South Carolina parents of students frustrated due to bus drivers shortage in Dorchester School District Two, buses are late every day
SUMMERVILLE, South Carolina – Parents in Dorchester School District Two have expressed astonishment, frustration, and irritability upon learning that the district will be delaying the start times of classes as a means of coping with a shortage of bus drivers.
The middle schools in the district will now begin classes at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays, while the high schools will begin classes at 9:30 a.m. on those same days.
The dismissal times have not been altered despite the fact that the start times have, and primary schools are not impacted by the new schedules. However, Mathias Hickman, whose 5-year-old child has been tardy to class on multiple occasions this school year, believes that the adjustment will not improve the situation.
According to Hickman, “It won’t have any impact whatsoever on my daughter because they’ll still have the same number of buses in the morning.” They will continue to follow the same time schedule in order to ensure that they are on time for school.
The district has stated that the new start times are an effort to tackle the persistent bus delays that have been occurring owing to a scarcity of bus drivers across the state. Within their transportation department, there are twelve open positions for bus drivers at the moment.
Parents have reported that there have been problems with the buses ever since the new school year began.
According to Jacqui Stewart-Sash, a parent of a high school student, “It’s dreadful; they’re never on time.” “Every single day, my daughter is running late for school. I get phone calls telling me that she missed first period, but that it was because the bus was late, or that she was tardy, or that she was caught in the sweep. Simply said, it has not been a very enjoyable experience at all.”
Some parents have reported that, in recent weeks, the school buses have arrived approximately forty minutes later than the times at which their children were scheduled to be picked up. As a result, the parents and their loved ones have had to scramble to ensure that their children make it to school on time.
It is incredibly perplexing, and it just messes up everything, and I’m sure that I’m not the only parent or family who feels this way about it, said Stewart-Sash. “We have to make sure that she gets on the bus, things of that type,” she said.
The statement that was put out by the district regarding its attempts to alleviate the shortfall is as follows:
Even though we have increased pay for bus drivers, increased our efforts to recruit new drivers, and changed the start times of bus routes, we still need to change the start times of middle school and high school in order to prevent a continued loss of instructional time at the beginning of the school day. Transporting pupils to and from school in a secure manner while also ensuring that they return home within a fair amount of time remains our top goal.
Parents are demanding that the school system address the shortfall of bus drivers as soon as possible, even as they make preparations to adjust to the later start hours for their children’s schools.
“I just hope that they get it together and that they find some good, responsible bus drivers and that they do what it takes to keep them, not just get them, but keep them, and give them the respect and the money that they deserve,” Stewart-Sash said. “I just hope they get it together and that they find some good, responsible bus drivers.”
Some parents have expressed their optimism that the shift in start times will only be temporary and that schools will revert to their regular schedules as soon as possible.