There were so many other parents in the same boat that had to take their kids to school because they ran the buses too early that the traffic was backed up to the point that the buses couldn't even get in the parking lot.

Snotty/Rude/Disrespectful/Unprofessional Staff

Same thing happened to me. Romona--a new assistant at the superintendent's office had the nerve to laugh on the phone when I called to express my concerns about TCES's buses still being parked at the school at 5pm and just boarding all bus riders. Called again yesterday and was delighted to speak with Romona again to be told, yes, you were the one who called yesterday and thought I was laughing at you. Told me Monday she was not laughing at me/my complaints yet told me yesterday co-workers were in the office laughing. I informed her that regardless, if someone is calling the superintendent's office, it is most likely not positive and it is most likely a parent. Her job is to be respectful and professional and if co-workers are in that close of proximity to her that the person on the other phone can hear them laughing, there is an issue. This issue has been esclated and will go up the chain if I have to attend the next board meeting and specifically ask for a few minutes with Dr. Pruden.

If the current School Board

If the current School Board worried about the kids under their care instead of a dollar bill they would keep the schedules as traditional. Perhaps Brunswick County needs to clean house and get rid of these yahoos?

They are worried about the kids...

You have to worry about the dollars. How do you propose we pay to educate the kids when education budgets shrink every year. This was done to save teaching positions. If you can figure out a better way to trim $1 million from the Brunswick County School Budget, please run for School Board because we'd all love to hear it.

Brunswick County Schools.

Beside getting a new Board of Education leaders we also need a new Super. It was his call for this new schedule.. If it's not broken leave it alone..... We need to worry about have good Teachers and Assit.'s there to help these children learn. What happened to the Children being first not the Adults in Bolivia.

The current School Board

The current school board is concerned with whatever agenda they are advancing, which is not the betterment of children in Brunswick County. Two years ago, when this staggered bell schedule mess began, it was a way of saving money (to the tune of $500k) in the midst of some very harsh budget cuts. One of the pieces of research that the school system put forth to support the staggered bell schedule was from the Mayo Clinic regarding sleep patterns in young children versus adolescents. That article can be found on an older version of the school's district site here:

While Ms. Babson and Mr. Thompson opposed the change of the bell schedules, the others were lost in the numbers game where out of the 7k plus surveys send to parents less than 3k were returned, out of that only 40% of parents of elementary school students responded. Yes a lot of this is on the parents of Brunswick County Schools students. I certainly hope that come this next election cycle, parents will be a bit more involved in both the voting and education of voters to prevent an all Republican school board. Perhaps this is the growing pain that most of this area needs for voters to finally learn to pay attention to "who" is running for office instead of their party affiliation.

What's all this complaining

What's all this complaining about? When my relatives and I went to South Brunswick, we were on the bus by 530 am every morning and didn't get home until 530 that night. From there I had homework and chores to be done.

If parents spent half as much time helping their children become better students as they do complaining about piddly stuff like late buses due to computer glitches and the usual first day snafu's then maybe just maybe the United states would not be dropping in the world standings in education

It isn't about what time the

It isn't about what time the children got home. The fact that kids were an hour and a half late arriving home and no one knew what was going on. No answer at the school.... no phone calls home to emails... NOTHING! How any parent could not be upset with this is beyond me.. I understand there will be kinks the first few days.. that is a given. But how this situation was handled was unacceptable.


Elementary school children are sitting at the schools in hallways waiting to board buses 1 HOUR and 15 minutes after school was dismissed and did not get home until between 2 HOURS and 15 minutes to 2 1/2 HOURS after school dismissed. You're talking ages 5 through 11-12 years after being up since 7 am. An 11 1/2 hour day for 5 year olds is UNCALLED for. Then there is homework to do, baths, dinner and guess what? Early bed times!

And guess what? The parents were NEVER notified yesterday and were notified 1/2 hour after school released about the delay today.



I Agree

I agree with you! Glad to see someone with common sense.

But we know that complainers are going to complain. They will find something to dislike.


Really Guest1971?? You agree with Notasheeple?? Dare I say it...BAAAAAA. BAAAAAA.

Brunswick county buses

All I can say is "I am thankful to live in New Hanover county where the buses picked the kids up for school on time this morning" (1st day of school) I am certain they will get them home on time also. what a mess they have going on in Brunswick Co with that staggered schedule. Such a large county (mile wise) to be cutting down on buses and drivers.
my elementary kids are out of school and home at 3 pm. Middle schooler home at 4 pm.
Good job New Hanover county.

Knowledge is power

For every issue, there are those who are familiar with the truth and those who speculate. There are those who work to be contributors and build upon society and those who complain about everything they can find to complain about because they are unhappy with themselves. There are those who spout negative opinions without much of a request, so their platform appears solid. Every situation has innumerable elements. There are similarities between New Hanover and Brunswick counties but neither is better than the other whether we are discussing education, crime, or any other topic. Instead of comparing and grandstanding, take moments to do what YOU can do to improve situations. Life becomes sooooooo much better when you do....but of course, that takes maturity. Tomorrow's always a better day, if you expect it to be, that is.

Buses leaving school late

My children go to Bolivia and they also had a few buses with the same problems. My high duaghter had problems even finding out what bus number she was supposed to be on. She was told to try 3 different buses. Not a good start to the new school year!!

Your "high" daughter

I assume you meant to say "high school" but in case you didn't, it's no wonder that your high daughter couldn't find her bus!

This has happened every year

This has happened every year with Brunswick County during the first week of school - staggered schedules or same schedules. No amount of planning ever seems to cover for the issues that actually occur. This is my 6th year with a child riding a bus in Brunswick County & this happens every year. It seems by time the second week of school starts they have everything worked out and the buses drop off with 2-3 minutes of the stated time on the schedule with the rare exception for unplanned incidents.

Our choices as parents are to either be patient the first days of school while they work the issues out or go to the school and pick the children up ourselves which creates a whole different problem with traffic control at the school.

The school system can go back on traditional schedule and loose the school resource officers at the elementary schools giving people a new problem to complain about. Or they can raise taxes to cover full bus routes & resource officers at elementary schools which will be complained about.