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Central Ohio school districts provide update regarding bus driver shortages

Many districts are seeing progress when it comes to the number of potential bus drivers.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Reynoldsburg City Schools, a district that has had to be on a remote learning rotation through the rest of the calendar year due to a bus driver shortage, is seeing some progress.

The district says in the last month two drivers have been added on with one currently in training and another expected to start soon.

Licking Heights has also seen an increase with one hired driver and one currently in training.

Columbus City Schools says while it continues to recruit, six drivers have been cleared in the last two months and 13 more are going through training now.

At Pickerington Local Schools, the district has hired three drivers in the last month with two more currently going through training.

And as the temperatures continue to go down, many districts are urging parents to stay weather aware in case of any changes like delays, cancellations or having to go remote.

“It’s a great resource for families heading into the winter months, for sure,” South-Western City Schools spokesperson Evan Debo said.

Debo said on top of adding two bus drivers in the last month, South-Western City Schools just this week released a new app called StopFinder where families can receive real-time information on the location of their student’s bus. The app creates GEO alert zones around their child’s bus route and parents are notified when the bus enters their neighborhood, is in a school area or when it’s two stops away.

Debo said 1,500 families have already signed up for the service.

“That’s our hope here is to reduce some of that uncertainty with some of the delays families are experiencing right now amidst some of the driver shortages our peers around the state are seeing and we’re seeing here, locally,” Debo said.

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