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7 Botetourt Co. Public Schools bus routes suspended due to driver shortage

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT Co., Va. (WDBJ) - COVID has complicated almost every facet of our everyday lives.

Now, for students in Botetourt County, it is complicating how they get to school.

Seven bus routes are currently not able to run due to a shortage of drivers.

“It’s due to contact tracing, to be honest, but other than that I cannot provide a lot of details," said Botetourt County Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Russ.

While the regular drivers on these routes are out of the driver’s seat, the school division struggles to find enough substitutes.

Each of these buses serves up to 20 children attending Buchanan Elementary School, Central Academy Middle School or James River High School.

“This incident had nothing to do with students. They’re the ones really paying the price when it was not their fault at all," said Russ.

Five of the seven routes are scheduled to resume November 2. The other two will be back October 26 and 30.

In the meantime, students affected can complete their schooling virtually five days per week or have a parent drop them off at school.

“I appreciate parents' flexibility and patience," said Russ.

Buchanan Elementary is opening early at 6 a.m. and closing late at 6 p.m. to allow more time for parents to drop off and pick up.

The school division is also looking to hire more drivers.

“We’re working as hard as we can to be able to solve this issue or resolve this issue prior to November 2nd," said Russ.

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