Wenatchee School District wraps investigation on Transportation Director

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Wenatchee Schools

Wenatchee School District Transportation Director will undergo leadership training as a response to a recently concluded investigation.

The District says in a prepared news release that an outside investigator was hired in May after receiving complaints from the Union representing transportation department staff regarding the manner in which Director, Bob Sanford manages the department.

The external investigation was concluded on June 9th resulting in recommended improvements to address issues raised by the Union that will result in Sanford’s attending special training in team building, communication and administration management.

Below is a press release issued by the School District: 

School bus drivers, shop personnel, support staff and supervisors within the Wenatchee School District’s Department of Transportation perform vital functions in assuring the safe operation of the student transportation system.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington has recognized that student transportation operations have become increasingly complicated over the years with the required compliance of a multitude of state and federal regulations.

On May 8th, 2017, the District received a communication from the union representatives that stated that staff within the Department of Transportation became critical of the manner in which Bob Sanford, the Transportation Director, manages the Department. 

The District took the issues raised by the unions seriously and hired an external investigator to determine if the issues raised were well-founded. 

The investigation process concluded on June 9, 2017. Even though the District has consistently obtained high marks for the Transportation Department (i.e. STARS efficiency ratings, Washington State Patrol Inspections, etc.), the investigation has reminded the District that there are aspects of the Department of Transportation that may still be improved. 

One of the improvements will be to address certain issues raised by the unions by enhancing the abilities of the current leadership within the Department. For example, the Transportation Director will be attending the Pupil Transportation Management Training Program that is a program provided as a joint venture between the Washington Association of Pupil Transportation (WAPT), the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and Central Washington University (CWU)). This program has focuses on many aspects, including team building, communication and administrative management. 

The District looks forward to working with the unions and the Department of Transportation leadership to continually improve this Department.