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"Normally the calls I get is, 'Where's my child? Why is the bus late?" said Tanya Avery, one of two dispatchers for the Caddo Public School System.

Twenty-two thousand children in Caddo Parish ride the school bus every day.

Transportation Supervisor, Virgin Rachal says they have 320 school buses on the road impacted by whatever gets in the way like, traffic congestion, construction, and trains.

"We also train our drivers to take their time in the morning and the afternoon to ensure that the students are loading and unloading properly," Rachal explained.

When a bus is late, drivers and dispatchers call parents to let them know.

"Then we have situations of course when the driver may be off duty that day," Rachal said.

It's also up to the dispatcher to get one of the 60 substitute drivers or 8 trailblazers, long-time drivers with no assigned route who master the ins and out of the parish streets and bus routes, to fill in.

Avery works the afternoon shift. Aside from answering calls and maneuvering drivers and buses, she also handles missing children.

"If your child has not shown up by a certain time, of course, call the Sheriff's department by all means," Avery said. "But contact us and let us know, so we can make sure we take the proper procedures. to find that student."

She says sometimes children don't get home on time because no-one's there to pick them up.

"The bus driver can't just sit there and wait," Avery explained. "They have to call us and let us know. We have to go ahead and proceed with the route. We have to contact the parents and say we need you to be at the stop."

Avery asks parents to be patient.

"We're gonna get them there, but just give us some time."


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