Warren County Schools Have 1,800 Students in Quarantine and Are Short 34 Bus Drivers
Warren County Public Schools is facing the challenge of an increasing number of students in COVID quarantine, along with a shortage of bus drivers.
Less than three weeks into the school year, Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton said the district is maintaining in-person classes with flexible staffing, while keeping the required watch on COVID-19 numbers.
“The latest data that we have is 324 positive students, 38 positive staff, and approximately 1,800 students are quarantined. Around 10 percent of our student population is quarantined,” said Clayton.
He said about a handful of staff are also in quarantine.
The number of positive student and staff COVID cases are posted on the district website, but Clayton said the numbers in quarantine are not posted. He says that figure might cause unnecessary concern, and points out those students are not necessarily sick, but have often just come in close contact with someone who tested positive, or may have allergies with symptoms similar to COVID.
With 18,000 students in 24 schools, the district is also facing the challenge of getting all those children to school amid a national and state shortage of bus drivers, complicated by the pandemic.
Clayton said there are currently 34 bus routes that don’t have a designated driver.
“We have a number of drivers that are doing double and triple routes," said Clayton. "And so we’re able to get the students to school, but when you double and triple these routes, what you wind up doing is delaying the start of the students' day, because obviously it takes more time to carry through three routes than it would one.”
Clayton said that means some students are getting to school later and getting home later than usual.
The superintendent said staff flexibility is helping to keep students in school. He said one example of that came when the entire cafeteria staff of one school was quarantined, and employees from other departments filled in and served meals.