Back to School: Rochester City School District welcomes students back amid driver shortage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)—Thursday marked the first day of school for the area’s biggest school district, the Rochester City School District, and News10NBC’s Lynette Adams stopped by School 45 on Clifford Avenue.

The district is facing a bus driver shortage that leaves roughly 300 students without a bus ride to school, but Principal Rob Snyder told Adams the shortage does not impact his school.

With this in mind, Snyder said he’s tried to rally parents around the school’s theme; "All are welcome" which relates to the school welcoming back all of its 600+ students.

Wednesday it was announced three more drivers in the district had quit, making 12 lost on Tuesday and Wednesday alone. Though, First Student, the primary provider for the district’s drivers, says it has seen intense interest from prospective new drivers.

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Though, the situation still left Essence Hudson, a parent, frustrated.

"It’s a huge burden because I have three kids and I have to drop off all three at different schools at different times," Hudson said. "And I still have a job, so It’s kind of confusing. But we’re happy to have them back in person."

RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small is urging parents to continue to be patient.

"I completely understand that their first day of school is not completely as they planned, " Small said. "But we are working, and we continue to work to make sure that anyone that needs transportation gets it."

As for when students do get to class, they’ll have to keep a mask on, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, like other schools, keeping a physical distance of at least three feet is a must. The district’s full plan can be found here.