Chesterfield schools experience transportation issues

School bus delays plague first school day in Chesterfeld

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - With every new school year, there's bound to be some bumps in the road and it was no different for school transportation.

Seven-year-old Will Sasser has autism. His older sister got on a bus first, but when he had to wait another 40 minutes before a bus took him to Spring Run Elementary, he was beyond upset.

"Seeing his meltdown, on a day that he's been looking forward to for weeks on end, was devastating," said his father William Sasser.

William Sasser kept trying to reach Chesterfield's transportation office for answers.

"I actually called one of the lines 47 times before I got an answer," he said. "We didn't get a communication besides an email from the interim superintendent saying please be patient. We had no expectation that this may occur."

It was a similar story for 7-year-old Marcella Lewandoski, who goes to Swift Creek Elementary and also has autism. Only her bus never showed up at all. Her mother has an early morning conference call with Chesterfield transportation to find out what went wrong.

"So nobody with Chesterfield knows what happened or where the ball was d ropped," Kelly Lewandoski, Marcella's mother, said. "It's been a very trying process just to have a child with special needs, but then to not get the services every other child is afforded."

Monday, NBC12 got a Facebook tip warning that this would happen in Chesterfield. The anonymous tipster says they are a school bus driver said, "the routes are all messed up and we do not have enough drivers to cover all of the runs...Tuesday will be the craziest for Chesterfield transportation ever."

Chesterfield schools sent us this response when we asked about the busing problems saying is part:

"We sincerely appreciate our families' patience as we work diligently to ensure the safe delivery to and from school of approximately 45,000 students who ride our buses daily. We are working diligently, yet expeditiously to deliver students to and from school, and will make adjustments as necessary to improve on-time arrival."

Somehow Marcella's name was left off of the list to be picked up. Her family is not sure how it happened when this is her third year going to the same school. They're hoping to get this sorted out quickly.

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