Some Maine Schools Go Full Remote Due to Lack of Bus Drivers
Yesterday several Bangor schools alerted parents at 7:30 in the morning that no buses would be coming for their children but that school would still be in session for the day. This left hundreds of parents scrambling to get their kids to school last minute.
This morning we are learning that several of these schools have been forced back into full remote learning, not because of in-school coronavirus spread per-se, but because of a massive shortage of bus drivers. However, the driver shortage is related to COVID-19, at least partially.
According to WABI TV 5, Bangor's interim superintendent, Kathy Harris Smedberg, said that too many of the districts bus drivers are out with COVID-19 or just sick in general. This has forced the districts hand in temporarily shutting down in-person learning until enough drivers are able to come back, or the district is able to find enough temporary/interim drivers. The former being the more likely option. Remote learning for Bangor students will continue until at least 1/25/2021. It's not known whether the transportation issue will have been resolved by that date.
Kathy Harris Smedberg told WABI,
”Many people are…they’re fearful. They’re concerned that they might also contract it and that they’re not providing the level of safety they’d like to provide. They work very hard and are really committed to making sure the safety of the children are at high levels, and I think they just felt they couldn’t achieve that as well as their own safety. We’ve had a very good working relationship with them, and I would hate to think we couldn’t continue to do that. It’s certainly not their fault that we have a pandemic. Hopefully we can come up with a good solution for all of us.”
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