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Huron Valley School District splits bus schedule to make up for driver shortage

Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:14:50-04

HIGHLAND, Mich. (WXYZ) — In the Huron Valley School District this week, parents were given an alternative school bus schedule because of a shortage of drivers.

For many students, they will get bus service Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while other routes will get service on Tuesday and Thursday. Then it shifts the following week.

Huron Valley Superintendent Dr. Paul Salah tells 7 Action News, they’ve offered more pay and new benefits but still don’t have enough drivers.

“We are truly looking at and have left no stone unturned in terms of attracting and retaining staff,” Dr. Salah said.

He’s not alone. Signs of the times seeking drivers are up in nearby Novi, Northville, and on Facebook in Highland. In Milford, Huron Valley it’s been all hands on deck with other school employees getting behind the wheel. But Dr. Salah says it's still not enough.

“Even if we deploy every front office person the administrator, as well as the mechanics we still can't manage all of our routes,” he said.

Kelly Poser was outside of the high school to pick up her son.

She says, “It's ridiculous, it's, it's very hard on the parents it's, it's just a nightmare.”

We also found grandparents who are willingly stepping in to fill in.

Randy Manar says, “So that just eats into my son and daughter-in-law's work schedule, you know, they just can't take off work.”

And Jan Klusek says, “It's crazy. There's a crazy schedule and her parents are out of town right now.”

On community Facebook pages here in the western suburbs, parents are praising the drivers they have. And in Milford, they’re working together to get the kids home.

Lynnmarie Mullen told us, “With the neighbors putting things together and try to help each other out like I just got a text from my neighbor can you pick up my daughter.”

Superintendent Dr. Salah also says there are worker shortages you don’t see in the schools including para-educators, custodians, and food service.