Transportation update: School district fixes early problems, now delivering more than 90 percent of students on time

On the Aug. 17, 2015, the first day of the school year, the School District of Palm Beach County experienced significant transportation issues, as only 40 percent of buses arrived on time. Now, more than halfway through the school year, the school district is reaching new heights, with 95 percent of buses on time as of Nov. 18, 2015.

“The problems we faced at the beginning of the year were the result of a systemic failure,” Dr. Robert Avossa, Palm Beach County’s Superintendent of Schools said. “That failure was due to problems with such things as leadership, project management, and a lack of accountability.”

After the problems the district faced during the first week, Avossa elected to bring in a third party law firm to investigate.

“A third party reviewer was brought in so that a clear and unbiased look could be made of all of the issues involved with the transportation crisis,” Avossa said. “Additionally, we sought recommendations from the Council of Great City Schools, at no cost, because of our membership role.”

Even though the problems were significant, Avossa thought that the district learned a lot from it.

“I am pleased that we have been able to create the foundation for our Strategic Plan which includes a focus on a high performance culture.  This focus will not only help us with transportation but in many other arenas as well,” Avossa said. “ There must always be a clear strategy for everyone so that they understand how they fit into the work.