Posted on 09/29/2017

Thanks to all the parents who have provided their input and feedback on the issues we are experiencing with the new school bus company. We understand that you are justifiably frustrated, as are we, and we want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our students and to resolve these persistent issues. In short, the level of services we, and you, have experienced is simply unacceptable.

As a result of continued discussion with STA (the bus company) and Essex Regional Educational Services, the District does not feel that the company has the capacity to handle the bus routes at Gould School. As many of you are aware, during the first month of school, there have been numerous issues, including the following:

  • Several times the bus company did not have enough drivers or vehicles to cover routes
  • Drivers have not been able to follow the routes, causing confusion and delay
  • Drivers have been constantly changing, so there is no observed continuity or consistency
  • Drivers have exercised judgment that prompted safety concerns

 As a result, the District will engage a new bus company, Durham School Services (973-427-6400), on Monday October 2, 2017, for the Gould routes.

 For the first week, Essex Regional Educational Services Commission will have bus monitors on board all routes to ensure that drivers are delivering the bus services required and contracted for by the District. The Grandview bus routes have had minimal issues, which have been resolved, so these routes will remain unchanged at this time.

 As a result of these busing issues, and the changes required to address them, we appreciate that some parents may not feel comfortable putting their children on the bus or are questioning its utility. For that reason, we are offering a one-time exception to our no refund policy. This year only, parents who would like to request a refund, and be responsible for your child’s transportation, can contact Gale Messier at to obtain a refund. Please note, however, that parents who are granted a refund will not be permitted to re-subscribe to busing during the 2017-18 school year.

 We ask that parents please continue to contact the schools with any issues or concerns about bus service. Thank you to all our parents for your constructive engagement and your patience as we work to resolve these issues!

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