Children riding buses arrived home much earlier Wednesday compared with Tuesday's first day of school for the Brainerd School District.
"It was 90 percent better today than yesterday," said Assistant Superintendent Gary Phillips.
Kala Henkensiefken, the district's transportation coordinator, said this morning's routes went pretty well.
"There were only minor issues," she said. "where a bus ran a little behind, which is typical for the first week of school."
Henkensiefken said the afternoon route went smoother than the first day of school, with the exception of two buses. She said the buses were late because the private schools released their children late and it caused a domino effect and the buses ran late to the elementary and middle schools.
"We have addressed this and talked with the schools and the bus drivers," said Henkensiefken.
Several school officials were out directing students at the eight elementary schools and three middle level schools to help with the congestion and to get students on the correct bus in time after school.
By 3:30 p.m. all the shuttle buses were off at Washington. Two direct route buses were left to arrive to pick up students.
"Things are going better today than they did yesterday," said Randy Hansen, assistant principal at Washington Middle School. "Kids were released five minutes earlier."
"It's going a little better today," said Jessica Lane, a sixth-grader at Washington, while waiting for her bus. "My bus was over there (west side of school) and now it's over here (on the north side) ... It's all confusing."
Lane said she knows her bus number and bus driver so that makes it easier to find the right bus.
Classmate Megan Thiesse said she found that the buses were four to five minutes slower than the first day of school.
"Last night I got home at 5 and I was suppose to get home at 3:45," she said.
Katherine Stevens, who lives on County Road 8 and is a day care provider, said this morning that the bus routes did improve.
Stevens has three children who travel on the bus who were dropped off late Tuesday. She said that the second day of school the children were dropped off at 4:30 p.m., an hour earlier.
"This still is a long day for them," she said. "Mine are the first to get on the bus and are last ones dropped off. "
Phillips said there were a few isolated issues with the city routes. One of the problems was construction. He said some of the roads are closed in the morning and then open up later in the day and vice versa.
One of the school buses was in an accident at 4:10 p.m. The bus was dropping off students at the intersection of H Street and Fourth Avenue Northeast. A Knife Lake Construction truck from Mora backed into the bus while it was at the stop, police reported. No one was injured.
A few of the improvements were buses at Baxter Elementary School left on time. On the first day of school, the buses at the school left late. At Mississippi Horizons, the buses left at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday and 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Henkensiefken said all the bus routes will be back on regular schedule next week to pick up the students and the schools will release the students at the scheduled time.
Henkensiefken said the first week of school usually is chaos and buses are about 45 minutes to an hour late.
"We have the drivers checking the kids to make sure they get on the right bus," she said. "This year I've had fewer calls on lost children (meaning children who get on the wrong bus).
"I'm not aware of any children who got on the wrong bus yesterday."
The school district's new transportation system that is supposed to make the system more efficient. The district is now in charge of the transportation, not Reichert Bus Service. Reichert does however, have a contract with the district for bus services.
All the bus routes were redesigned, the number of shuttle sites were reduced and there are more direct routes. Adding more direct routes reduces the number of buses students have to ride.
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