(Bartlett, TN) “It was everything but smooth. It was horrible, absolutely horrible,” Nikki Rodgers, a mother of two children attending Bartlett High School, said.
She hoped for the best in a merged school system, but that was shattered on her kids’ first day back to Bartlett High.
“They went out to stand at the bus stop, then came back in and said, ‘Mom, we have been out there for 20 minutes, no bus,’” said Rodgers.
She took them to school.
“It was just chaotic, kids everywhere, parents everywhere, lines wrapped around the gym in the back,” she said.
Then her children had problems getting home.
“They said, ‘We went to ride the bus home, but the bus driver says he’s not familiar with the bus route and he doesn’t think he goes that way,’” said Rodgers.
On top of that, her son’s class schedule turned out to be classes he’d already taken, and the cafeteria was so crowded she says her kids didn’t have time for lunch.
Edward Oliver had school problems, too.
He sat on his porch for an hour waiting for the school bus to pick up his son at 7:20 a.m. for Bartlett Elementary.
It never came.
“I am the one that stays behind until he gets on the bus. My day is thrown off,” said Oliver.
“He walks into class and he is late. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing,” he said.
Shelby County School officials say they are working on the transportation issue.
As for the crowded cafeteria at Bartlett High, the system says all lunch times were extended so everyone could eat.
School district officials say those class schedule problems always happen the first day because parents or students want changes.
Some parents say it’s the school system change that’s caused real problems.
“It doesn’t seem like they are prepared,” said Rodgers.
Parents say they also have had problems getting through on the hotline the school system set up to answer calls about school bus transportation.
Shelby County School officials say it’s because of the high number of calls, but Transportation Services is working to address that.