Bus service not offered to all students at one Jefferson County school this year

Thousands of Fox C-6 students won’t be able to ride the bus to school this upcoming year
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) - Several school districts across the Metro have kids coming back into classrooms as early as next week. However, multiple school districts are still grappling with staff shortages they haven’t filled during summer break. In Jefferson County, some parents are seeing this as a safety threat for their children.

“It’s a struggle to figure out how do you get a student to school and pick them up,” Jeff Gilbert said.

Gilbert has a freshman at Fox Senior High. He said he couldn’t believe it when he received an email from the school that said his student would no longer get bus service. The same thing happened to Chris Davis, who has two students in the district.

“My wife and I work full-time. There are some days that we’ll be able to do it, there are some days we won’t,” Davis explained.

Fox C-6 school leaders blamed the bus route changes on staff shortages. They said 14 more drivers, at a minimum, are needed to activate a full bus service for all students. As of now, students within a mile radius of elementary schools and about a two-mile radius from secondary schools have lost bus service.

“We all as neighbors are kinda talking a little bit and trying to figure something out,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert explained to News 4 that he lives right about two miles from the high school, however, those two miles aren’t walkable.

“Any place is walkable, but not the distance that it is, and the hills, and the traffic, no sidewalks,” Gilbert added.

Being short more than a dozen bus drivers, school leaders said, is impacting about 2,100 students. Other schools across the Metro are also making similar changes due to bus drivers shortages.

“I don’t think they explored all the possible options. The reasonable solution would be to do two shifts. So, you have half the routes go first, and the other kids can play in the gym, do whatever. Then, a half-hour or 45 minutes later, the buses can come back, and pick them up, and take them home,” Davis said.

Parents said they believe this is the first time Fox C-6 hasn’t provided bus service to all of its students.