WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Westerville City Schools are not giving up on their plans implemented this school year to address the effects of the school bus driver shortage, despite the challenges they still face.

What You Need To Know

  • Students have remained in person for the school year so far 

  • Early releases have been cut down 

  • On one particular day, the district had 38 drivers filling in to cover extra routes throughout the day

Last school year, the district struggled with having to modify school days, all because of the bus driver shortage.

Adjustments were made to bus routes and bell times, with incentives put in place to attract new drivers, while keeping current ones. As a result, the district said it’s seeing progress.

“We’ve had zero days where we’ve had to delay elementary buildings. We’ve had no days of remote instruction this year. We’ve also been able to reduce the number of early releases,” said Randy Snyder, Transportation Manager. 

During the second semester last school year, the district had to modify school days 49 times out of 92 days.

During the first semester of this year, the district only had to do that 15 times out of the 65 days they’ve been in session. That includes 20 minute early releases for middle schools. For high schools, it’s been 30 minute releases, compared to one hour releases last semester. 

The district also wants to address the need for substitute drivers. 

"(We need) to fill substitute driver positions just like substitute teachers in a classroom," Snyder said. "We rely on our pool of substitute drivers to fill in our vacancies on a daily basis.”