As students return to school for the start of the new school year this week, Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools has announced there are not enough bus drivers to get them all to school on time.
WJCC Public Schools emailed parents Friday, informing them there may be transportation delays stemming from a shortage of bus drivers. Betsy Overkamp-Smith, the school district’s public relations director, said parents were alerted of the bus driver shortage via email and phone.
“We are 22 bus drivers down for the start of the school year,” Overkamp-Smith said in a voicemail Sunday. “We do anticipate there will be an impact on our bus transportation.”
WJCC Public Schools has nine elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools across James City County and the City of Williamsburg. More than 11,000 students are enrolled in WJCC Public Schools.
The school district’s message to parents was posted publicly on PeachJar.com, a website used by WJCC schools to deliver information to parents. The message is copied in its entirety below:
“Welcome Back to School, WJCC Families!
As we start the new school year on Tuesday, we wanted to make sure you were aware that we may have transportation delays. We currently have 22 bus driver openings and will need to make bus run adjustments beginning with the first day of school. While we will do everything we can to minimize delays, we anticipate that there will be some late buses both at pick-up and drop-off times.
To keep informed of delays, follow our Twitter accounts @WJCCTier1Buses, @WJCCTier2Buses or @WJCCTier3Buses. These feeds are available through Twitter directly or on the division site, http://wjccschools.org, within the Transportation webpages. You also can call 565-0808 Option #1 if your child’s bus has not arrived 15 minutes or more after its designated time.
Thank you in advance for your patience as we work to safely transport your child to and from school. And, if you are interested in becoming a bus driver, please call 565-0808.
WJCC Public Schools”
Sarah Fearing and Steve Roberts, Jr. contributed reporting.