Superintendent considering ID cards for Schenectady kindergartners

Posted at: 03/14/2014 12:12 PM
Updated at: 03/14/2014 5:42 PM
By: WNYT Staff

Janeya Nevins, 5, in her mother's arms after spending the day at the wrong school.
Janeya Nevins, 5, in her mother's arms after spending the day at the wrong school.
Photo: File / WNYT

SCHENECTADY – For Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Larry Spring, there were several things that went wrong leading to five year-old Janeya Nevins spending an entire day at the wrong school.

"The mom put her on the wrong bus in the morning," Spring said.

Janeya's mother Patricia Rodriguez put her on the bus early Wednesday morning. It was a substitute bus driver that she said she recognized and didn't think anything of it. Instead of Howe Elementary School, the bus dropped Janeya off at Yates. Spring said Yates Elementary was expecting a new student that day, a first grader. Janeya is in kindergarten.

"They welcomed her getting off the bus saying you must be so and so. The child said yeah. I am, kind of ran with it during the day," Spring said.

The other child didn't show up. Spring said Janeya took on her identity, even writing the other child's name on school work. Janeya spent the entire day in the first grade classroom. No one had realized the mix up until around 4 o'clock in the afternoon, after rodriguez had reported her daughter missing.

"For me to hear the superintendent is blaming my child, a five year-old. Are you serious?" Rodriguez asked Newschannel 13.

"Well she was having a little fun with the situation. That's part of what we have to plan for," Spring said.

Part of the plan involves picture ID's. Five year-olds registering for school will have their pictures taken from now on to make intakes more accurate.

"And then the basic protocol that we didn't follow is that Howe Elementary there should be a phone call home made every time a child is absent and there wasn't that day," Spring said.

Spring said the district will also work with parents to make sure they understand the bus routes. He said none of the parties involved is looking for blame in this incident. They're making sure it doesn't happen again.