Northwest Local School District has plan to deal with bus driver shortage
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Northwest Local School District officials say they have come up with a solution for transportation issues that have plagued the district for years and forced the closure of schools last Friday.
The district sent a notification to parents that school had to be canceled because they didn’t have enough bus drivers.
“We don’t make decisions like this lightly because we know the impact it can have on our families. We considered multiple options, but unfortunately, they were not feasible, requiring us to take drastic measures,” a statement from the district read.
NWLSD Superintendent Darrell Yater says their plan, which will go into effect next year, will keep students in school and help with the bus driver shortage.
“We had to cancel routes routinely this year and one of the things we’ve been looking at is how do we move forward into next year with a long-term solution,” Yater said.
Two solutions the district has come up with are fewer bus stop locations and changing the start and end times for schools.
For example, students at Colerain High School currently start their day at 8 a.m. Next school year their start time will be 7:45 a.m.
“Our changes will increase efficiency and hopefully reduce the number of routes we cancel if not eliminate them. We would maximize efficiency by increasing the walk-out zones where students might have to walk a little further modifying some of our start times to mitigate some of the traffic issues,” Yater said.
The superintendent says currently the district needs 69 bus drivers. Under the new plan, The district will need closer to 50.
The reaction from parents to the plan has been mixed.
“The only thing that can really impact my child is if they decide to move her bus stop. We live on a road that doesn’t have sidewalks so that could be dangerous for her if she has to walk somewhere outside of our driveway,” one parent said.
Another said, “It doesn’t affect me because I transport my kids anyway.”
NWLSD says finding bus drivers is a priority and they encourage those interested to apply.
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