Aberdeen, WA – A transportation shortage could trigger delays or cancellations for the Aberdeen School District.
The Aberdeen School District tells KXRO that a shortage of school bus drivers has impacted the entire region and their district is no exception.
They say that starting immediately, families are being asked to prepare for potential delays or route cancellations because the district has no drivers on standby.
“We have been adjusting, absorbing and rearranging to make things work since school started and now we are tapped,” Transportation Supervisor Ernie Lott said. “If someone calls in sick, or if there is an emergency, parents are going to need to have a plan in place because we will need to cancel a route or bring them in two hours late.”
Mr. Lott said he trusts that the community understands the extent to which the district has worked to avoid this scenario.
“We have done everything we can,” he said. “Please be patient with us as we try to work through this situation.”
He’s planning to use the Thanksgiving break to study all the routes for possible modifications.
“At this time, we are able to cover all routes by using our subs, the mechanics and myself,” he added. “But if we have a breakdown, it may take some time to get a bus to the scene because we are all driving.”
He noted that happened this week at Miller Junior High School and “many thanks to the Miller team for jumping in and helping to hold the students until the replacement bus showed up.”
Superintendent Alicia Henderson praised the work of the transportation crew and noted Aberdeen is not alone in this challenge.
“We are very grateful that our students can be in school, in person,” she said, “and we all have confidence that our Transportation Department is doing everything it can to provide the best possible service to our students and families. They have been amazing.”
Lott said they have done everything they can and he trusts that the community understands the extent to which the district has worked to avoid this scenario.
The school district says that “it’s impossible to know in advance what a delay or cancellation will look like.”
As with a weather delay, Superintendent Henderson said the decision will be made the night before or as soon as possible in the morning.
Mr. Lott is advising families to have a plan in place for late pickups and late drop-offs, or have a plan in place to get their students to school themselves if a notice goes out that their route is impacted.
The first notice will be sent via the FlashAlert emergency notification system.
Parents and guardians of students who ride the bus should plan to check their email or text alerts in the evenings and first thing each morning.
To sign up or to update a FlashAlert account, go to www.flashalert.net.
The link is also prominently posted on the district website.