Parents come to the rescue during bus driver shortage in RSU 4

·2 min read

Sep. 8—SABATTUS — The good news is schools in Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales will remain open over the next week.

The bad news is parents are asked to provide transportation for students.

Until Tuesday, Regional School Unit 4 officials say, there are not enough bus drivers to make all the runs required to get children to schools in the three towns.

The question for the school department was whether to keep schools open for the next few days or to go fully remote learning.

"After running through every scenario in our collective heads," Superintendent Andrew Carlton wrote in a memo to parents, "I have made the decision not to close our schools and go fully remote, but instead, keep our schools open for any student whose parent can bring their child(ren) to school. I did not want to close our doors as remote learning is not the most ideal option if we can avoid it."

The move may leave parents scrambling to get their children rides to school. Adding to the confusion, school officials also asked parents to send a note if someone other than the parent is picking up the child at the end of the school day.

On social media Wednesday afternoon, several people in parent groups were already organizing to help provide rides for those who were having trouble arranging transportation.

"This is where community rallies," one man wrote.

Most seemed satisfied with Carlton's decision to keep the schools open.

Carlton wrote that he expects the driver shortage to be alleviated by Tuesday. If that changes, Carlton said, he will make an announcement at once.

"I understand that this is not easy for any of you and all I ask is that you be patient with us as we attempt to overcome the challenges we are currently facing," he wrote. "Should you have questions please do not hesitate to contact your child's school."

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