UTICA, NY (WUTR / WFXV / WPNY) – As the first month of school draws to a close, the Utica Academy of Science Charter School is still experiencing transportation issues with Durham School Services.
“Our kids get dropped off, and not dropped off, in the wrong place, and then the schedules are delayed,” said Dr Tolga Hayali, principal of the Utica Academy of Science Charter school.
The charter school superintendent explains that there has been little to no communication from Durham, telling us that the company is not returning calls to parents or administration in a timely manner, and their meeting with the ‘business has been canceled twice. Parents like Nakia Williams say their students were dropped off in the wrong place and couldn’t reach anyone to discuss the matter.
“In two months, the only call after 45 minutes of calling asking where my child is, I got a call saying I had the bus driver and the bus monitor who didn’t know where they were. Took my kids and kid anyway, so help did you do. I haven’t received a call to let you know if you have found your child, we are sorry that has happened, this is what we are going to do to make sure it does not happen again, ”said Nakia Williams, parent of a 7 year old child. one-year-old student at charter school.
Hayali tells us that when trying to contact the Utica City School District to work together to resolve the issue, no one responded to her.
“We hope someone in the district office, I hope as a courtesy our superintendent will at least take the phone, send him emails, call him…” said Hayali.
The main impact of transport problems has been on children’s education. And now parents worry that their children will miss parts of the lesson because their bus drops them off late.
“There are two and a half hours of missed education that they don’t get. So when the state tests come in and all of that happens, my kids are in pain because you can’t take a test if you haven’t learned the program, ”Williams said.
Hayali says his students are not treated equally and he hopes to see this change progress.
“When a high school student from the Utica area can go to school at 7:30 am with his friends, why can’t we come at 7:30 am. We understand the scarcity and we can shoulder the burden all together fairly evenly in all areas, ”said Hayali.