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Driver Shortage Could Result in Route Delays

Dear Highland Parents,

Across the country, school districts are struggling to fill transportation jobs. In a recent national survey, 81% of districts reported not being able to find enough school bus drivers to fill their needs. More than half of surveyed districts categorize this shortage as “severe” or “desperate.”

Unfortunately, the Highland School District has joined this growing number of school districts and has the same busing challenges. (See Akron Beacon Journal articles published on 10-1-21 and 9-29-21). The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted school transportation and has left our district extremely short-handed. We are struggling to hire bus drivers. 

  • We have looked to outside bus services to hire drivers. They are understaffed as well.
  • We have placed ads to hire drivers with little-to-no success.
  • Everyone on staff who is eligible to drive a bus, IS driving a bus.

In an effort to be fully transparent, we want to make all families aware that it is likely your student(s) will be impacted by this driver shortage in some way. We ask that you consider making alternative plans (ride share with a neighbor, enlist the help of a grandparent or other available family member, etc.) to transport your child to and from school, should the need arise.

While we will continue to provide school transportation, there could be days when it is significantly delayed with little warning. In such instances, parent transportation may be a faster and more direct solution, if that is at all possible. We apologize for these occurrences in advance, and we are working daily to find ways to overcome these challenges. Unfortunately, the situation is without an easy or immediate solution.

Parents will be notified via phone/text if your child’s route has been impacted. That notification will also provide a new, adjusted timeframe for pick-up or drop-off for your student. Please be sure your contact information is current in FinalForms.

We appreciate your patience and your willingness to work with us during this difficult transportation dilemma. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 330-239-1901, ext. 1219 or via email at transportation@highlandschools.org.


Sincerely,
Frank Lawrence
Supervisor of Transportation





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