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Superintendent's Message: District Monitoring Transportation Staffing

Earlier this school year, the Midlakes Transportation Department developed the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan" as an option for responding to temporary staffing shortages. 

This plan allows the District to reduce its total number of bus routes on a temporary basis to free up an additional driver to accommodate in-person instruction. When this plan is used, students who typically ride Bus 61 will be transported by other buses, allowing Bus 61 to cover an "uncovered" bus route.

We are currently monitoring the potential for staffing shortages in the Transportation Department. The current staffing shortages are NOT related to COVID-19. However, any additional unanticipated absences in the Transportation Department could make it necessary to activate the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan" to enable us to transport students to school on any given day.

We are NOT currently activating this plan. I am simply making our families aware of the possibility. If it does become necessary to use the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan," I will send a Blackboard Messenger voice message to all Midlakes Families, with as much notice as possible.

This alternate plan has the most significant impact on students who typically ride Bus 61, as they will ride different buses and their pickup times may be earlier or later than normal. As a reminder, we selected the Bus 61 route because it is located close to the school campus.

We last used the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan" in January 2022. If you do not remember if or how the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan" affects your child, please contact the Transportation Department at (315) 548-6400.

Unfortunately, on days when this plan is necessary, limited busing and space on early bus runs would prevent transportation to any before-school activities for Elementary students. In that case, before-school programs at the Elementary School, like band, chorus, intramurals, and Art Club would be canceled.

YMCA programs as well as morning occupational and physical therapy services would NOT be impacted, since parents drive students to those programs.

Again, we are NOT currently activating the "Bus 61 Consolidation Plan", but we will notify you immediately if the plan becomes necessary to keep all Midlakes students in school for in-person instruction.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to manage staffing shortages, prioritize in-person learning, and avoid shifts to remote instruction. Please call our Transportation Department at (315) 548-6400 with any questions.

Sincerely,

Matthew Sickles, Superintendent