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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022
Shannon Cruthirds knows her kids are responsible enough to walk to school. It’s the drivers in Charlottesville she’s concerned about.
Cruthirds lives in the expanded “family responsibility zone” for Clark Elementary School, where her son is a student. Charlottesville City Schools created these zones around each of its schools as a way to cope with a major shortage of bus drivers. Families that live close to their schools are responsible for getting their kids to class.
“There have been several times that I’ve been walking with my kids and we’ve almost been hit by cars as a family,” she said. She’d like to accompany her kids for safety. But Cruthirds is a teacher for Albemarle County Public Schools and — like many Charlottesville parents — her schedule prevents her from being there.
With just six bus drivers, more than 3,000 Charlottesville City Schools children are making their own ways to school this year
Charlottesville Area Transit, which runs the city’s pupil transportation system, is short 34 of the 40 drivers it needs to transport all eligible students. That means that more than 3,000 City School children are making their own ways to school this year.
“A lot of parents are freaking out right now,” said Noelle Dwyer, the mother of a Buford Middle School student who lives four miles from campus. “We are trying to arrange a carpool. This isn’t so bad for the morning, but it’s difficult after school because school ends at 3:15, and all the parents generally don’t get off work until 5.”
Stay out of the Rivanna River for now. Officials found high levels of E. coli in local urban streams.
Take care if you’re near the Rivanna River, Meadow Creek, Moores Creek, Schenks Branch or Lodge Creek in the near future. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality identified those local waterways as having excessive levels of E. coli, which means they are not safe to play in or drink from.
“The City and Rivanna Conservation Alliance are working together to identify and address the sources of the elevated bacteria levels,” a city news release said. “Until further notice, the public is advised to avoid direct contact with these streams.”
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Jessie Higgins, managing editor
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