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With Lack Of Buses, Students Left Out In The Cold

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TWC News: School Officials Sweat Through Student Relocation Plans In A Day
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While students from P.S. 253 in Sheepshead Bay did go back to school on Wednesday, they had to go six miles away to Flatbush -- and they had to get there on their own due to a shortage of school buses. NY1's Lindsey Christ has the story.

Parents who got the message and were able to travel took their kids on the subway and then on a bus. In many cases, they showed up two hours late.

Just 12 percent of the students made it to school.

"I hope I get a school bus because it will be easier to travel," one student said.

P.S. 253 was one of 43 schools that were relocated Wednesday. At the end of the day some schools posted attendance rates as low as 2 percent.

The situation was not necessarily better at schools that were promised a bus. At 7 a.m., students from P.S. 207 in Howard Beach lined up for their ride across the borough to Long Island City.

But an hour and a half later, there was still no bus and most of the students had left.

"I'm still freezing and it's no fun at all," a student said. "When his mom comes to pick him up, we're leaving too."

Even if there were enough buses they all arrived on time, parents say it still would have been difficult to transport all of the students.

"It's hard to get a kid on a bus this morning to get them to school when you have no lights, you have no hot water, no food," one parent said.

But when the bus finally arrived 90 minutes late, students were excited to go back to school.

"They're missing, they want to go to school, I can see that they're scared," a parent said. "They want to go back to their teachers."

Students from P.S. 253 who made it to Flatbush felt the same way.

"Because I like to learn more and then when I grow I can have a good career," said one.

Education officials say they expect things to get better. On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the city permission to use buses that aren't normally allowed to transport students.

The city has also reached out to FEMA for help locating more vehicles.

Overall, students just want to get back to a normal schedule.

"Hopefully this won't happen again," a student said.

On Thursday, 13 other schools will re-open in new buildings, most in a different borough. Most of those schools will have no busing at all.

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