With the possibility of a school bus driver strike on Monday, the Westport Police Department is working closely with the Board of Education to address any transportation related issues in and around Westport schools, according to Westport Police Captain Sam Arciola.
Should a strike occur, the Westport Police Department is requesting that parent’s should plan ahead for car pooling to cut down on the amount of vehicular traffic to and from Westport schools. The Westport Police Department is working on traffic patterns to accommodate large volumes of traffic which would be anticipated during this event, Arciola said.
"Please be patient and know that we are working to resolve any anticipated traffic related issues should the strike occur," he said.
If Westport Public Schools and Dattco bus drivers cannot figure out a resolution by Monday morning, parents will have to find an alternate way for their kids to arrive at school safely.
Westport Superintendent Elliot Landon sent the following letter out, informing parents and guardians of the possible strike:
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I wish to advise you of the potential for a strike by the school bus drivers employed by our bus service company, Dattco. If, in fact, collective bargaining between the bus company and the driver’s Union fails at the expiration of the bus driver’s contract with Dattco at 12:01am on Monday morning, October 1, THERE WILL NOT BE BUS SERVICE to transport your children to and from school beginning Monday morning.
Should the strike take place, it will be necessary for you to arrange transportation to get your children to and from school. I urge you to consider forming car pools during this critical period. The Westport Police Department has arranged to provide additional traffic officers to direct traffic at high volume locations to ease the strain of traffic on our local roads and at each of our school sites.
I urge you to make every effort to have your children arrive at school approximately 30 minutes prior to their normal school start times so that all of your children's school activities may take place in accordance with their regular school schedules. To accommodate the increased automobile traffic that is anticipated with parent drop-offs you may use both the parent drop off area and the bus loop at each school in the morning.
Staff members will be in each of our schools to accommodate and protect the safety of those students who may arrive earlier than their usual arrival time.
If a strike does take place, all before and after school activities at the elementary schools will be canceled.
Specifics as to the arrangements surrounding drop-offs and pick-ups and other pertinent information will be E-mailed to you by your building principals on Friday, September 28th.
Should we learn before 12:01am on Monday, October 1 that a strike has been averted, we will notify all families via E-mail and will place a message on our SNO-LINE, (203) 341-1766. Should there not be a settlement by 6:00am on Monday morning, October 1, we will notify you through a telephone message that you will need to make alternative arrangements to get your students to school and to pick them up at the end of the day.
Again, I urge you to do your best to form car pools in the event this potential strike actually occurs.
Superintendent of Schools