Osceola County school district warns of possible bus delays

District says it anticipates drivers calling out due to holiday weekend

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola County school district is warning of possible bus delays Friday as it anticipates drivers and bus attendants calling out of work due to the holiday weekend.

The district said in release parents should plan for buses to be late or take their child to school if possible.

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“We recommend parents sign up for Bus Bulletin notifications which can be found on the Transportation section of the district’s website. Through this system, parents can receive text messages and phone calls about any situation regarding their child’s bus. Those situations can be but not limited to road,” the district said.

Zach Downes, a spokesperson for transportation services, said they are expecting high absentee rates among bus drivers in the district ahead of Easter weekend.

“We want to remind them that the buses will be late or could be late so plan for that. We don’t want to alarm them or anything, but we just want to give them a heads up. We wanted to be proactive about it,” Downes said. “We’ve stressed that this entire week before the incident on Tuesday, we let them know, ‘Hey, it’s Easter weekend, we still have school on Friday.”

Earlier this week, several bus drivers called out sick and caused delays on three routes Tuesday.

“Just because drivers were calling out, we ran into a situation where we did not think three routes would be covered but thankfully, we were able to double back on buses and get some internal staff, which are our managers and trainers, to help with the situation,” Downes said.

Transportation services said it is in need of 40 additional bus drivers and 140 additional bus attendants to help out with routes. A spokesperson said drivers and attendants will be paid a minimum of $15 per hour. That’s an increase from the $13.80 per hour for full-time bus drivers now and the $12.75 per hour for bus attendants.

The district said any student late to class or absent due to the bus driver shortage is excused.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.