Officials report the district does not have enough bus drivers to transport all of its students in the current format
The Vancouver School District announced Monday afternoon (Jan. 10) that its middle and high schools will be moving to remote learning days for the final three weeks of January.
Here is the statement from the district:
As we continue responding to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 omicron variant in Vancouver Public Schools, staffing remains one of our most critical challenges especially due to the impact of staff who are out due to illness/quarantine. We do not have enough bus drivers to transport all of our students in our current format, so it is necessary to implement a temporary schedule in which some of our schools will switch to four days of remote learning over the next three weeks. We are sorry for the impact on our students and families. This schedule could be adjusted if staffing levels increase or decrease. We are hopeful that full-time in-person learning will resume in February. Please watch for weekly updates.
Temporary remote learning schedule (middle and high schools only)
McLoughlin Middle School
Fort Vancouver High School
(Two-hour late start on Tuesday, Jan. 11 only; the regular bell schedule will be followed at McLoughlin and Fort Vancouver on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.)
Columbia River High School
Skyview High School
Alki Middle School
Jason Lee Middle School
Jefferson Middle School
(Monday, Jan. 17, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day; no school for students)
Hudson’s Bay High School
Discovery Middle School
Gaiser Middle School
Vancouver School of Arts and Academics*
Vancouver iTech Preparatory*
Vancouver Flex Academy*
(Friday, Jan. 28 is semester break, which is a non-attendance day for all students)
*On in-person days, shuttle buses for Vancouver Flex Academy, Vancouver iTech Preparatory or Vancouver School of Arts and Academics will continue from your neighborhood middle school. Shuttles for other magnet and career-technical education programs will continue from your neighborhood high school.
On remote learning days
- School cafeterias, libraries and FCRCs will be open for students who need to access the internet or need a safe place to go during remote learning.
- Grab-and-go meals will be available at each location on remote days from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Middle school extracurricular activities and athletics will be paused.
- High school extracurricular activities: Check in with your school.
VPS schools not listed above will continue in-person learning unless families are notified otherwise.
We are monitoring staff and student absences, unfilled staff positions and other considerations such as local and state case rates as well as changing guidelines. We will continue to provide regular updates.
We appreciate the patience of our staff and families as we navigate these challenges in our community.
Information provided by Vancouver School District.
This country’s founders could never have imagined this level of weakness.
How hard is it to drive a bus? In the old days, kids used to travel from Fort Vancouver to the Covington’s cabin in Five Corners for school. There were no roads.
“how hard is it to drive a bus”…. may not be the question.
The better question might be how hard is it to expect parents (or other trusted drivers) to be responsible and simply take kids to school? After all, if there is adult supervision at home during the day (approx. 6-7 hrs) for at-home-schooling, then that same adult supervision should certainly be able to devote about 30 minutes per day for the drop-off and pick-up trips. Or here is a novel idea… ever heard of the phrase “car pooling”????
The VSD has committed a grave error in making this decision.
I think the idea behind middle schoolers and high schoolers being in remote learning is that they can be home without supervision, allowing parents to go to work.
Don’t assume you know what’s going on in people’s lives. The reasons folks can’t get their kids to school are all over the place. For instance, if a single mom is a nurse who works 12 hour shifts, her shift will have to leave before she can drop a kid off and get back long after they need to be picked up. Warehouse, trades, fastfood, and grocery store jobs start super early as well.
As for bus drivers, there was a significant drop in them as a result of vaccine mandates. Not sure if that relates here, but with the stress already on the system, absenses from covid are a devastating hit.
Also, totally think kids should be in school. Just consider a larger picture.
Next time you vote for the school board, pay a little more attention to the candidates. This past election is a great example. We had the opportunity to replace the status quo but failed by accepting the same old policies. We are failing our children and our country by letting teachers’ unions and bad policies from Washington DC and Olympia have their way. I won’t give you the “in my day” speech, but as mentioned before, how about taking a little responsibility for your own.