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Leon County School Board Questions Company That Caused Bus Woes

Three buses are parked in a row.
Tom Chamberlain on Unsplash

The Leon County School Board had questions last night for a representative from the company hired to create safer and more efficient bus routes.

Pat Starken with EDULOG said plans were on track as of July 29th -- then the data disappeared. It happened a week later during a software backup.

“Something didn’t go right in the download. We attempted to get our backup up and going, but that data was gone,” Starken said. “It was deleted by someone that was looking at a server and didn’t realize what would happen when they deleted it.”

That resulted in the planned bus routes being erased a week before the start of school. Despite their efforts to fix the problem, the first day of school was mayhem. Many kids were very late getting to school and getting home. Some students weren’t picked up at all.

School board chair Rosanne Wood said the EDULOG program will bring positive changes once the issues are resolved. In particular, she said the board is enthusiastic about a system to track who gets on and off the bus.

“If Mrs. Jones calls and says ‘is my child on the bus,’ we were going to be able to say ‘yes, that child got on at 2:32 and should be home at such a time.’ For as long as I’ve been in the school system, which is 40 years – we never could do that, and that was a scary thing as a school leader to not be able to tell a parent for sure if their child had gotten on the right bus or not,” Wood said. “So, I think once you get this sorted out that it’s going to be a huge improvement that parents are going to really appreciate.”

For the rest of the week, students who need to be dropped off early or picked up late by their parents because of bus woes will get free supervision.

Planners now say they may revert back to ‘mirroring’ for the bus drivers. That means drivers will run the same route in the morning as they do in the afternoon – creating less confusion.

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Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Click below for Gina's full bio.