Dorchester School District 2's relationship with its new bus company has improved enough in the last three weeks that superintendent Joe Pye was able to keep a promise on Monday.
After hearing complaints from drivers and parents at the beginning of the school year, Pye said on Aug. 22, "At the next board meeting, I want to be able to tell people how wonderful Durham is."
On Monday, he said he has met with bus drivers, district Chief Financial Officer Allyson Duke and Durham officials and "the situation has improved. Most things have been addressed. Durham has been very open to what comes up, but there are still little issues that are being worked on."
This year, the district made the switch from buses it operated to the private Durham School Services.
In August, drivers were upset over some policy changes that came with the change and parents were upset that buses were late getting students to and from school.
"Most of it was communication issues," Pye said.
Tweaks to bus routes have improved service, while other changes have at least been discussed. One of drivers' complaints was that they were not paid for a mandatory eight-hour training session. The district decided to pick up the tab for 125 drivers, Duke said.
Administrators and board members also praised Durham's efficiency in hauling more than 3,000 Summerville High School students and faculty to and from Memorial Stadium on Friday for a pep rally.
"If anybody was against outsourcing, it was me," board member Charlie Stoudenmire told Durham officials. "Accountability by Durham is what we all expect. Improvements are being made and progress is being made, and for that I thank you."
Brenda Rindge can be reached at 937-5713 or at www.facebook.com/b.rindge.