Update 8:53 p.m.:
Despite problems with school bus stops being left off some bus route schedules, the first day of school in Darien was an exciting, happy day for students, teachers and staff, new Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner said.
“That youthful excitement that thrills people the first day — there’s nothing like it,” he said. Brenner said he visited every school.
At Royle School the “Parade of Learners” traditionally takes place, with students marching into school in a line with parents standing on either side and teachers leading the way.
“This day was marked by a great deal of emotion,” he said. At last week’s Board of Education he mentioned that it seems like everybody finds time to get their hair cut just before school starts.
Update, 5:12 p.m.:
The number of bus stops added back to the scheduled bus routes for Darien Public Schools is very limited, and adding them back shouldn’t change the schedule much for other students, schools Superintendent Dan Brenner said Monday afternoon.
Brenner sent out an email to parents apologizing for errors with a new bus scheduling system that dropped some bus stops on the bus route schedules that were announced last week, days before the start of school on Monday.
“As we became aware of these, we solved them one at a time,” Brenner said in an interview. “There are not that many.” He said he had no idea just how many there were, other than that the problem is minimal.
“I don’t see this as impacting a lot of people’s pick-up times,” he said.
In the email (reprinted at the bottom of this article), Brenner gave out a phone number and email address that parents can contact if they have problems or concerns with any bus-stop changes.
The email also said that starting near the end of the day Monday, the school district website would have updated information on bus routes. That information wasn’t very prominent on the website, but he said he expects the website to be tweaked to make it easier to find the new information.
The school bus schedules are being changed with the additions of new stops and there may be further changes made as late as Wednesday or even Thursday morning, but Brenner said he was being cautious in saying the problems might continue until then — he said he thinks they’ll be solved sooner than that.
Original article, 2:03 p.m.:
Some school bus stops “were unwittingly left off the bus run” on Darien Public Schools bus routes, and it will take until Thursday morning to get the problem fully fixed, new Superintendent Dan Brenner said in an email sent to Darien parents on the school district’s email distribution list.
“As a result of a new bus routing system we have encountered unforeseen difficulties with our first day bus routes,” Brenner said. “We are committed to adding back bus stops that were inadvertently omitted.”
Updates about the bus schedule will be posted on the school district website at the end of each day until the problem is fixed, he wrote.
As of 2 p.m., Brenner’s announcement, which was neither posted to the district’s website home page nor, apparently, sent to news organizations, is reprinted below. Darienite.com is leaving messages asking for more information from Michael Feeley, the district’s director of finance and operations, and Brenner.
[Darienite.com welcomes tips from readers, especially about matters that affect large numbers of people in town but haven’t been announced publicly by officials. Email tips to Dave@Darienite.com.]
Here’s the full announcement, as sent to Darienite.com by a reader (the subject line is “Message from Dr. Brenner”):
As a result of a new bus routing system we have encountered unforeseen difficulties with our first day bus routes. For most families the routes have been fine; however for others, stops were unwittingly left off the bus run.
We are committed to adding back bus stops that were inadvertently omitted. After consultation with the bus company, we will not be able to be fully implemented until the morning of Thursday, September 3.
An updated schedule will be posted at the conclusion of each day on our website at www.darienps.org to keep you fully informed about the changes. Of course, you are always able to check the status of the buses by calling central office transportation at 203-656-7465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, if your bus stop is not listed, and you have not been in touch with the school or someone at the above number, we ask that you arrange transportation for your child up until the point the stop has been reinstated.
We truly apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.