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Reynoldsburg City Schools has canceled 120 bus routes in February

While the district says it notifies parents as quickly as possible for potential changes, parents say not enough is being done.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Some Reynoldsburg parents are calling for change after they got a call early Wednesday morning.

“Six o’clock in the morning,” Shelby Addy said.

“5:51 a.m.,” Erica Lane said.

Addy and Lane both have two children in the school system. On the other end of the phone was the Reynoldsburg City Schools district telling them their children’s buses were canceled and that they would be responsible for transportation to and from school.

“It was a rush to get everything together,” Addy said. “I got to go pick up other kids [and] get my kids ready.”

The district says 18 routes were canceled, Wednesday, because of several early morning bus driver call-offs. So far this month, RCS says 120 routes had to be canceled because of staffing. It’s a struggle for students and parents.

“Not everyone has that flexibility to be able to make that accommodation,” Lane said. “[Parents are] missing work just to take their kids to school.”

At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting the Reynoldsburg School Support Association presented a petition to the board signed by 38 of the district’s 43 drivers.

Jenny Russell, the president of RSSA, says drivers want the district to recruit more staff, increase transparency about safety and routing and address inequities when it comes to which routes are canceled.

“For some families it’s a minor inconvenience, but for some families it’s an insurmountable obstacle not to have bus transportation,” Russell said. “Their kids will not be in school that day.”

The district says it monitors staffing levels hourly to provide updates to parents as soon as possible.

“Some parents…their kids have missed two, three days in a row,” Addy said.

Without more drivers they say it’s nothing but a waiting game, while wondering how their children will get to school day-to-day.

“We don’t know,” Lane said. “We wait for an email or a phone call.”

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