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Central Ohio schools cancel in-person classes, adjust schedules due to transportation shortage

In-person classes at all Pickerington schools are canceled Tuesday due to a bus driver shortage, and more districts are adjusting to make up for a lack of drivers.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — School districts across central Ohio are having to adjust schedules or get creative in order to compensate for a shortage of bus drivers. 

Pickerington Local School District announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that all in-person classes will be canceled, citing a lack of transportation services. 

All Pickerington students, with the exception of Kindergarten students, will need to complete their assignments online, it reads in the post. Click here to learn more about virtual learning at Pickerington schools.  

In-person classes at Pickerington Schools - PLSD are canceled today, Tuesday, December 7, due to the lack of...

Posted by Pickerington Schools - PLSD on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

This is not the first district to report schedule changes in response to a bus driver shortage. Since September, Westerville City Schools has announced several early release days in response to a lack of bus drivers. 

Westerville City Schools placed all high schools within the district on one-hour early release again on Tuesday. Additionally, all Westerville middle schools will run on 30-minute early release. 

10TV reached out to a district spokesperson for more information, but has yet to hear back. In the past, officials with Westerville City Schools have explained there are plans in place for when a large number of bus drivers call off.   

“Our employees on a daily basis are stepping up to the plate to keep us in school,” Randy Snyder, the transportation manager for Westerville City Schools, said in a previous interview. “Because, ultimately, that's our goal is to keep students in school, we may need to adjust their school day a little bit. But being in school is the number one priority.”

According to Hilliard City Schools, the district is "doing OK" right now, though lack of a sufficient amount of subs makes that margin "razor thin." 

Licking Heights school officials say they are currently meeting transportation needs, but have struggled during the pandemic to maintain consistent bus schedules amid the shortage. District officials say they are in the process of a new compensation plan to ensure those needs continue to be met. 

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