Parents speak out, urging schools to help affected students as buses continue to arrive late

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 1:49 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Prince Roper is a Lakeside Middle School parent. He says his son’s bus has been late over and over since November, causing his sixth grader to consistently miss out on a good chunk of the school day.

“Over a 90 day span, it’s probably been late 85-90% of the time,” Roper said. “When it was rather cold outside, three of the five days of the week the bus was late, and two of those days it was 60 minutes late.”

Roper says he knows that there is a bus driver shortage, but that is not why he is speaking up. He wants the school to help late students like his son.

“He’s missing important information that he’s supposed to be getting during school, and there wasn’t a plan in place to ensure that he gets that information,” Roper said.

Michael Craddock is the principal at Lakeside Middle School, and he says there a few things in motion.

“Our first block is a little bit longer than our other periods to help mitigate that, our morning announcements are recorded and available through a link that students can access that we can share with them,” Craddock said.

Craddock says that just one bus driver calling out of work can start a ripple effect.

When asked if the school had a lot of bus drivers call out in the past three months, Craddock responded: “It’s hard for me to gauge. I find out as the buses come in as to whether who’s late or not. I don’t really have the data on how many are calling out or not calling out, but I think it’s that lack of substitute drivers that is proving to be a challenge.”

Roper says he just wants to make sure his son is on track.

“I’m tired of dealing with it,” he said. “Some of these higher stakeholders like the bus dispatch personnel and the school service, they need to be held accountable and do their job.”

Albemarle County Public Schools is holding a recruiting event for bus drivers on February 18th.

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