By CBS3 Staff

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. (CBS) — Colonial School District in Delaware could move to online learning due to their “critical” bus driver shortage, according to a letter addressed to parents. District leadership put the letter on the website.

According to the letter, the bus driver shortage is “critical” as the district is “down several drivers who have been taken off the road due to a variety of reasons.” The letter doesn’t go into detail on those reasons. The district has resorted to using CDL-certified office staff, as well as mechanics, to drive the buses. Some are also making double and triple runs.

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“We ask that students take their Chromebooks and materials home each day because we could reach a tipping point where any additional loss of drivers could mean pivoting to online learning temporarily at a moment’s notice,” the letter said.

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The full letter from the Colonial School District is below.

Dear Colonial Families,

In keeping with our efforts to maintain full communication and transparency with you, we must make you aware of the critical bus driver shortage that could impact our efforts to keep students in school. The bus driver shortage is a state and national problem. Colonial is doing its best to maintain transportation but we need families to understand our dilemma, lend us your grace, and speak to your students about easing the stress drivers are under by being on their best behavior.

UPDATES:

Presently we are down several drivers who have been taken off the road due to a variety of reasons. Our shortage is so critical, CDL certified office staff and mechanics have been transporting students. Some drivers are making double and triple runs which often results in late pick-ups and drop-offs to schools and bus stops.  We have even had to split routes and add the students to other busses. We ask that students take their Chromebooks and materials home each day because we could reach a tipping point where any additional loss of drivers could mean pivoting to online learning temporarily at a moment’s notice.

Sincerely,

Colonial School District Leadership Council

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The school bus driver shortage is a national issue; in Pennsylvania, the Department of Education is asking for those with CDL certifications who are interested in helping out to fill out a form.