The Waterloo Central School District says secondary students may have to move to remote learning in the coming weeks due to a bus drive shortage.
The situation has become so dire that district officials told parents and the community in a letter that they were ‘fairly certain’ the move would have been necessary by now.
“Like many neighboring districts in our area and across the country, we are facing a serious bus driver shortage,” the letter from Superintendent Terri Bavis reads. “A week ago, we were fairly certain we would have to turn to remote instruction. We were fortunate that the transportation department split bus runs and we were able to get all students to school.”
Bavis goes on to note that in the event the district does not have enough drivers for all bus runs, they will have to prioritize bringing younger students to school for in-person learning. That would mean secondary students would be remote in that scenario.
“We have begun to plan for remote instruction days for secondary students,” Bavis added. “The current plan anticipates that elementary students will still have regular classes in school. Elementary bus pick-up and drop-off times will be adjusted for altered bus runs to get all elementary students to and from school.”
Meanwhile, secondary students on remote days will be synchronous. It means students will use school devices to log onto Teams meetings for each period of their day. They would meet virtually with their teachers and attendance would be taken at the start of each period.
“We will review this information with our secondary students during advisement January 30th through February 3rd,” Bavis’ letter continued.
The district says families without internet access at home should contact principals to determine an alternate plan for instruction on remote days.
“If all goes well, we will not have to move our secondary students to remote instruction and plan altered bus runs for elementary students,” Bavis said. “It is always our intention to have all of our students in person for learning every day.”