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Washington County, TN schools respond to bus route issues during first week back

Washington County school bus

Washington County, Tennessee has only been back-to-school for a couple of days, but parents are already growing concerned about issues with delayed or canceled bus routes.

Parents sent WCYB several notifications showing delayed or canceled bus routes on the first day of school. Others haven't been able to find out which bus their child is on.

Just last month, there was a heated confrontation between Washington County school bus drivers and district leadership over Tim Post remaining as the county's transportation supervisor.

Thirty-six school bus drivers threatened to quit if Post was still in his position on the first day of school. WCYB learned only two of the 36 are no longer with the district.

Post says two sessions held last week with bus drivers were productive, and he's optimistic about the school year.

"This is where we were, this is where we are now," Post told WCYB. "(Bus drivers) can see the progress. I think that's encouraging to them."

Central Office administrators say delayed routes were caused by new drivers getting used to the routes, but problems with changing bus numbers could have been avoided.

"We probably could have done a much better job of informing all of our parents exactly that their child's bus number was changing," said Jarrod Adams, the special projects manager, who has oversight of bus operations. "The routes are pretty much the same. We're sending buses where they need to be sent."

Post was initially hired to bring Washington County schools in compliance with state safety requirements, after the district failed an evaluation in March.

According to a follow up report obtained by WCYB, the district is now in compliance with state safety rules.

"I'm very encouraged," Post said. "From where we started, to where we are now, it's not just a credit to me; it's a credit to all of the guys down at the garage. They've really stepped up and helped out when they needed to."

Post says he's working to make sure problems with bus routes this week are resolved quickly. He's trying to make sure every parent knows where their child is when they leave school.

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