Reality Check: Ball-Chatham bus woes causing student tardiness

    REALITY CHECK: Ball-Chatham bus woes causing student tardiness (File Photo)<p>{/p}

    Some Ball-Chatham students are showing up late to school on a daily basis.

    Erik Heinz drives his step-daughter, Maria, to Glenwood High School everyday because he says her bus arrival time is too late.

    "She has been late to school multiple times," Heinz said.

    In the beginning of the year, Heinz says her bus was scheduled to arrive at Nevermind and Carefree Drive in Chatham at 7:54 a.m. Class at Glenwood High School begins at 8:00 a.m.

    "You have six minutes to get there and it's a five minute drive," Heinz said. "That's assuming you don't hit all the red lights and there's no traffic."

    Tuesday morning, Maria's bus arrived at 7:48 a.m., which is 12 minutes before the first bell rings. The bus arrived to school at 7:55 a.m.

    "Our goal is to always have them there at a minimum 10 minutes before school starts," said Jim Lovelace, Director of Transportation for the Ball Chatham School District.

    Lovelace says he admits, the districts goals aren't being met.

    "[The] bus driver drives three different routes to three different schools in the morning," Lovelace said. "There are lots of challenges to get all of out students to school on time. There's an issue with having enough bus drivers. Its quite a challenge."

    Lovelace says the school district is reworking the bus scheduling system. In the meantime, he and another office worker are driving school buses to make up for the shortage of drivers.

    Ball Chatham students are excused from tardiness if they arrive late because of the bus.

    To become a driver for Ball-Chatham Schools, you are encouraged to apply by calling the Ball-Chatham Transportation Office at (217)-483-6098 or email the Director of Operations and Transportation James Lovelace at

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