Oldham County Schools facing bus driver shortage as school year - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Oldham County Schools facing bus driver shortage as school year begins

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Oldham County Schools are considered among the best in the state, but the district is facing a problem many others are struggling with: a bus driver shortage.

The district is looking at having to do double runs for the first time ever, because of the shortage of drivers.

"It's just we do not have the number of drivers we need to get every student home at one single time," said Oldham County Schools Superintendent Greg Schultz.

Schultz says the district will focus on shorter routes for double runs to minimize the amount of time students are left waiting. However, Schultz says that wait  time still could be as long as a half-hour before or after school.

"You may have to hang out at school a little bit while you're waiting for that bus to come back and get you. But, we'll make sure we have adult supervision within the buildings and that we have things for the students to be able to do, whether it be homework help, maybe go into the gym and shoot a basketball, get a little bit of tutoring with a teacher, whatever it possibly can be," Schultz said.

Schultz also says the district is trying to attract more drivers. One big selling point is that the part-time work comes with full benefits.

"Our latest thought is to try to work with area companies that maybe have part-time employees, but are maybe struggling with their benefits. Because if they can work for us the two hours and two hours, or two-and-a-half hours and two-and-a-half hours, and we buy their benefits, then they can go work for that company part-time. It's a win-win for everybody," Schulz said.

Schultz also wants parents to consider having their kids enroll in classes in the Arvin Education Center, which is undergoing a major expansion. Until just a couple of years ago, the center only offered courses in subjects like automotive repair, carpentry and welding, which it turned out, students just weren't interested in. Then, the district shifted to more high-skilled areas, such as bio-medical and engineering. The center's popularity has exploded as a result.

"You can take your traditional slate of classes in your home high school and you can go on to college, but this will literally give you some exposure to that type of content and some co-oping positions that you would not have in your traditional high school," Schulz explained.

A big advantage of that, Schultz says, is that students can find out what they really want to pursue before they go off to college and waste big bucks there figuring that out, by taking courses in fields they end up not being interested in.

Finally, Schultz wants everyone on board with this year's new initiative: Team Oldham. He says everyone has a role in making students as successful as possible.

"I have a role in that, teachers have a role in that, bus drivers have a role in that, parents and students have a role in that. And, how that plays out for parents is we want you engaged in your child's education. We want you to ask questions. We want you at school. We want you to volunteer. We want you to be really involved with what's going on with your student," Schulz said.

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