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West Bloomfield Schools 'Must Remain Open' – What Do You Think?

After two school closures due to bus vandalism that incensed some parents, superintendent says schools will remain open if it happens again.

Updated: 12:57 p.m., Friday, April 27

In an email to parents Thursday afternoon,  Superintendent JoAnn Andrees said a hypothetical event in the future that would compromise transportation would not close school.

The district has dealt with two school closures this calendar year due to bus vandalism;  and  It was reported that in both incidents, 18 out of 58 buses were damaged.

It's a decision that has drawn comments on in support and opposition.

"It's better than just canceling school," wrote and parent . "We walk to Gretchko anyway and I can easily drive my son to Scotch. Much more convenient than trying to work at home with three kids all day."

"It removes the incentive to vandalize the buses, under the assumption that kids do this to get out of school," wrote  parent . "I wholeheartedly agree ... I was disappointed in January that the district cancelled school, I was incensed when they did it again last week."

Others questioned the logic by which Andrees used to explain the situation, that the state Department of Education counts a "school day" as one when 70 percent of students are present. 

"Say the buses do get vandalized again, what is the school district going to do pray that 70% of students show up?" WBHS student  wrote. "I can almost guarantee we wouldn't hit that 70% mark... Then what would we do? Send everyone back home?"

said, "The only means of transportation to and from school for a lot of students in our district is their school buses. ... If this should happen again and school remains open, a lot of students, possibly as many as half, would not be in school that day."

"We have heard from many of you who have told us that you are more than willing to help transport your children to school, and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter," Andrees wrote. "All school learning, activities, and programs will continue as usual for our children."

Individual building principals will be in touch via email with further instructions, Andrees continued. The superintendent said last week that the district is in the process of upgrading security at the transportation building that was broken into. Orchard Lake Police said Friday there are no suspects.

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Skeptical April 27, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I think all of the talk of bus vandalism for possible disruptions in bus services is missing the mark. I truly hope I am wrong, but considering the board is voting on whether to privatize bus drivers on Monday, I can't help but think they already know they're going to vote to privatize and are afraid that there may be transportation disruptions in response to that (fear of a sick out perhaps?). If it were any other board I wouldn't be as cynical, but the board majority has a history of back door dealings and voting agreements before the performance of a "vote" in front of the public. To me, the timing of this is is a not so subtle clue to what the results of that vote will be Monday. They privatization deal was already done before they pretended to consider it at the last meeting. Now they are planning to vote it in, and fear possible retaliation. Again, I hope I am wrong, mostly for the good people who show up to work each day to greet our kids with a smile and get them to and from school on time. I pray that the board will see the opportunity to work with our community and stop working against it.
Louise Cantor April 28, 2012 at 12:26 AM
It did not occur to me that the board is using the bus vandalism story to cover-up their real fear. It is quite plausible that if transportation is privatized Monday night, the workers might be too sick to report to work on Tuesday. I thought the busses are now being guarded by security guards.
for our kids April 28, 2012 at 06:24 PM
FOR OUR KIDS They can take our jobs, they can take our health...... but they cannot take our INTEGRITY...... We have offered them EVERYTHING to stay in west bloomfield school district with you ( OUR FAMILYS ) Regardless the outcome, we will be at your childs bus stop on tuesday. you have always trusted us with your childs saftey. we ask that you put trust in our dedication to our district, most importantly.... the dedication to our kids. Thank-you proud to be west bloomfield bus drivers

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