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Hilltown Archives The Altamont Enterprise, March 8, 2012
BKW investigates why student was left on bus
BERNE The Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District is conducting an internal investigation into why a second-grader was left on the bus after it arrived at school last Wednesday morning.
The child, who was asleep when the bus arrived at school, woke up alone, got off the bus, and went into the school.
Superintendent Paul Dorward told The Enterprise this week that he was unsure of whether or not the district would have to change its procedures for ensuring students were off the bus.
“That is contingent upon me getting the results back from the investigation,” said Dorward, who went on to describe the district’s practices as they are now.
“All of the buses are equipped with what’s called a ChildMinder System,” he said. “The driver gets on the bus, and turns on the bus, activating the ChildMinder System. When they get to the end of the run, and they shut off the bus, they have to walk to the back of the bus to deactivate the system. If they don’t do that, there’s essentially an alarm that goes off. So, it forces the driver to go to the back of the bus to deactivate it, and, as a matter of practice, they’re checking the seats to make sure all the students are off the bus.”
Dorward did not know how long the district had been using this technology, and said that it was too early to tell whether or not the child’s being left on the bus was a result of a malfunction in the ChildMinder.
“I’ll have to wait for the results of our investigation,” Dorward said.
By Zach Simeone
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