Nashua school board reviews array of bus stop complaints
Transportation Director David Rauseo met with members of the board’s Finance Committee last week to review the district’s busing program. According to Rauseo, this year, the program provided more than two million student rides on 54 full-size buses, 33 special education buses and two buses for charter school students.
Although BOE member acknowledged it was a tough job driving 8,000 students to and from school each day, Kimberly Muise asked about different complaints that have come to light this year.
Muise asked if the Transportation Department staff tracked complaints. Rauseo said they did not, but a log is being considered for next year.
Muise also said she had also heard about buses sitting at schools, particularly Elm Street Middle School, waiting for students from other schools to arrive for the trip home. She asked if the district had enough buses.
Rauseo said that the general feeling was that when students were on an idling bus in the afternoon, waiting to head home, they were safe, secure, and not missing any school time.
BOE member Dotty Oden brought up a problem at Amherst Street Elementary School that involved students arriving at school too late to have breakfast.
Oden stressed many families in need live in Nashua, and asked if bus routes were scheduled to give students enough time for a breakfast that they are not getting at home.
BOE member Sandra Ziehm asked Rauseo, as a manager, how he viewed parents of students.
Rauseo said he talks with many parents, particularly parents of special education students who have specific needs. He said he avoids special arrangements for individual families.
Rauseo said one of the most common complaints from parents is that they can’t see their child’s bus stop from their house.
“That bus stop has been deteriorating rapidly,” said Clark who said the driver has forgotten to pick up students at that stop.
Finance Committee members also reviewed a new contract with First Student Bus Transportation and voted to recommend that the full board approve the deal. According to Rauseo, next year’s transportation costs will be $5.61 million.