POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Public Schools are adjusting the start and end times to numerous schools to allow bus drivers extra time to get students to class on time.
In 2018, the district realized something had to be done to improve the bus driver shortage which caused delays for weeks on end.
The school’s transportation department went into the school year with more than 50 drivers short.
“Last fall we started ramping up our hiring efforts because we were looking ahead and we wanted to make for a better back to school experience this year than we had last year,” Rachel Pleasant with Polk County Public Schools said.
This summer school staff has been heavily recruiting, hosting job fairs and even lowering the education requirements for the position to entice more applicants. Now, Polk County Schools is trying one more tactic to ensure students make it to class on time.
Beginning this year, 19 schools will adjust their start and end times by 15 minutes. Bus route times will remain the same to allow drivers extra time to deliver the children.
Schools affected are below.
- Bartow Elementary Academy 8 a.m. 3 p.m.
- Blake Academy: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Brigham Academy 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Chain of Lakes Elementary 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Dundee Elementary Academy 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Elbert Elementary 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Griffin Elementary 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Karen M. Siegel Academy 8:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Lake Alfred Polytech Academy 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Lawton Chiles Middle Academy 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- R. Bruce Wagner Elementary 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Roosevelt Academy 8:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
- Sikes Elementary 7:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
- Sleepy Hill Middle 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Stambaugh Middle 9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Union Academy 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Winston Academy 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Victory Ridge Academy 8:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.