BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Bentonville Schools Superintendent has released a statement including a plan of action after a kindergarten student was recently left on a school bus for nearly four hours.

“When we make a mistake, we own it and make things right,” said Dr. Debbie Jones. “We take full responsibility and sincerely apologize.”

The superintendent continued by addressing the current state of communication regarding students, parents, and absences.

Junior high and high school parents and guardians currently receive communication when a student misses a class or doesn’t arrive at school. We’re implementing a similar process for elementary and middle school students. Next week you will receive a call by 10:00 a.m. should your child not report to class. As we perfect this system, we intend to move the contact time to an earlier hour. We’ve tested this process, but, with any new system, there may be some issues along the way. It’s critical that you have accurate contact information in our system to receive prompt notification. Your contact information may be updated by calling one of your school registrars. 

Dr. Debbie Jones, Superintendent, Bentonville Schools

She added that the transportation team has instituted a second bus check once buses return to the bus barn. She also said that the district is “in the process of installing a No Child Left Behind button on older buses not equipped with these devices.”

She explained that this device requires the bus driver to walk to the back of the bus and hit the button to silence the horn and lights. She said that the transportation team is “on schedule to have the parent app up by mid-October which will provide parents notification when their child boards and exits the bus.”

Bus drivers have received reminder communications and online training that details the importance of checking every seat.