The Madison School District will shift student schedules at the start of the year due to a bus driver shortage, according to a Wednesday announcement.
School day start and end times will change to accommodate a bus driver shortage that has affected school districts across the country.
District spokesperson Tim LeMonds said the schedule change is temporary as the district continues an “aggressive recruitment campaign” for drivers.
“The district’s goal is to secure enough bus drivers and to make a shift back to the intended schedules after the first semester,” LeMonds said in a statement. “As bus drivers are hired, the district will prioritize routes to those schools with the most significant time changes.”
LeMonds also said the district is working with community groups to provide in-school extended day programming options for students and families whose childcare options are negatively affected by the change in schedule. Those details will be shared in the coming days.
Superintendent Carlton Jenkins also sent an email out to district parents Wednesday afternoon to share the change.
“School districts have been forced to cancel bus routes, shift schedules, and in some states, close in-person learning altogether (due to the driver shortage),” he said in a statement. “Although we are excited to be able to continue learning in-person five days per week, the driver shortage has put us in an unfortunate situation where an adjustment to school start times for many of our schools is necessary.”
New school day start and end times won’t impact all students and are listed online at imj.short.gy/schedules.
The driver shortage existed long before the pandemic. Tom Meier, co-owner of Badger Bus Lines, which provides busing for the Madison School District, told the State Journal he started noticing a decline in drivers 10 years ago. Meier said he’s never seen a shortage so severe in his almost 40 years in the business.