Dallas ISD Sorry for First-Day Transportation Fiasco, Including a Left-Behind Deaf Kid

ReallyTinySchoolBus.jpg
Flickr user moertl
Dallas ISD warned parents that it might not be a yellow school bus picking up their kids at their stops on the first day of school Monday morning. Smaller routes, like those serving magnets, would be served by a contractor, which promised to shuttle students in a van, SUVs or sedan. So, not in the back of a pickup.

The district was quite proud of itself for arranging this. For the first time in several years, it covered every single one of its hundreds of bus routes.

But there were problems, as a WFAA story from last night details: Drivers were late; cars weren't labeled; parents were bothered by the idea of sending their young children in some random Suburban with a complete stranger. Some kids didn't get to school. Others didn't get home.

It was, in a word, a disaster that DISD is now doing its best to atone for. In a news release, the district explains that the use of cars is legal and often cheaper than buses. American Logistics Co., the contractor, trains and performs background checks on drivers and has spent several months working with the district on logistics, touring schools and contacting parents.

And then, the apology.

It was brought to the district's attention yesterday that several of the vehicles did not have clear identification causing understandable concern and confusion among parents and students. The district is committed to working with Dallas County Schools and ALC, the transportation provider, to alleviate these concerns.

By Friday, all of these vehicles will be easily identifiable on both sides of their vehicles as being official Dallas County transportation vehicles. Dallas ISD will continue to work with Dallas County to make adjustments so that all students and parents feel comfortable with their transportation.


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33 comments
WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

What exactly is the Dallas County Schools?  It appears to be some quasi government agency that does contracting.  What taxing power does it have? How are the board members selected?  It claims to provide services for all the Dallas county ISDs but I know several of them don't use them for transportation.  So what services do they provide to each of the Dallas County school districts?

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

DISD subcontracts transportation.  Now the subcontractor is subcontracting.  With each level added, less control occurs.  The pass the blame game is already happening. 

Remember when DART had that bad crash on the Tollway several months back, before we knew anything else, DART released a statement that the bus was operated by a subcontractor.  How fast will DISD or DCS distance themselves from ALC when something bad happens?

DISD needs to hold DCS hand to the fire on this.  The press releases have disclosed how they are going to fix the signage on the vehicles.  However, how is that going to fix the no show drivers or the piece of shit cars some people reported.  At my kids school, one of the parents went around the ALC vehicles and had to get the drivers to buckle the kids up in the cars.  I guess that was not in their training.

I can't help think that this is DCS way of shooting the finger at Miles for forcing the Teacher/Drivers to quit so close to the beginning of the year.

Americano
Americano

Give the DISD a break.  They only had all summer to figure this out.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Man, if only DISD could have found a transportation company that already had a solution in place for things like this.  If only there was a company already operating in Dallas that only used City-licensed drivers and vehicles that were subject to ordinance mandated standards.  Possibly a company that could be dispatched in under 30 minutes.  That would have been a Uber cool solution to this problem.

eastdallascam
eastdallascam

Our son goes to a magnet, and we're living this issue currently. We were notified by DISD that Dallas County Schools now runs the transportation, and that we would receive from them information about bus routes for this year. To date, we have not received anything from Dallas County Schools or DISD concerning this matter. At this point, we've considered letting our 7th grader ride the DART bus home from school, for his ease and ours... 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Wow ... what a laugh comparing the flyers (links below) to what I saw on the news last night.


It looks like someone has come up with a new way to scam DISD.


I wonder what ALC charges DCS/DISD and what the drivers receive?

JMFitzmaurice
JMFitzmaurice

The van that showed up today at my son's stop, loaded all the kids but mine, then the driver announced he was over capacity already and my son couldn't ride. Thankfully another parent offered to take his daughter as he didn't have to be at work this morning. If he hadn't my wife - who took my son to the bus - would have been about an hour late to work. This would have caused her to be fired. When I called to complain, I found out the driver did not follow protocol, which is to call for another vehicle, and alert the pickup school, and have my son wait in the office. Not happy the situation occurred, and SUPER unhappy the driver didn't follow the rules on how to handle it.

Leah Ferraro
Leah Ferraro

Scarlett, I think the point is that there is a car instead of a bus. And, totally agree with Judy. While I think some safety issues are overdone, this seems to be a no-brainer. Who wants to send their kid to school with a random driver in an essential unmarked vehicle?

ConfusedInOC
ConfusedInOC

This is a liability nightmare waiting to happen. My son is a student at a feeder school that does not have a scheduled stop and we were not informed via direct communication about any of this until Aug 14, less than two weeks prior to this going into effect (detailed below).

Why does the DISD consistently make decisions without completely consulting with the people that mater most, the parents and children!

Please be aware that some transportation services may be provided by American Logistics Company, or ALC.ALC is a contracted service provider for Dallas County Schools and serves the students of Dallas ISD as well as many neighboring districts.These contracted transportation services may be used to transport smaller groups of students on routes that are not practical or economical to provide regular bus service for. Magnets, Vanguards, Academy, Deaf Education, Multiple Careers Program students and NCLB students may be transported by ALC.

ALC Parent Booklet (English)<http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001475/Centricity/Domain/164/ALC_Parent%20Booklet.pdf> or ALC Parent Booklet (Spanish)<http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001475/Centricity/Domain/164/ALC_Parent%20Spanish.pdf>

ALC Flyer (English)<http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001475/Centricity/Domain/164/DCS%20and%20ALC.pdf>

Don North
Don North

The Dallas DISD administration is a disgrace and needs to be replaced with common sense teachers

TexMarine
TexMarine

So sad that these parents and students don't have a choice.

Scarlett Wright
Scarlett Wright

Warum ist das ein bild von die Technische Universität?

WylieH
WylieH

Doesn't Dallas County Schools (an arguably redundant and unnecessary, but SEPARATE government agency) responsible for providing transportation to DISD students?

yoka
yoka

Looks like the DISD should have engaged Uber.

Judy Conatser
Judy Conatser

Question. So they are going to put magnetic signs on the vehicles. Really?? What prevents a sicko from stealing a sign and using it.

Despina Karintis
Despina Karintis

no excuse. that's precisely why my special needs kiddo will NEVER ride a bus.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

How is your son gonna wait in the office if he's being pickup up for school?

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

They do. Bus bike walk or drive your damn kid.

Amy S
Amy S

@WylieH Yes. It is not a choice, as I understand it, for DISD to use their transportation. It is law.

Amy S
Amy S

@Judy Conatser Dallas County Schools provides transportation. It is not an option for any of the school districts within Dallas county. As the report points out, several other Dallas county districts have been using this. Does DISD want to use this system? No. It has no choice in transportation, the county does.

JMFitzmaurice
JMFitzmaurice

@Sharon_Moreanus I wasn't very clear there, was I. The subcontracted pickups are mostly for vanguards/academies/magnets. The pickups happen at other schools. For example, in my neighborhood kids going to Polk Vanguard are picked up at Lipscomb elementary. Those going to Lanier Vanguard are picked up at Kennedy. When the van picking my son up at Kennedy, to go to Lanier, was over capacity, a new van should have been called out, and the overflow kids should have been taken to wait in the Kennedy office.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@Amy S @WylieH What law?  Not all the Dallas County School districts use Dallas County Schools for transportation.  Neither GISD or MISD use them for transportation. 

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@Amy S Not true.  GISD the second largest ISD in Dallas County does not use them for transportation.  RISD did not use them before they made major cuts to their transportation in the 1990s.  MISD is not listed as one of their transportation customers.  HPISD is listed as a customer but does HPISD actually bus anyone?

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