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Bus woes add to back-to-school stress for Halifax-area parents
Jennifer MacLeod is dreading the first week of school with the expected change in Stock Transportation’s bus routes and times adding an extra layer of stress to the back-to-class ritual.
“In previous years, calling Stock hadn’t really produced much results, and you leave a lot of messages and you don't really hear back,” MacLeod said. “So, I'm sort of playing the wait-and-see game at this point and we’re watching daily to see if the schedule gets adjusted.”
As it stands now, the schedule for her daughter has the Grade 5 student departing school at 2:58 p.m., but the last bell doesn't ring until three.
And her 12-year-old son is arriving at school at 8:40 in the morning -- five minutes after his class begins.
She says it’s tough for a kid starting at a new school.
“Am I going to miss homeroom? Am I going to have to figure out, am I going to be that last guy in the classroom and everybody's going to look at me?” said MacLeod.
Stock Transportation says the schedules are still being adjusted. Becky Phillips says one thing that helped her was the bus driver himself reaching out.
“It’s good to know that we have him to rely on and we’ve made that connection with each other again,” Phillips said. “And he knows my son’s name, and let’s be honest; he’s the one driving him to and from school. So there’s a sense of responsibility there.”
Phillips says getting that phone call from the bus driver was a huge relief.
“I had so much stress wondering, how is my son, who is eight, going to walk quite a distance to get home at the end of the day?” said Phillips.
But not every bus driver is reaching out, and Phillips still has to find out if her daughter even qualifies for a stop.
In an email sent Monday night, Stock says parents won't know about those stops until Thursday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.