Paradise Valley mother upset over late school buses

PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - One Valley mom is speaking up after having to jump through hoops to make sure her 2nd grader was getting to school on time. 

Robyn Shopes 7-year-old son, Russell, attends Indian Bend Elementary School off 36th Street and Thunderbird Road. As a working mom, Shope relies on the district's school buses to get her son to and from school. Since the beginning of this school year though, the morning bus has been late almost every single day. 

"After two weeks and there was still no improvement," Shope said. "It was actually getting worse; I was like hey what's going on?" 

She, her son, and her husband all grew frustrated and worried Russell might change his tune about school.

"He wants to be at school," Shope said. "I was afraid that he wasn't gonna like school if this was going to continue to happen."

Shope reached out to her son's teacher, principal, Paradise Valley Unified School District, and even got on the phone with transportation officials. 

"I found out through the principal that his bus was not the latest one arriving at school," Shope said, but nothing changed. "I don't think the school was really taking it seriously."

She said she felt forced to find an alternative. 

"If I couldn't get this resolved, then I was going to have to change my hours at work." 

Russell's early morning daycare, Scottsdale Early Learning Center, agreed to use their shuttle to drop her son off at school, free of charge. 

"I shouldn't really have to do this," Shope exclaimed. "You should be able to do your job, just like my employer expects me to do mine."

ABC15 asked Paradise Valley Unified officials what was causing the delay and received the following response:

In order to be efficient, our Transportation Department reviews bus routes and makes adjustments when needed. On Aug. 28, 2018, the Transportation Department made changes to the bus route you are inquiring about. All parents were called and advised of the changes by the Transportation office staff and the principal at Indian Bend Elementary School. Since the adjustments to the routes have been made, to our knowledge, the buses have been arriving before school starts.

Q: What was causing the delay?

A: We planned routes, but sometimes have unanticipated transportation needs due to new enrolling students. We had to move students to different buses in order for all buses to arrive in a timely manner. 

Q: How many students were late to school over the last several weeks as a result of this bus delay?

A: 19 students were affected by the changes made to the routes.

Q: Were any students penalized for being late to school?  

A: Students were not counted as tardy and received breakfast when they arrived at school. (No penalties)

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