Parents in Davenport were surprised to hear their kids’ winter break was extended another day.
Classes were canceled Monday for the Davenport Community School District because they didn’t have enough bus drivers to get students to school. The district notified parents earlier Monday and announced on Facebook that classes were canceled.
The cancellation was attributed to a bus-driver shortage and COVID-19-related health concerns for keeping schools closed.
“This morning the absence rate was abnormally high with health concerns,” said Superintendent TJ Schneckloth.
Schneckloth explained that 14% of their bus staff was missing Monday morning, making it nearly impossible to change their schedules and transportation routes. This created problems for both Davenport parents and students.
“We feel so bad that our families were burdened and had to change their plans so quickly,” said Schneckloth. It was a burden indeed, with many upset parents posting their frustrations on the district’s Facebook page.
“Well, it’s just upsetting because kids are missing out on a crucial day of learning,” said Davenport parent Cassandra Upshaw.
Upshaw drives her kids to school and wishes the schools had stayed open.
“I think they should’ve just had school, and whoever could show up, could show up,” said Upshaw.
However, Schneckloth says even this wouldn’t have worked with such short notice.
“We considered all of our options and this morning there was just no way to change our schedules,” said Schneckloth.
Schneckloth says there is a plan for transportation now.
“The plan is to reduce our routes, maximize our connections and really get us through this difficult time until our staff can come back off of protocols,” he said.
The superintendent says in addition to health concerns overall, bus driver shortages also are affecting the district.
Nonetheless, Davenport schools have reduced routes. Students are preparing for a first day back on Tuesday.