What’s behind one district’s busing issues?

VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Yellow buses that have parents seeing red.

“It just seems like a chaotic mess right now,” says Nicole Severance

Severance says she has two kids an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old in Vandalia-Butler Schools who ride the bus.

She says one day they were on the bus for two hours.

Other parents say they’ve had the same issues with their kids’ drop-off times.

“It’s a very unsettling feeling,” says Nicci Henry, who also has two kids who ride the bus.

So we took their concerns to Brad Neavin, Vandalia-Butler’s Superintendent.

We asked what led to the problems.

“First issue was with the data transfer,” Neavin says.

That data involved where students live. It’s since been updated, but that changed the routing of the buses which led to confusion for drivers.

“It’s trying to identify if there are additional problems in the routing based on the data and making sure the data is accurate we have to reload into the system,” Neavin says.

Vandalia-Butler contracts out its busing with a company called First Student.

This is the second year of that contract. Parents say things were smoother last year.

So we wanted to know what changed.

“The data tranfers was one of those things,” Neavin says. “It was a technical issue. We do believe there were some issues with staffing in that department and we addressed that with First Student and they’re responding.”

Parents say they understand having problems the first few days of school, but say the issues have persisted a few weeks into the school year.

So we wanted to know when things will improve.

“By and large it is but I don’t want to tell parents it’s to the level of performance we would expect from ourselves or the company,” Neavin says. “So we’re going to keep working on this problem and make sure they’re providing the excellent service we expect.”

Parents say another issue is having someone to call when their child isn’t home yet.

The superintendent says he’s worked with First Student to make sure they have staff available to answer calls.

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