Late arrival: Parents raise concern regarding bus pick-up

Sep 21, 2023

MIDDLEBORO — Superintendent Carolyn Lyons said she hopes to improve communication between the district and Five Star Bus Company after receiving complaints regarding students not being picked up by their bus and late school arrival times. 

Parents of students voiced their concerns during the Middleboro School Committee meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21.

Resident Sarah Zigouras suggested that the school committee include the bus issue on its next meeting agenda. 

“It has been a complete mess,” said  Zigouras. “We expect late buses in the beginning of the year but this is way beyond that.”

Zigouras also noted that the issue has raised safety concerns for her family.

“How is it safe when middle schoolers who can get on the bus on their own aren’t getting picked up and their parents left for work?,” she said.

Zigouras said that although communication between the district and parents has improved since the beginning of the year, it is still untimely. 

School Committee member Marcy Fregault echoed Zigouras’ concerns. 

“I’ve had a few members of the community reach out regarding district communication regarding buses and I do have to agree that [communication] is lacking,” said Fregault. 

Fregault said that she received an email from the school two hours after classes started stating that her son was not at school.

“It creates panic,” said Fregault. “People are being notified 40 to 50 minutes after their child’s bus is already late.”

“A child is going to slip through the cracks at some point,” she said. “If the buses are going to continue to be late, which is an issue all on its own, we need to make sure that our communication is up to par.”

According to Lyons, the communication between the district and Five Star Bus Company has been complicated because the bus company does not have full access to student information due to safety measures.

“They don’t have the capacity to email families individually,” said Lyons.

Representatives of Five Star did not respond to requests for comment. 

According to Lyons, the district is currently notifying parents about late buses via text and email. 

“What we are learning is that this is an area that we need to improve,” said Lyons. “We are meeting as an internal team to improve and streamline communication so that if a bus is going to be late family members will be notified.”