Daniel first student letting unit 5 down with late buses local news pantagraph.com heartburn drinking water

14 drivers were absent. Flu bug? Did First Student know there was going to be an issue yesterday or did these 14 all eat bad sushi last night for dinner? If this was an action by these drivers to prove a point, I hope First Student is looking for new drivers today. If it wasn’t an action by these drivers then I hope they are all feeling better tomorrow. As for 60-75 minutes on the bus, get over it. Some communities\cities that are still under court orders to bus kids across town, the children are experiencing 2 hour bus rides. I grew up South of here and depending on the year as the bus switched direction from year to year, the short bus ride would be 25 minutes and the long ride about 80. We didn’t melt, we didn’t die. Some days it would be over 100 degrees on the way home. Some days in the winter we would watch the bus slide right by as it tried to stop, usually we hoped that would be on the way to school and before they picked you up.


Nothing like watching your school bus slide into the ditch!

This has gotten out of control. Superintendent Mark Daniels and his immediate staff need to clean this mess up NOW. First Student and it’s bus drivers simply do not care. They only care about drawing a pay check. I do not have any kids enrolled in unit 5. But this really bugs me. Students (some young and some special needs kids) are the ones suffering thru this mess. Going to and from school should be a positive experience for each kid involved. As I have mentioned before. The safety of the students should the #1 priority. Leaving kids stranded at pickup spots for long periods of time in the heat and rain, not good. The winter season isn’t that far off. We will then be dealing with cold temps and snow. I’m sure a contract is involved between the two parties unit 5 and First Student. If not all ready done. Daniel’s should consult with unit 5 lawyers and discuss options to terminate the contract with First Student. Again, this is a serious issue that needs to be fixed ASAP by superintendent Daniels and his immediate staff.

I totally agree with your comments Indiana 1. As someone who left the manufacturing industry as an engineer and management several years ago, I am fully disgusted at this entire situation. I do not have any children in Unit 5 and have since moved to another neighboring district. The parents need to demand that the situation gets under control within one week at the most or they go in and demand the resignation of Mr. Daniels period at the next schedule school board meeting. Never would a manufacturing plant manager nor a section manager not be replaced if this was happening without a clear path forward that was measureable immediately. The leadership in Unit 5 is a disgrace to the district and the community. The Superintendent is the leader of the district, and he is NOT leading! The kitchen is hot and on fire, and this guy doesn’t have a clue of what is going on. If anything happens to just one child in the district, I sure hope they get representation for themselves outside of this area. Enough is enough, get the bus schedule fixed. This is not rocket science and it doesn’t require someone that holds a doctorate degree making over 6 figures to do this job. The job requires leadership which means you need common sense and a conscious of moral responsibility to every student. If you cannot do the job, then resign your position to make room for someone that does and will not sleep until it is done.

First.. what the heck does State Farm have to do with this story? NOTHING! Second off…I would bet my last dollar that if you went through the Pantagraph archives for the past cpl of years that First Student has bused students for Unit 5….you will find a story about how screwed up the busing situation is. The same story every single year…. kids waiting too long as the stops….. 2 hour rides to school…. buses over crowded. Hey..Einstein’s definition of insanity is do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. First Student is not doing the job they were contracted to do..period. This is not their first rodeo people. First Student does this all over the country. Also…Unit 5 has to shoulder some of the blame for this fiasco as well. Someone in Unit 5 had to of signed off on this plan. I could see a cpl of days of issues… new bus routes and all.. but he problem is still ongoing. My wife is a former teacher with Unit 5 and she says this happens all the time with this district. Let’s come up with a brilliant idea…implement it. Oh…we will adjust it on the fly. Oh…it’s not working…well.. let’s blame someone else for our planning screw ups. Mark my words…. next year… at this same time… there will be another article in the Pantagraph about the busing problems. Who ever is in charge of transportation for Unit 5 needs to be fired. I could see problems in the first year of First Student coming on board but not after 2-3 years. Unacceptable is an understatement Supt. Daniels.

First of all to the poster who put the length of time and only being a block away. Why is your child riding the bus? Now Dear Unit 5, Time to stop pointing fingers and solve the issue. Politicians like to point to other people and not take responsibility. Fix it first then determine root cause. Have you talked to Connect Transit? I believe the community within Bloomington\Normal has buses that could be used to supplement. Utilize First Student out of town first then a combination of First Student and Connect Transit in town. Don’t say it can’t be done. Chicago Public Schools utilize the CTA, I bet some smart educators can figure out how to make it work here. That fine University in Normal also has some students that are working on various degrees that involve statistics and things such as that. Have you reached out to ISU for assistance in re-drawing your bus routes? Parent’s and Employer’s are going to need to be involved with this also. This is a community wide problem. If your child is taking the bus and school is a few blocks away, stop it. Make them walk. They are going to whine and complain, who cares, get a spine and be a parent. Employer’s, your employees are an asset and they have an issue right now. Work with your employees around school start\end times. Work on car pools with your neighbors and friends, there are a number of people in town who happen to attend schools without busses and figure out how to get their kids to school. This is everyone’s responsibility! Yes Everyone’s.