Boards keeping bus information flowing, staggered schedules continue
The general manager for Huron Perth Student Transportation Services says the shortage of school bus drivers is not a new problem.
Janice White said it’s been a problem throughout the province for the last 20 years, just not in Huron and Perth. White said many of the drivers in Huron and Perth are over 65, which puts them at a high-risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they’ve decided to retire rather than take the chance of contracting the virus.
White said they are doing their best to notify parents of the status of their bus as soon as possible.
“The afternoon of the day before, so this afternoon at three or four, we will try to post what we do know will be cancelled for tomorrow. In the morning the day of we will be posting the cancellations on our website,” said White.
White said another option for parents who have a Smart Phone bus planner app is that they can sign up as a parent for the route their child rides.
“If you have Smart Phone bus planner delays app, you can sign up as a parent for the route that your child rides and you will receive up to date notifications. Unfortunately, we cannot post it on there until the day of,” added White.
White also said they’ve been actively recruiting and they have a number of drivers that are ready to start driving.
“We do have a number of drivers who are sitting, what we call in the cue, waiting for clearances such as Vulnerable Sector Searches and they’re ready to drive, they just can’t do it until they get all of this final paperwork processed and through.”
Meanwhile, students within some local school boards continue with their first steps into the classroom as staggered schedules continue to be followed.
The Avon Maitland District and Huron-Perth Catholic District school boards used a schedule based on students’ last names and will welcome the third and final group on Wednesday before all students are back in class on Thursday. Remote learning also begins on Thursday.
In the Upper Grand District School Board, elementary students continue to follow an alphabetized list today and tomorrow will all students back in class Friday. Remote learning for all elementary students begins today after a couple of days of staggered schedule.
In the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce Grey Catholic Board, all students have been in class since Monday. And remote learning was scheduled to start today in the Bluewater board.
In all cases, school boards are encouraging students, staff and any visitors to follow a COVID-19 screening questionnaire or checklist before arriving on the school grounds.