Districts respond to students stuck after school

Districts Respond To Students Being Stuck

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The commute home for hundreds of Western New York students took hours longer than normal because of Thursday's storm. 

Nearly 24 hours later, the students are home safe but the road to get there was a long one. 

There was both praise and frustration from parents following Thursday's event. 

Parents of Allendale Elementary students, who were kept at school, told 2 On Your Side that they heard from their student's teachers and were able to talk with their kids. They said the kids were kept warm and safe and played games and watched movies to pass the time. 

But parents like Rachel Baksa, who had three kids stuck on a school bus from about 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. questioned, what she said, was a lack of communication from the school. 

"I never got a phone call from the school, from the bus garage, from the bus driver saying this is where we are, the kids are ok," Baksa, a mom of three Windom Elementary School students, explained. 

It was a similar story in the West Seneca School District. More than 500 students were impacted by the weather. 46 were stuck on buses and nearly 300 spent the evening at West Elementary. Another 200 stayed at Allendale Elementary. 

The normal dismissal time was 3 p.m. It wasn't until 7:28 p.m. that the district put out its first public notice. 

By midnight all the students were off the school buses. The final kids at West Elementary went home by 1:30 a.m. And it was 3 a.m. Friday when the final Allendale students left the school. 

"Every time we have something like this, we learn from it," Superintendent Matthew McGarrity from the Orchard Park School District said. "I've already had a meeting with the police chief this morning to talk about different things from yesterday." 

The superintendent of the West Seneca School District added that after every event like this, they meet with district and community leaders for input on what could have run more smoothly. At the same time, he said it is difficult to make a plan that will account for every situation mother nature throws. 

 


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