OLATHE, Kan. —The Olathe School District is no longer considering a plan to change school start times for the 2023-24 school year.
Originally, the school board had intended to vote Thursday on a proposal to adjust what time school starts and ends as a way to combat an ongoing bus driver shortage. District leaders say they will no longer be recommending a new bell schedule.
Right now the district has about 150 bus drivers, but needs more than 180 drivers to cover all routes. Due to a lack of bus drivers, the district began implementing rolling transportation blackouts in January.
Going forward, district leaders will consider various options to address the lack of drivers including:
- A continuation of rolling transportation blackouts
- Bus stop consolidations
- A reduction or elimination of pay to ride services for students living less than 2.5 miles away from their school
- A reduction or elimination of safety variances for transportation services
- Adjustments to 21st Century Academy transportation services
- A further reduction of school field trips
- Continued early dismissal for athletics and school activity events
In the upcoming weeks, the district will explore additional interventions to address the driver shortage that could be put in place for the 2023-2024 school year.