Norris School District suspends bus routes due to COVID-19 staffing

·2 min read

Jan. 13—Norris School District officials announced they're suspending bus service for the next two weeks, due to staffing challenges caused by COVID-19 conditions.

The suspension, announced in a letter to parents on Wednesday evening, began immediately Thursday.

"Late this evening, we received additional updates and information impacting our staffing and wanted to notify you as soon as possible," stated the letter from Superintendent Cy Silver.

The letter states that all regular bus routes will be suspended and resume Jan. 27, unless otherwise notified. Bus routes dedicated to disabled students will not be affected.

The announcement from the 3,850-student northwest Bakersfield school district was announced as rapidly rising local COVID case rates have created staffing shortages at schools.

Finding enough school bus drivers and substitutes to cover routes has been an ongoing issue at schools locally and across the nation this school year. Before school began this year, the Bakersfield City School District cut 94 stops from its routes to make sure that its routes were covered.

Silver told board members at their meeting Wednesday night that COVID cases, as well as isolation and quarantines, were affecting operations of the school district. He noted transportation was a particular concern.

"We're seeing a lot of impact obviously for students and staff," he said. "It's really affecting our transportation right now, and we're struggling with our buses."

Silver mentioned during the meeting that he was getting "late information" that would affect transportation.

Silver sent out a letter to parents Tuesday warning that the district was "anticipating delays in student bus pickups and drop-offs today and throughout the next few weeks." It stated that suspending specific bus routes for two weeks could be possible.

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.

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