KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Many Kanawha County schools have seen a number of changes with the new year, but because Elk Middle School and Herbert Hoover High School are in such a unique situation, parents have been reaching out to officials as well as 13 News to voice their concerns.”
“I think this campus, in particular, should have the same start and finish time. We have kids waiting on buses to get off of the mornings before the high school opens for up to an hour again and then after school a lot of the middle schoolers are waiting for the high schoolers because a lot of the bus routes are having to pick up elementary middle and high school at the same time,” said a concerned parent.
This is something that the Kanawha County School Board, as well as our news station, has heard a lot.
Today we were working for you to get to the bottom of the issues.
Here is what school officials told us:
The bell schedule came from research that suggested the later start time would benefit students, it would also benefit the bus schedule but the issue is Kanawha County is currently short 30 to 50 bus drivers.
According to Briana Warner, the Communications Director for Kanawha County Schools, the Elkview bus garage is currently operating with a 35% shortage of drivers/runs being taken every day.
With a full driver staff, the new bell schedule is supposed to help them, in fact, officials say if the schedule had not changed this year the bus situation would be even worse.
Not only are they short drivers but are losing more to retirement.
Anyone interested in becoming a bus driver can apply here: https://www.applitrack.com/kanawha/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Bus+Operator
A training class begins on Monday, Sept. 10 and they are working on further training classes now.