GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) – Just like school districts across the country, districts in Ohio have been dealing with transportation issues.
Families in Southwestern City Schools (SWCSD) were notified Sunday to prepare for possible delays or cancelations of bus routes this week. Cailor Reed, a mother of a fourth-grade student in SWCSD, received the notification around 8 p.m. Sunday.
“Eight (o’clock) on a Sunday evening — that gives nobody time to prepare unless you have your parents as your next-door neighbor right down the street and they’re retired or don’t go into work early,” she said.
“Originally, the scheduled message was set for 5 p.m. Sunday; however, we encountered an unexpected delay in the automated push of that message with some families receiving it as late as 8 p.m. Sunday night which certainly does not meet our communications standard for advanced notice to families,” Evan Debo, executive director of communications for SWCSD, said about the timing of the notification.
Debo said none of the district’s 183 routes were canceled Tuesday and two were canceled Monday. The district considers itself fully staffed with 183 drivers and there are currently two full-time openings, according to Debo. He says staffing effects are also felt amongst substitutes since there are, on average, about 15-20 driver absences a day.
“We continue to exhaust all resources in attempting to hire drivers, offer sub driver bonus incentives, and examine routes to maximize efficiencies and reduce further need to delay or cancel trips,” he wrote.
Reed and other parents said they’ve been dealing with transportation issues all year long. Jessica Siebold has two kids in the district. She said on Friday, her daughter’s bus did not show up.
“It’s an inconvenience, it should be fixed, our kids should have transportation to school regardless, I can understand 20 minutes late but no more than 30 minutes late,” she said.