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Creative solution offered for bus driver shortage

Wanted: School bus drivers.

We’re hearing that a number of school districts, including Loyalsock Township, are facing a shortage of bus drivers.

Loyalsock Superintendent Dan Egly recently characterized the shortage and its impact as “outrageous.”

Good word.

Youngsters need solid, reliable bus drivers to transport them safely between home and school. Without the drivers to get them to their destination, all of school might as well be handled via remote classrooms, something we do not believe to be in the best interests of our children.

Just look at how this past year has gone.

The unfortunate fact is that Loyalsock, and possibly others, finds itself forced into a juggling act on a daily basis. After losing four drivers this year alone, the district has had to double-shift two bus runs, sometimes having to take students out of class early to accommodate an altered schedule.

Now it is considering revisions to the school day for the different levels of education. The plan, as it stands, calls for buses to first pick up middle and high school students, delivering them to school by 7:30 a.m., and then elementary students, delivering them by 8:15 a.m.

The proposal is a work in progress that likely will be modified. District parents and residents will have an opportunity to provide input at a 6 p.m. Wednesday meeting at the Loyalsock Township High/Middle School auditorium, with seating for about 100. The meeting also will be accessible remotely via a link on the district’s website.

This is a solid opportunity to weigh in on the plan and help shape it before it is enacted. What do parents, in particular, think of it? Do they like the earlier start for the older youths? Or would it be easier to get the younger ones off to school earlier in the morning?

From the district perspective, will this be enough to address the shortage?

This is a creative solution that deserves consideration, not just in Loyalsock but in other districts facing a similar challenge.

Certainly many eyes, inside and outside of the district, will be on Loyalsock Wednesday night and the decisions that are made regarding bus routes.

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