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Carpool Syndrome; No Bussing Around

11 August 2008

Car PoolSchool’s back in session at Vestavia Hills school and once again the jockeying for carpool duties begin.

When we moved here from Atlanta coming up on 6 years ago, I was first shocked that our school district didn’t have busses to move the kids from our neighborhood to school and back.  Building my day around getting out the door in time to get the kids to school on time seemed like it was going to be a burden.  But, alas it was not so.

Why don’t I participate in a ‘carpool’ as so many do?  The answer is simple; the morning “commute” to my daughters’ school(s) is one of the highlights of my day.  It’s a time where I get one-on-one or one-on-two time with them.  Now that my youngest daughter has moved on to the next school in the system and isn’t attending the same school at which my wife teaches, I am dropping both kids off.  I still get a kiss goodbye from my 13-year-old too!  What more could a proud father want?

Now, on the subject of busses… Vestavia Hills’ school system does actually have them.  I’m not sure of the counts, but this is what I know they use them for:

  • Employee children are shuttled around the schools in the afternoon so that teachers/staff whose kids attend another school can stay after school
  • Field trips to McWane Science Center, Birmingha Southern’s environmental center, Montgomery’s Old Alabama, American Village, and other locations
  • High School football and band use the busses to travel to away games
  • The school system has provided education to the children in Oxmoor Valley since desegregation and bus tranportation to those who whose parents (presumably) can’t afford to transport their children to school… this has changed in recent years as developers placed high-end developments in this area of the City of Birmingham that enjoyed the unique privelage of not paying taxes to Vestavia Hills yet was educated there.  This free handout ended 9 months ago and only siblings (already born) of students in the system are grandfathered in.  But, the busses still run.

After all of these years, I still don’t know where Vestavia Hills parks the busses at night.  There were parking lots full of these busses in Atlanta but I’ve never seen even 2 busses parked.  Find them and let me know!  Better yet, take a picture so I can include it here.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 August 2008 12:51 pm

    Back in your previous town of Duluth GA, we find the county juggling the busses to deliver kids in stages – high school by 7a, elementary by 8am and middle school by 9a. Without the bus schedule I’d be taking kids 2 hours apart. It’s a shame they don’t use some logic and consider that elementary kids usually get up early, so take them first, and take the high school kids later. I’ve seen different articles that say high school kids are suffering in school work because they have to get up so early, especially with those working nights, and biologically it doesn’t work.
    We’ve had a few ‘fire drills’ related to bus shortages as well..a frantic call to parents that they have to drive their soccer player to another school because the school bus is late from its triple-duty runs.
    BTW..I thought I was the only one who spelled busses correctly.

  2. 12 August 2008 2:59 pm

    Thanks, Frank. Our school start times are stagged by about 15 minutes in sequential order. Elementary (K-3) earliest, middle Elementary (4-5) next, followed by Middle School (6-8), and then High School (9-12). They also line up physically so you never have to double back. It does make it difficult, however, when my office is beyond the High School by a mile or so. I get to drop off at the middle Elementary and Middle School yet drive in the High School traffic on my way to the office. A small price to pay.

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