Interim School Superintendent Laura Perille says BPS will be beefing up a busing hotline to handle calls for parents wondering where buses are tomorrow (617-635-9520), but says she's hopeful there won't be a repeat of last week's charter-school problems, which saw some students waiting more than two hours for buses - if they came at all.
BPS and its bus drivers are currently in negotiations over a new contract - although MassLive reports today the talks have failed.
In an interview with reporters this morning, Perille said she is expecting buses to run on schedule tomorrow, but acknowledged that in addition to usual first-day glitches, she and her staff are bracing to respond to additional problems. She said the call center will have 40 people answering phones, up from the usual 32 on the first day of school for BPS students.
Perille declined to speak specifically about the causes of last week's problems.
Perille added that because tomorrow is expected to be hot and humid, BPS schools are being stocked with extra water and fans today - and athletic directors are being asked to take the temperatures into account for tryouts and practices.
Perille said one of her major goals for the coming school year is to restart and refocus conversations around Build BPS - a long-term program to bring all of Boston's schools into the 21st century through a major capital program and possible revamp of how schools educate their students that could affect everything from the number and makeup of school buildings to curriculum.
Because of that, she said one thing she won't be focusing on in the coming school year is start times, an issue that exploded into a crisis for BPS and Mayor Walsh last year.
Perille said schools are already seeing some benefits through increased capital spending, for everything from new boilers and roofs to revamped in-school kitchens and 5,000 new laptops for teachers.