CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield School Division will be required to hire bus monitors after two Head Start students were dropped off at the wrong stop in 2020 and 2022.
According to a funding application approved by the school board at their Tuesday meeting, in October 2020, a Head Start student in Chesterfield was dropped off at the wrong stop. School officials notified the Head Start office and developed a plan to fix the issue, but in August 2021 a pre-k student was again dropped off improperly, this time at the correct stop but without a parent or guardian present.
A new plan was created but, according to division officials, “While still creating and implementing this current Corrective Action Plan, another [Head Start] student was released at the wrong stop in August of 2022.”
As a result of the repeated incidents, the regional Head Start office denied the school divisions request to exempt them from mandated safety restraints and bus monitors in county buses used to transport head start students.
The County is now being required to install safety restraints and station bus monitors in all buses used for Head Start students. 196 pre-k students in Chesterfield participate in the Head Start program, but the new safety requirements do not appear to apply to the approximately 500 remaining pre-k students not in Head Start.
The County has requested $220,00 in funding from the Head Start program to hire the new bus monitors for this year, as well as to pay for 200 safety seats for the Head Start students.
“The supplemental funding would be a one-time funding support given to CCPS to provide needed support for transportation safety,” school officials wrote. “CCPS will be responsible for the funding of bus aides after the 2022-2023 school year.”