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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.

Woman at street crossing directs child on bicycle across the street, with Cherry and 10th street sign behind them
Credit: Tristan Williams/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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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Here at Charlottesville Tomorrow, we see ourselves as both journalists and members of this community. So we want you to know who we are! We’re thrilled that Vinegar Hill Magazine has featured one of our reporters, Tamica Jean-Charles in their pages.

Thanks for reading!

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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Jessie Higgins

I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a jhiggins@cvilletomorrow.org.