New school year is off to a late start


Hillary Currier

Monday Sept. 27. bus route 42 arrives 20 minutes late to school. A flash alert was sent to the TTSD community earlier that morning.

By Meileen Arroyo, Staff Writer

Monday Sept. 27, a flash alert was sent to the TTSD community about the late buses. They rolled in for about 20 minutes after the bell. Route #42 arrived last. Although this was the first flash alert, the late buses started on the first day of school. 

     Following the 2020-2021 online school year, the TTSD school start times were changed. High school students were to start their school day later in the morning at 8:55 a.m., while elementary school students start the earliest at 8 a.m.. The new start times have caused some complications resulting in students having to wait an extra 20 minutes for their bus to arrive.

     Junior Lillian Roy, talks about her personal experience concerning the situation of the late buses. 

     “My bus was supposed to arrive at 8:20 but it showed up around 8:45. I got to school around 9 o’clock,” Roy said, “I was in a major time crunch, and I was a bit worried that the bus would be canceled or miss our stop completely.” 

     Roy goes more into detail about her own transportation difficulties and how tough this issue is for students with more complicated living conditions. 

     “I can walk but that would take around 30-40 minutes. I don’t have a car or any other sort of transportation to take me directly to school and ensure that I’m on time,” Roy said, “Not everyone has a parent that can actively take them to school. A lot of students depend on buses because they don’t even have the option of walking.”

     Teachers have also had to make changes in order to prevent late students from missing any important information. English teacher Erin Perry explains how the late buses have impacted her first period classes.

     “For the days that I have sophomores, it’s usually about 3-4 students that are late. I do not mark them tardy or absent,” Perry said, “I’ve been aware that we’ve had late buses so I’ve pushed back our material that we cover so no one misses anything in the front minutes of the class.” 

     The real question is: what is causing the buses to be late? Principal Brian Bailey breaks it down and gives a few reasons as to why this situation is happening.

     “The beginning of every school year we typically have late buses because routes always change. We figure out how many kids are actually riding the bus and how many are not.” 

     Concerns around COVID have resulted in many parents dropping their kids off all throughout the district. This has caused a lot of traffic around the school zones further delaying the buses. A shortage of drivers has also contributed to this issue. 

     The district is currently working on ways to solve this problem. The plan varies from balancing the number of students on each bus to leaving each school on time. 

     “[The district] is rerouting some buses to see if they can miss some of the heavy traffic patterns around town. They are communicating with bus drivers from each of the levels to leave on time,” Bailey said, “In order for them to get to the high schools, on time they have to leave the elementary schools on time. They are constantly communicating with our transportation partner, which is Student Transportation of America.” 

     Timing, traffic, COVID, new bell schedules and road construction are all factors that have contributed to the late arrival of buses. Bailey shares some perspective to all members of the Tigard community. 

     “I have no doubt that we are going to get this figured out, [but] in the meantime just be patient. Make sure that you are being kind to the bus drivers, it’s not their fault. The bus drivers aren’t happy with it, the students are not, the parents are not, the staff is not, the district is not. We are all trying to work on this together.”