More Albemarle students have bus seats, but Albemarle County Public Schools isn’t out of the woods quite yet.
The district started off the school year with about 1,000 kids in various parts of the county without assigned buses. Three weeks later, that number is down to 275, Rosalyn Schmitt, chief operating officer for Albemarle schools, said at Thursday’s School Board meeting.
The original 994 students who didn’t have an assigned bus accounted for 13 morning and afternoon routes, and now that number is down to two.
Albemarle Schools says they’re still working on ways to get the last students on a bus. About two weeks before the first day of school, county school officials announced that hundreds of kids would not have assigned bus seats, leaving hundreds of parents and guardians frustrated and scrambling to find a way to get their children to school.
Albemarle school officials said that the lack of seats was due to the ongoing bus driver shortage. The school district started the school year in need of 12 drivers. As of Thursday, 11 drivers are in training, but officials did not say when those drivers would be on the road.
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More about the school bus driver shortage
Just weeks before the school year begins, 1,000 Albemarle County children are booted from bus routes
Albemarle officials are slow to answer questions about its driver shortage, but former school bus drivers are beginning to speak out.
City Schools is working to take over its bus system from Charlottesville Area Transit as the driver shortage persists
The move would give the district more freedom to make changes to entice drivers, and give them school district benefits.
“What we’re doing is not sustainable,” said Albemarle routing and planning manager Renee DeVall. “If we were fully staffed, we wouldn’t be doing routes like this.”
With just six bus drivers, more than 3,000 Charlottesville City Schools children are making their own ways to school this year
“A lot of parents are freaking out right now,” said Noelle Dwyer.
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