Rural Laclede County school district develops plan in case more bus drivers needed

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - The Joel E. Barber School District in rural Laclede County has just enough bus drivers to get students to and from school. District leaders say if one driver calls out for the day, they will be in a predicament.

The district posted a letter on Facebook and given to students on Monday. The district is planning.

“We don’t want kids to be left at home while parents have gone to work or you know them thinking that they’ve gotten on a bus and the driver has called in sick. So we’re trying to just be very proactive in our approach of coming up with different solutions. Think outside the box, try to think of new ways and new ideas,“ said Dr. Rachelle Jennings, Superintendent of Joel E. Barber.

The letter outlines three different scenarios, parents helping drive other students, doubling up on routes, and some students not having busses at all.

”A lot of school districts do it. It is lawful in our state, but we wouldn’t the children who live within a three-mile driving distance of our school. In a county school, that’s a big deal. We realized that our kids, we don’t want them really walking on county roads three miles to get to school,” said Dr. Jennings.

Not only is this impacting getting those kiddos to and from school, but Joel E. Barber leaders also has after-school sports going on year around.

”Most of our coaches do have their bus certification. If not, we’re able to pull a few people and try to get those routes covered otherwise, but our first priority is getting the kids home. If we have to cancel a sporting event, that’s very unfortunate. We’re hoping that we don’t have to do that,” said Amy Cogdill, Principal & Transportation Director.

If you’d like to apply to become a bus driver, click here.

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