Author Topic: Please help me draft an email to the Principal  (Read 9109 times)

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katycoo

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2013, 09:43:31 PM »
But the transportation dept. can create routes for each bus and either put a map in the bus or input the route in a GPS.  Its' not that difficult to do.  The transportation dept. failed big time.

The problem with GPS is:

1. It can't store several hundred routes;
2. it can't read the traffic.  If there's a diversion, the GPS can't change its route
3. There's huge cost implications for for putting a GPS system in every bus and keeping each unit updated with new route info (assuming you could, in fact, store all routes in one unit)

A physical bus isn't allocated per route.  Buses are contantly being rotated - for servicing or repairs, or drivers are simply transferred to another route (ie. bus 259 is delayed due to a traffic accident.  We need you do go cover route 61 now as 259 won't be there for another 2 hours!)  So every bus needs to be equipped for every route.

Also - charter routes are not regular routes - they're different again.

Roe has an excellent point - why didn't the transportation dept provide any kind of route to the driver? Or did they, and she ignored it?

As I mentioned before.  She probably did have a map or left and right directions of some kind.  But you can't read directions AND drive a bus at the same time.  It simply isn't safe.

If the driver felt she was lost, though, a lot of people have GPS these days in their cell phones - so rather than relying on an 11 year old for information, I'd much rather program my phone and have it talk to me while I drive.

also, even if the bus isn't allocated to a specific route every day, the routes themselves don't change based on where kids get dropped off, unless a stop is added due to new construction, so the bus folk could have given the sub something as a guide.

Well, this is regional, but in Australia, even touching a phone which is not in a holder while the vehicle is turned on is illegal.  its an immediately sackable offence.
Most drivers don't even take their phones with them to avoid temptation.

Roe

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2013, 09:46:24 PM »
She could've pulled over.  Plus, it's really hard for me to imagine a bus driver who isn't in contact with the main office.  Maybe she was too ashamed to ask them for help. Either way, no matter which way you look at it, the bus driver doesn't come out looking pretty.

katycoo

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2013, 09:58:20 PM »
Roe has an excellent point - why didn't the transportation dept provide any kind of route to the driver? Or did they, and she ignored it?

As I mentioned before.  She probably did have a map or left and right directions of some kind.  But you can't read directions AND drive a bus at the same time.  It simply isn't safe.

Then the map or directions are pretty useless, aren't they? If someone did give her a map and directions, then they are incompetent. If she had the map/directions she should have at least shared them with her "co pilot." Or pulled over at intervals to consult them. If she had them and didn't do these things... she's incompetent.

There is no acceptable excuse for what happened. None whatsoever. Somebody that ill prepared should not be driving children around. If it's too hard for her then she needs to find a different occupation.

You seem to be missing the part where it is not (always) the fault of the driver that they are unprepared.  There are occasions when they are given little to no notice of certain shifts/routes.

I cannot speculate why the driver in this OP did did not share whatever map/directions she had with the kid she asked to assist her.  It is probably that she though he would not need them.  No one is disputing that the OP was a shamozzle of a situation.  But a kid with limited reading (or map reading) skills may have found that MORE stressful.

But I doubt you realise who difficult it is to run a bus system when you're dealing with something as unpredictable as traffic.  The driver's main skill is to drive the bus with competance.  The route is second priority.  And there isn't always an appropriate place to pull a BUS over.  Plus, if she was pulling over every 2 minutes, the route would have run REALLY late and people would have complained about that too.

As I've said before - its not ideal.  SO much room for improvments in the system.  But that doesn't make the driver incompetent.

She could've pulled over.  Plus, it's really hard for me to imagine a bus driver who isn't in contact with the main office.  Maybe she was too ashamed to ask them for help. Either way, no matter which way you look at it, the bus driver doesn't come out looking pretty.

Again, Australian experience, but their contact with the office is limited, and they must await a call back. You'd really only call if the situation got dire (ie. I don't know where I am, or I took a wrng turn and am in a street I can't get out of).

This driver was a rude cow, by all accounts.  Nothing i'm saying excuses her attitude.  But over here the drivers are very limited in what they can do to change the system.  Its a government enterprise which runs things.  people who don't follow the system, get fired.

Roe

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2013, 10:51:11 PM »
I'm assuming the OP is in the US.  If she happens to be in Australia, then it might be different, like you say. 

OP?

ETA: I rode the bus when I was little, so many years ago, and even then the driver was in constant contact with the main office and other bus drivers.  So IME, this particular driver was incompetent.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 10:53:24 PM by Roe »

katycoo

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2013, 12:03:35 AM »
I'm assuming the OP is in the US.  If she happens to be in Australia, then it might be different, like you say. 

OP?

ETA: I rode the bus when I was little, so many years ago, and even then the driver was in constant contact with the main office and other bus drivers.  So IME, this particular driver was incompetent.

Of course.  I'm pretty sure the OP is NOT in Australia and fully apprecaite things might be different.  I was merely offering some insight.

WillyNilly

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2013, 12:18:24 AM »
As far as not being able to read a map/set of directions while driving, or not being able to pull over... um its a school bus. By its very nature its already stopping an pulling over, regularly. All the driver needs to do is look at the map/route/etc to get to the next stop, not memorize the whole route. Then at that route, while already stopped, look at directions to the next stop, and so forth.

JenJay

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2013, 08:29:35 AM »
I'm in the US, in a small suburb of a city. We live about 3 miles from the school and they are on the bus for about 20-25 minutes. Most of the route is only one lane each way so there really isn't anywhere for a bus to pull over without blocking the drivers coming up behind it. Traffic is very light in the general area of our neighborhood so that wouldn't necessarily be an issue and, if a car did come along, the bus driver could most likely immediately wave the car to go around without any problem.

My son reads very well - we didn't realize how well until he was recently grounded off all electronics for 3 weeks and blasted through the last 4 Harry Potter books :D. That said, I doubt he could navigate a map entirely successfully since he doesn't drive or know the names of all the streets along the route. I think it would be easiest for him to pay attention to where the driver is and guide her from memory.

Having the route programmed into a navigation system would be ideal but I'm not sure how practical it would be since each driver seems to have a specific bus (as opposed to the bus staying with the route while the driver changes). When the kids have substitute drivers they can tell as soon as the bus turns down our road because it's different than their usual bus. There'd need to be a program that allowed the drivers to download the route into their gps as needed, probably wirelessly or from a computer at home. Plus there'd be the cost of supplying each driver with a device.

I think WillyNilly's suggestion that the driver have written instructions to refer to between stops is the best idea. Personally, that's how I drive when I'm heading somewhere unfamiliar - memorize the first few steps and then consult the directions at stoplights and memorize the next few. Yes, it might cause a delay, but they were 20 minutes late as it was. The lateness didn't bother me, I'll cut a lot of slack for a new driver. I'd rather they drive the route carefully than have to backtrack for missed stops, wrong turns, etc.

artk2002

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2013, 09:33:25 AM »
Roe has an excellent point - why didn't the transportation dept provide any kind of route to the driver? Or did they, and she ignored it?

As I mentioned before.  She probably did have a map or left and right directions of some kind.  But you can't read directions AND drive a bus at the same time.  It simply isn't safe.

Then the map or directions are pretty useless, aren't they? If someone did give her a map and directions, then they are incompetent. If she had the map/directions she should have at least shared them with her "co pilot." Or pulled over at intervals to consult them. If she had them and didn't do these things... she's incompetent.

There is no acceptable excuse for what happened. None whatsoever. Somebody that ill prepared should not be driving children around. If it's too hard for her then she needs to find a different occupation.

You seem to be missing the part where it is not (always) the fault of the driver that they are unprepared.  There are occasions when they are given little to no notice of certain shifts/routes.

No, I'm not missing that part at all. If she got behind the wheel, started the vehicle and drove off, then she is ultimately responsible for the bus and what happens on it. Lack of notice or whatever has nothing to do with the situation. Driving a bus full of school children is a very important responsibility; if she wasn't prepared to execute that responsibility then she should not have started the bus in the yard.

If my boss tells me to do something stupid or illegal, it's still my fault if I do it.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2013, 08:31:43 AM »
I agree with the PP that the bus driver was already pulling over at every stop.  And these are little kids, it takes them plenty long enough to get their backpack, stand up, walk to the front of the bus, walk down the stairs and off the bus, for the driver to look at the directions to the next stop or even input stop by stop into the GPS.  Yes, the GPS will tell you the shortest route and not necessarily the route the bus should take, but it will automatically reroute if you take a different route.  So if she has basic directions that tell her to do such and such, and she has the next stop in her GPS, she'll be able to follow what she's supposed to do a bit better and not, at least, get lost.  And yelling at a kid for not being prepared?  Totally unacceptable.

Roodabega

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2013, 11:57:07 AM »
I agree with the PP that the bus driver was already pulling over at every stop.  And these are little kids, it takes them plenty long enough to get their backpack, stand up, walk to the front of the bus, walk down the stairs and off the bus, for the driver to look at the directions to the next stop or even input stop by stop into the GPS.  Yes, the GPS will tell you the shortest route and not necessarily the route the bus should take, but it will automatically reroute if you take a different route.  So if she has basic directions that tell her to do such and such, and she has the next stop in her GPS, she'll be able to follow what she's supposed to do a bit better and not, at least, get lost.  And yelling at a kid for not being prepared?  Totally unacceptable.

I was going to say this.  It would only take a few seconds to look at a map/directions at every stop to see where to go next.  If the sub wasn't provided with a map or written directions, then the fault for that is with the bus garage.  Yelling at a passenger for not always giving correct directions is totally on the driver.  My kids have ridden with us for years in our car going to various places.  When they first started driving, they constantly had to ask for directions because they never really paid attention in the back seat.  (Actually, they still ask for directions quite a bit).

Girly

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2013, 02:35:17 AM »
I'm sorry, but the child that was asked to help was 11 years old. The bus driver should not have been relying so heavily on an 11 year old for directions, much less yelling at him when he gets confused.