A severe bus driver shortage prompted MSAD 6 to cancel routes with very little notice, leaving many parents to make last-minute decisions about how to get their kids to school.
Edna Libby Elementary in Standish was one of the only schools holding in-person classes on Wednesday in the Bonny Eagle School District.
That’s because school officials made it a priority to get elementary students on the buses they had still running after 17 bus drivers were out sick with COVID-19.
As a result, MSAD 6 Superintendent Paul Penna said Bonny Eagle middle and high schools are going remote for the rest of the week while elementary aged kids stay in person.
The hope is that those older students will be back to learning in person again next week.
Penna said they weighed several factors before making the decision to bring in those younger students only for in-person learning.
“They’re obviously the neediest population, and they’re less productive on remote plan. You can do it for a little bit of time, but the most productive group is your middle school and high school. They know how to navigate the computer, they know how to work Google Classroom,” Penna said.
Penna said to avoid another widespread cancellation the district will be contacting parents through a phone app parents can download called “School Messenger,” and the district will use it to send out updates about delayed or canceled buses.