TOPEKA, Kan. — A school bus company here is experiencing significant driver shortage, with about one-third of its drivers and support staff absent as a result of the flu, and is not alone.
Kansas Central School Bus, a local division of North America Central School Bus, posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday about the shortage, and let parents know that it had notified schools, which it said would send notices to parents, and combined routes to cover all students.
“The best plan is to have your student ready early and start watching for buses,” the company said in the post. “Some stops may be late.”
Kansas Central advised in the post for parents of students who have waited 20 minutes past their stop time to call the company and not to give up if the lines are busy.
“Either way, we will pick up all students that need a ride,” the company added.
Kansas Central also recommended that parents sign up for Here Comes the Bus, its parent-facing app, for updates.
The school bus company had posted about possible delays on routes because of drivers being out sick with the flu since Friday.
View the Kansas Central School Bus post below.
Meanwhile, other schools recently struggled with exacerbated driver shortages related to the flu virus. In Tennessee, Sevier County School System was unable to run seven bus routes at the end of January, Knoxville News Sentinel reports, and in Ohio, Franklin City Schools had about one-third of their bus drivers (seven out of 22) call in sick the evening of Feb. 4, according to the Dayton Daily News.
In response, some districts are stepping up cleaning efforts in schools and on buses. Garnet Valley School District in Glen Mills, Pa., toughened its policy on keeping sick students out of school and has bus drivers sanitizing buses, FOX 29 Philadelphia reports. Bus drivers in Ohio are wiping seats with Clorox wipes after bus trips, according to the Norwalk Reflector, and Grand Prairie (Texas) Independent School District began sanitizing school buses at least once a week using an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer at the start of the 2019-20 school year, NBC DFW reports. The sprayer was previously only used in classrooms, according to the news source.