FORT MYERS

Some school districts in Southwest Florida welcomed students back last week.

But everything isn’t all squared away just yet. Some school buses are delayed, and parents say a new app for tracking the busses in Lee County is glitching, and they don’t know what to expect Monday.

Parent Jade Diaz said, “I kind of got excited this year having the ‘Where’s the Bus’ app. I go into this app and discover that there’s no bus assigned to pick up my son to get him to school in the morning.”

Another parent, Katie Schmidt is also experiencing transportation issues, “We don’t have a bus to get my son to school. He can get home from school, that’s the good news that we can get them home. We just can’t get them to school.”

Some parents in the School District of Lee County are upset.

Diaz says she’s frustrated and wants answers, “I want somebody to say how do you miss an entire community… These are all great kids and they just want to get to school in the morning.”

They’ve said they reaching out to everyone they thought could give them answers, but no response.

“I attempted to contact the bus depot, I attempted to obviously speak to someone at open house,” Diaz said, “and there’s been no resolution to date as of now.”

Katie Schmidt said her children got placed at Lehigh Middle School because of school choice,” “It’s not convenient. No child should be 30 minutes away from school,” and other parents in Lee County are running into other issues related to school choice.

Mickey Wilcox found out her child’s school was switched on the first day, “I think they dropped the ball. Their lack of making sure kids are OK and in the right schools fell apart.”

These parents are concerned about the changes and how uncertainty is impacting their children’s education and mindsets.

“That’s the sad part of it,” said parent Randy Lyrek, adding “The teachers know the kids are going to be late. So now we are teaching kids that the culture is that you can just be late for school, you can just be late for work.

As for the bus app, the school district had a reminder for parents Friday, “Understand it’s the first day,” said Rob Spicker, spokesman for the Lee County School District, “There’s gonna be some hiccups. We did ask for some patience at the beginning.”

Spicker also says use of the app has continued to increase throughout the day Friday, “We have parents signing up all day. They’re still signing up for this app … we’ve gone from 50 parents using it to potentially as many as 50,000.”

However, other parents did praise the new bus-tracking system.

You can download the Where’sTheBus app here.



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