Carson school buses stop, families forced to adjust

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:40 PM PST

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) -School buses in Carson City were not running Friday, leaving families to scramble to get their kids to and from school. Blame the pandemic, coupled with more mundane personal issues.

Like school districts across the country Carson City has been dealing all year with a chronic shortage of school bus drivers. “It seems like every time we fill our vacancies, we’ll have another personnel event that will reduce the number of staff members that we have,” says Superintendent Richard Stokes.

They were finding ways to keep the routes covered for the 1,500 or so students who ride the bus everyday. But late yesterday the district ran out of drivers and luck. The COVID surge and other individual emergencies left them without the staff to man the buses Friday. It was going to be disruptive to those families, but the superintendent says it left the district with no alternative, but to ask parents to find other transportation.

“We would have likely left kids standing at their bus stops for longer periods of time while drivers doubled back and ran double routes<” Stokes says. “We would have done the best we could, but it would not have been ideal.”

So, Friday the only buses running were those for special education students with special needs.

Going forward, Stokes says, they’ll hope for some quick recoveries. “We’re hoping as some of our staff who are out, get better and they come back to work we’ll monitor all those things and adjust our schedules accordingly. It’s a day-to day thing right now. We’ll try to get back to full operations as quickly as we can, but it would say to parents .plan on driving your kids on Monday.”

Statement from the Carson City School District:

We are thankful for families and students who continue to exercise patience and kindness amid persistent staffing shortages. Families should plan to transport student(s) to and from school Monday and Tuesday, January 24 and 25, 2022. Buses will continue to operate for students with IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) specifically noting transportation needs.

When we make tough decisions like limiting transportation services or closing schools, we understand the impact and inconvenience families experience. It is not something we take lightly. We know how difficult it can be to arrange rides, babysitters or daycare; so thank you for your patience.

If students are unable to get to and from school or if parents and families have questions about academic materials or attendance, they should contact their student’s school.

The district continues to encourage parents, families and employees to conduct Daily Self-Screenings. If any employee or student is actively exhibiting illness symptoms, the district encourages them to remain home. Please refer to the Revised Isolation and Quarantine Guidance provided by the county health department.

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