September 8, 2021
Dear Coventry Families,
Please know, you are receiving this email in an effort to keep our entire school community informed regarding a statewide bus driver shortage. As you may be aware, this issue is impacting districts across the state, with many being forced to consolidate bus runs due to a lack of drivers. The consolidation of a bus run impacts the time students are on buses, which ultimately leads to student pick-up and drop-off times being affected.
On Tuesday, September 7, a communication was sent from my office notifying only those families that were recently impacted that there was a need to eliminate a bus from our fleetdue to a lack of drivers.
Currently, this is the information provided by M & J Bus Company:
- Grades K-5: AM & PM Runs - Bus 12 students will be merged onto Buses 10, 14, and 15
- Grades 6-12: AM Run - Bus 10 students will now be picked up by Bus 16 and for the PM Run - Bus 10 students will be merged onto Buses 6 and 17.
It should be noted that bus stops will not change, but times for pick-up and drop-off will. Updated bus routes with estimated pick-up and drop-off times have been posted to our website and can be found by following this link: Coventry Public Schools Transportation
It is important for all families to know that this driver shortage has also started to affect our middle and high school athletics, as well as our late bus runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Information regarding these programs will be communicated to you directly from your child’s school.
We continue to work actively with M & J Bus Company to resolve this issue. At this time, we believe this will be a long-term issue as the driver shortage is not unique to Coventry. This shortage is further compounded by the important training that must take place before a driver can operate a bus independently. From the time an individual is hired to the time they can operate a bus is a minimum of 90 days. However, due to a backlog at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the process has been taking 120 days. Bus companies across the state, including our provider, M & J Bus Company, are offering significant incentives for anyone interested in driving for their company. It is our hope that these incentives will garner great interest.
Please know how much your understanding and patience is appreciated during this time. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact my office at 860-742-7317.
David J. Petrone, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Coventry Public Schools
1700 Main Street
Coventry, CT 06238
Tel: (860) 742-7317 x2
Fax: (860) 742-4567