Two Capital Region schools remote Friday amid school bus driver shortage

Classroom Progress Report

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over a two day period, the Hudson Falls Central School District has had 17 positive COVID cases according to the superintendent. Not all are in the district’s transportation department but for those that are, it made getting kids to school a hurdle the district could not immediately tackle.

“We don’t take the decision lightly to move remote and not have our students in the building with us,” says superintendent Daniel Ward. The decision to go remote was made Thursday night. Though not ideal, the superintendent says the district is looking at ways to get kids to school with less bus runs.

Until a plan is put in place, class will remain in session virtually Monday with the hope of returning kids to the physical classroom Tuesday.

“So our transportation staff has been working on the rerouting of different bus routes as well as looking at consolidating runs so we can work with fewer drivers,” Superintendent Ward says, “we’ve already been through this cycle once so we’re going through the cycle again.”

Hudson Falls is not the only school district to go remote over a bus driver shortage Friday. Niskayuna Central School District went fully remote because “given the number of bus drivers that we know will be out on Friday, there is no way we could adequately run our transportation system,” Superintendent Juliette Pennyman, Ed.D. wrote on Wednesday, November 10.

In September, Governor Kathy Hochul announced short-term steps to remove barriers for people without commercial driver’s licenses to become bus drivers. The state has also started an outreach program for the more than 550,000 CDL license holders in New York State to address bus driver shortages.

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