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First Day Of School Could Feel Especially Long

Some Columbus students will arrive up to half-hour late to school until the end of September because of a shortage of bus drivers. Students in Columbus City Schools start classes today, but the district yesterday announced that a deal to hire temporary bus drivers to fill in for permanent ones who haven’t completed training and earned a commercial driver's license has fallen through. High school and middle school morning bus routes are expected to run on time. Evening routes for elementary and middle schools won't experience delays. But high school students without public transit passes could be picked up more than two hours late. Columbus City Schools released the following statement Tuesday afternoon: We have just learned today that an effort to contract for temporary bus drivers to cover CCS bus routes while our permanent drivers complete their training and earn their commercial driver's license has fallen through. A shortage of licensed school bus drivers who are available to cover all of the District's bus routes for the first few weeks of the school year will impact transportation schedules throughout the District. Every effort is being made to cover all routes with existing drivers and to minimize impact to our youngest students. Morning pick-up schedule: High school and middle school bus routes are expected to run on time for morning pick-ups. Some elementary school morning routes may be running late, potentially up to ½ hour. Evening dismissal schedule: All schools will dismiss at their regularly-scheduled times, with elementary and middle school routes expected to run on time for the drive home. However, buses will not be available to pick up all high school students until after dropping off the elementary and middle school students. While high school walkers, students with rides, and those with COTA passes should arrive home as scheduled, high school students without COTA passes or a ride will be picked up when buses return to the high school, estimated at between 4-4:30 PM. It is expected that we will be able to return to a normal bus schedule by the end of September, when our remaining drivers have completed their training and have received their commercial driver's licenses. We sincerely apologize for the late hour in providing you notification and for the inconvenience this may cause you and your family. We will continue to provide you with updates through our schools, Facebook and Twitter, our website and additional auto-dial messages.