Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It can ONLY get better from here on in... right?

What a day. I am thinking no one has a worse job than me on the first day of school. But on the bright side, no puke and no fires. But that's where the "good" moments end.

Before school started... a child in Grade 2 .... was missing. His mom was in hysterics because, she put him on the bus, but he wasn't on the bus, when it got to our school. A little freaky wouldn't you agree. At first, we searched the playground, hallways and cafeterias, while others questions mom as to what bus, where did he get on, who was with him, etc. Within 15 minutes, it escalated into hysteria by more than one adult and resulted in three different adults on three different phones talking to three different authorities and a very upset mom staring at all three of us.
Who knew... that his bus stops at a different elementary school
before it comes to Kingston. Who knew that the parents would know to tell the bus driver where the child was to go. Who knew that the bus driver would automatically drop him off at the ONLY elementary school he drives too and who knew that the child wouldn't know he was at the WRONG school! We found him at St. Mary's Elementary school, in a classroom! In reviewing the whole event, there is no one at fault. The family is new to the area. They requested our school for convenience sake, knowing that the transportation would be a little complicated. They reviewed with the children, the routine that was to happen. The driver was to bring both children to the middle school, and the younger would walk to our school, as the bus doesn't come here. Sadly, the bus driver was not told this plan (I am not sure why) and because its not one of our buses, we had no idea that it stops at St. Mary's on its way to Kingston and the little boy didn't know, it wasn't his school. It was the wrong planets lined up.. and it all worked out but what a way to start the day!

We had no less than 50 parents at the buses when their children got off, which complicated the entrance of kids into the building. We had no less than 50 parents needing bus information, or changing phone numbers, or paying for supplies or registering for school.. in amongst our panic search for the missing boy. We had no OCanada or announcements until 9:30, and by then we had sent home two children who were feeling ill and ghostly white.

We had 1500 sheets of paper to count in bundles for the kids to take home... of important "first day" information. We reviewed all the bus numbers with students for the end of the day and we had a PA that works good in one direction, and terrible in the other. We have bells that go off when we don't need them , and then some that don't go off at all.

We lost no less than 8 kids, by them going on their babysitter bus, instead of home bus, or by going on the bus they thought they went on because their friends go on that bus. We had some kids who just remembered they "MOVED" at 3:00 and shouldn't go on the bus they went on the year before..... but don't know their new address... we had two brothers who each went on a different bus.... and they were both wrong! We had three new classroom teachers, plus three teachers teaching younger grades for the first time.... who are far more needy at dismissal....
and we had TWO.... TWO buses.. break down.... one on its FIRST RUN ..... and the other in our bus lane. It had 5 buses blocked behind it..... and they couldn't move around them. Eventually, they went "off roading" over the curbs, on to the school grass, weaving around trees... to get around the stalled bus. What a fun story those kids would get to tell their folks.! The broken bus kids got to play in the playground for a half hour while the garage tried to solve that one... and we at the office answered phone calls until 5:30.... discussing why buses were late, and how "my child" got on the wrong bus...

It can ONLY get better from here on in.... right?


ancient one said...

I sure hope so... I have to laugh because the very first day I decided my son could ride the bus he got lost. He went across the yard to get on the bus with his cousins. That afternoon when the cousins got home... no Tony... I almost went crazy... I was ready to call the school when another bus came and deposited Tony at his cousins yard. Seems the bus they regularly rode broke down and another bus (#10) picked them up that morning... Tony knew he rode #10 to school that morning so he got on it that afternoon. He said he was way out in the country (we lived in town) when he finally asked another student if this bus goes back to town. Someone alerted the bus driver. He had Tony come up and he asked where he lived. Tony said behind the old hotel. That driver turned around and brought him home. I don't think I let him ride another time that year. I took him to school myself.
I hope you have a better day tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

OMG...the day from has got to be better, right?


GailM. said...

You guys LOVE the mahem and you know it! YOU folks in the front office have phenomenal problem solving skills. It's good to excercise those once a year. Ok, once a week!!! You know, within a couple of years, each kid will have a gps locator on them so you can just go on a browser and ping them to see where they are and then quietly go retrieve them. I do agree, your yesterday would be a hectic day for most people.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm I see. I've decided not to hold a grudge now for being hung up on when I called at 3:45. Hahah jk, It was actually pretty funny. I assumed mayhem was surrounding all of you - now i KNOW i was right.
< 3 ! Today will be better!


Anonymous said...

I sure hope that today was a better day for you...what a way to start your school year!!!

cpm said...

You are amazing!!!! Don't know how you do it...and with a smile on your face to boot! I love the descriptions you gave...makes everyone feel the mayhem that is the first day! oye!
If I were you I'd tell everyone to go to hell and sit under my desk until 5 when it was safe to come out! lol!
P.S. Michelle...I may have been the one who hung up on you?!? if so sorry! <3