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School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

The school board suspended transportation for students residing within one mile of a central location to the schools.
School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year
Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 15:31:56-04

OCONTO FALLS (NBC 26) — With the school year just three weeks away, some families in Oconto Falls are facing new challenges.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

“We need bus drivers to come pick us up and drive us to school,” said Max, an incoming second grade student.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

Brianne Carriveau is a mother of three children in the Oconto Falls School District.

A letter she received from the superintendent said that due to the shortage of bus drivers, the school board suspended transportation for students residing within one mile of a central location to the schools.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

Carriveau’s family falls under that radius.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

“My daughter, we live close enough to the middle school, my high schooler can probably get rides with his friends, it’s the little ones,” said Carriveau.

Carriveau’s youngest son is six years old.

She worries about his safety, if he has to walk to and from school alone.

“He’s in second grade, I don’t want him walking especially in the snow when its bad out. Then the buses are the ones that decide if it’s a snow day or not. And we worry about cars going fast,” Carriveau said.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

In the letter sent to parents, it said they’re continuing efforts to recruit bus drivers.

If successful, they would re-evaluate and potentially reinstate full transportation services.

In the meantime, Carriveau has taken matters in her own hands, even creating posters to help advertise for more bus drivers.

As she remains hopeful, she’s coming up with a temporary solution by rotating carpool rides with other parents.

“We want to get the kids to school. I can fit seven kids in the car and maybe a teenager in the front,” Carriveau said.

School bus drivers needed in Oconto Falls; families struggle to make arrangements for school year

NBC 26 reached out to the district office multiple times on Monday, but officials told us administrators were in meetings all day.

The issue could be discussed at a board meeting Monday night.