By Chris Presley
The Thomaston-Upson School System has implemented a change to the regular bus routes this year.
This change will affect only those families within the city lines. As of the first day of school, July 27, bus drivers in the city will pick up elementary school students separately from middle and high school students.
The reasons for this change gear towards making the ride easier not only for the drivers but also for the elementary kids as well.
“The elementary schools let out about forty minutes earlier,” says Jimmy Salter of the Upson County School System's Transportation Department. “They had to wait before picking up the others.”
Salter says that discipline issues were also looked at when deciding to make this change.
“It's hard to get the younger kids to sit in a seat for five minutes, much less 40,” he says. Not to mention “high and middle schoolers tend to pick up language that the younger ones shouldn't hear.”
“The change was mandated by the school board,” said Director of Operations Mike Majors. “We were trying to find a way to alleviate these problems.
“This is already taking place in several counties.” he added.
As with any new policy, there have been a few glitches, for instance:
“Some (elementary) kids are getting home, and a middle or high schooler would be looking after them until the parents got there,” said Salter.
The usual first-day-of-school mixups have occurred as well; kids missing buses, buses breaking down, etc. But the school system is working to correct any problems that have risen.
“On the first day of school there are always going to be some problems regardless of the precautions we've taken,” said Majors, but “we're certainly going to try to iron out the problems that have come up.”
For any questions about the change in routes call your child's school or the Upson County Schools' Transportation Department at 706-647-4174.