Superintendent Rocky Hanna, in a live Facebook announcement just minutes ago, stated that the move to a new transportation system was a “colossal failure.”
Hanna indicated that a number of the benefits promised by the new system, like GPS tracking of students, was not working.
Hanna, who got emotional at times, took the blame for the crisis and begged for patience.
Hanna encouraged parents to bring “students to and from school” until the the new system is working properly.
LCS Board member Alva Striplin told TR at this point it is “all hands on deck.” She said we need parents to pick up their kids.
Special Needs Students
Numerous sources are indicating that a number of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) children have been stranded at school without transportation.
In fact, sources have told TR that a number of principals are being told to call the parents of these children and to tell them they need to be picked up.
TR has also confirmed that at some schools buses never showed up this morning to pick up ESE children.
This information is being supported by comments on social media.
Kasi Flatt Pulliza posted on Facebook that “Leon county school buses never showed up to pick up ANY special needs kids today!!!! I just received a call from Montford Middle School and they are panicked because they can’t get anyone to answer the phones at the Bus compound to tell them if these kids have a way home!!”
A Chiles High School parent told TR that she was informed that no buses were dispatched for Chiles ESE students. She also said that she could not get her phone calls returned from LCS.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.
LCS Transportation manager Manny Joanos knew months in advance the system was a failure. He recommended the system and paid for it without testing any possible route and never used the GPS iPad tablets. They are using google printed paper maps for the bus routes. The bus drivers were told in a meeting 2 weeks before school started if you don’t like what we are doing then leave. This new system was to save LCS money……really…..LOL
Hanna and his cronies are the epitome of incompetence and arrogance. Why would anyone implement an extensive new system affecting so many students without practicing ahead of time to see if it works? And if money was the issue, how much have they spent (wasted) on this company?
He was there with a rep from EdguLog . After their presentation, Hanna excused them before public comment. They spoke and looked like guilty thieves.
Was Manny Joanos at the meeting last night? He definitely needs to go along with ESE folks.
Just watched the School Board meeting. Lots of answers to our questions. From the look on the Supt and Board Members faces they know they have made a mistake. I expect that Supt. Hanna will scrap the system and/ or some heads will roll by tomorrow. If not, all of them are bigger fools than we think.
I can tell you my principal has been doing everything to get the information out to us and students but it’s impossible with the lack of information coming from the district. Leon County Schools received money. WHERE DOES THAT MONEY GO? I just found out about Title IV money awarded to counties from the state…Leon received a little over $621,000. Now I am not sure what money is used for but please tell us! It’s ridiculous. Again, we keep spending money on things other than what is best for our students.
After seeing who these directors are of ese I understand why the mess up. They should be fired. Then again, it’s who you know and not what you know
This is what you get with a Physical Education Teacher, football coach and hall monitor running the thing. Completely beyond my understanding how on earth Physical Education teachers make it up the ladder to run the school system, having not taught an actual relevant subject matter to students, or spent any time in the classroom.
Head slapping dumb voting block here in Leon County, chock full of over educated democrats who are inept at electing an over educated schools superintendent. How ironic.
I live near two schools. Until a few years ago, traffic was not an issue. When school choice was instituted students ceased to ride the bus and MANY are now driven to and from school. I have observed that many buses pulling into the schools are mostly empty. I can see why this would be an issue. Perhaps, something like smaller buses should have been considered or changing back to going to neighborhood schools. I have always had an issue with the two mile rule. People living within two miles pay taxes just like those living three miles away. Big mess here!
Questions: 1) Is there a Director of ESE? Was there no concern that there is a Federal mandate that these children have rides to and from school?; 2) Are there any qualifications to be Director of Transportation? What are Mr. Joanos’s qualifications for this position?; 3) Why, specifically, did the transportation system need overhauling? Did it not work for the students?; What was the bid process for this new software? Who made the decision to purchase this service? What’s the penalty for non-performance of the product?; 4) Who will pay for the lawsuits that ESE parents will bring for emotional distress and suffering?; I voted for Mr. Hanna – how sad is that? Won’t do that again.
Larry, I can answer part of one of your questions. Yes there is an ESE director for operations and compliance. In 2017 she was a speech therapist at an elementary school. Then there is another “co-director” in charge of early childhood and curriculum. Then there are three “coordinators.” In 2017 there was one director and maybe one coordinator. They have staff just for transportation alone. They have hundreds of ESE bus aides supposedly. So since Rocky Hanna took over they have added all these expensive administrative people, cut the number of ESE teachers, and outsourced a few hundred thousand dollars for speech services to $75 an hour therapists. Oh and last school year LCS had almost the same number of due process ESE cases brought against it as Orange County and way more than any county of comparable size. And way more than they used to. Around 15-20% of students have an IEP, that’s around 5K. So its a pretty big group to marginalize and ignore.
Attorneys Maddox and Palmer are probably chomping at the bits and getting ready to help these deserving ESE students. Get ready Ausley Law Firm you are going to be busy defending this Supt. and Board.
I am convinced that the whole goal of Leon County is to figure out ways to rob more money form their constituents. Issues like this just starts to peel the mask off of how rotten the state of government is in Leon County. Im not sure who is more corrupt the city of Tallahassee (see Scott Maddox/ PCS) or Leon County
That fishy smell may be that of the vendor they hired to install the new system. Who are they? Where did they come from? How much did it cost? Who got paid off? Was Scott Maddox involved? So many unknowns.
After reading several Articles on this and many Comments, I just want to know one thing…….. WHERE’S THE MONEY? Last Year, all was fine, this Year, you got more Money and now you do this to save a few dollars. Something smells fishy here.
OK, WHO lobbied the county for the failed Edulog system?
Any connection to Governance?
“The effect will be tremendous. We’ll see a night and day difference,” (Manny) Joanos said. “I want to caution parents not to get too excited too quick until we see how this rolls out.”
I think you got your wish, Manny.
I took my son to Leon this morning, but it was complete chaos with no kids knowing which bus was theirs. The route number that the website Leon County schools emailed us last week was completely wrong. So was the bus number. This was his reply when I texted him asking if he was home yet, “There was only like 5 people on the bus,
This one nice lady listened to our streets and went there.”. I feel sorry for the bus drivers in all of this, but OMG!!! The kids had to tell the poor bus driver where to go!!. ?. Terrifying to say the least for me as a parent. I’m thankful there were good, helpful kids on the bus with him!
This is the guy that loves to throw stones at everyone else… so he gets almost emotional. Rocky needs to go back to teaching drivers ed.
A Rocky Road to be sure.
Why don’t we hear from Manny Joanos? After all he is the transportation director unless he has been fired. That should happen. Don’t know what Manny’s next job will be since he has held about every job there is in Leon county.
Please be sure and fire the ESE Director as well. All the ESE bus responsibility falls under her as it is separate funding and separate staff. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the way the ESE kids were treated today was intentional.
Really? I need to take my kid to school? I work full time and pay property tax for the bus to take my son! This is NOT the solution!!!!!!
Well Manny was the Transportation Director told Transportation employees in a meeting, of mainly minorities. He was gonna give them enough rope to HANG them selves! You reap what you sow…
Step down Rocky before Apollo Creed knocks you out! Why would anybody vote for someone named Rocky? Just sayin…
What amazes me is how there are people who still support this clown! Sorry to say I voted for him based on the recommendations from teachers but he is too busy protecting incompetence and not advocating for students.
Leon County Schools is in trouble. Supt. Hanna and his staff do not know what they are doing and the School Board does not care. There will be law suits coming. You cannot treat ESE student or any student this way. The Governor needs to step in and suspend Hanna and the Board. There are state and federal requirements that have been compromised.
AMEN. Governor DeSantis please step in and help our kids, especially the ESE ones. Hanna could care less about them!
Oh Boy..Mark is going to have a Field Day when he reads this story.All of NE Tally will heat his cackling with delight tonight!!
This is true. My wife, a high school teacher at Richards, began calling Transportation at 5:58, not to mention the hours spent redialing yesterday, Saturday, and last week. Left multiple messages for Robin Atkins, who handles ESE Transportation issues. For years she’s been efficient, professional and supportive of my child’s needs. This time, she wouldn’t get on the physical me. It was beyond her scope! Receptionists at the compounds and the district could not have her any kinder! I felt so bad for them! My wife and I finally got to speak to a supervisor who stated our son would be picked up curbside at 8:17. Drop off at 4:15. At 9:20 I drove my son to Montfort Middle. At 3:45 my wife called my son’s teacher on an irrelevant topic. She was rushing home to make sure to be home for the drop off time of 4:15. She was told the district had asked that the school call ESE parents to ask fo about kids to be picked up. No buses were sent to Montfort fo ESE students today. No answer from phone calls and worse no idea of what will happen tomorrow or any day for that matter! My wife is a teacher with 20 plus years experience, She’s NEVER SEEM SUCH CHAOS!
HEADS NEED TO ROLL! Excuses are meaningless! I hope they see this as an opportunity to set the same standards of accountability for themselves as they demand from teachers and staff!!!
How do they perform technology acquisitions? Why didn’t they know this GPS system wouldn’t work? A school security system used throughout the US and marketed by a local company didn’t even get a look before they spent millions on an out of area company. Look into that too!
No bidding required for IT acquisitions….so no due diligence done for this decision
YEP, Rocky, You FAILED everyone BIG TIME just to save a few Dollars. Time for you to GO.
A Ponsi Scheme?
Where should we place the odds that somebody associated with LCS got a kickback type of benifit of some sort from the technology company that seems to be portrayed as being central to all these transportation woes?
25% 50% 75% ???