Moore County's From the Desk of Dr. Dale Buie page

From the Desk of Dr. Dale Buie

From the Desk of...Dr. Dale Buie
This is the image for the news article titled From the Desk of...Dr. Dale BuieWhen my appointment as Senior Director of Operations for Moore County Schools was announced last May, my heart was heavy with the thought of leaving my Southern Pines Elementary School family, where I had been principal since 2014. But, I was also full of anticipation at the opportunity to tackle one of the district’s -- and really, any school district’s -- biggest operational challenges: Transportation.

I brought my perspective as an elementary school principal to this role in that I know first-hand the frustration that issues with transportation can have among our school-based staff, administrators, and especially our students and parents. Since the start of the school year, I have had many one-on-one conversations with parents about individual problems with transportation. Many situations are unique, and we tackle those as they come. For me, what really rises to the surface of urgency are those situations that stem from recurring issues that, once addressed, can make a broad impact on our ability to provide good customer service for our riders and our parents.

First among those recurring issues is communication. Running more than 110 buses covering nearly 10,000 miles a day in a rural district is a major operation and is bound to have its incidences, such as a bus being too early or too late, or a driver not showing up that morning. It’s how we handle those issues with our students and parents that’s important. And making sure they feel their concerns are being addressed and resolved.

While buses are on the road, we have transportation staff manning the phones. If you child’s bus is late, contact your child’s school first. If you feel you need to escalate your issue, contact the Transportation Department directly at 910-947-5481.

In addition, Moore County Schools recently replaced the ConnectEd automated call system with SchoolMessenger Communicate. A key feature of the Communicate platform is its ability to interface directly with PowerSchool, ensuring more accurate data and enhancing communications with parents. We are also working to integrate the transportation bus routing system with PowerSchool and Communicate so we may improve the speed and ability to communicate with parents through the Communicate system to inform families by phone when there is a change to a students’ bus number or pick up time. 

The transportation department is working to improve the reliability of the “Here Comes the Bus” App that was rolled out last year. While the reviews on the app are still mixed, the transportation department is working with the app developer to improve the user experience, such as when substitute buses are used that the app is unable to track. By working with the app developer, we will continue to resolve issues and improve the performance of the app. 

Another recurring issue has been related to staffing for bus drivers. I’m happy to say this week we had one of our largest classes for Moore County Schools employees to earn a commercial driver’s license. This is a result, in part, to the implementation of a new School Board policy requiring all new teacher assistants, custodians and child nutrition assistants to also be licensed to drive a school bus. This new policy was implemented to address a significant shortage of bus drivers over the last few years.. This effort to recruit and retain bus drivers will help prevent delays and interruptions in bus services  and will be a positive development for the  district over the next several years. 

We hope that our students and parents experience enhanced customer service as a result of these efforts. Please feel free to contact the transportation department if you have any further questions or comments. 
  • Moore County Schools
  • 5277 Hwy. 15-501 South, Carthage, NC 28327
  • 910-947-2976
  • 910-947-3011
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