RCSD parents and officials scrambling with transportation changes as school nears

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As Rochester City School District leaders continue to work on transportation issues, parents have more questions than answers about how their children will make it to school.

News10NBC sought out a parent and Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski.

The news of more bus driver resignations has some parents on edge, as it broke less than 48 hours from the beginning of the new school year.

The shortage of bus drivers, and the cancellation of the Walker-Bus Program for students who live a mile and a half from Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School No. 10, Enrico Fermi School No. 17 or Abraham Lincoln School No. 22, had at least one parent demanding some answers during Tuesday’s RCSD Board of Education meeting.

A parent only identified as Ms. Monroe asked, "I would like to know: How many children does that impact? Also would like to know: Will they be given a remote option for the children that are walking, and they can’t walk there safely to school by themselves, for the younger students, and also for the 144 students K through sixth that do not have transportation at all those 17 routes, will they be allowed to work remotely?"

Urbanski said although the drama continues, he’s happy the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority is stepping in to transport high school students for the next several months.

"That’s about 2,000 students who they weren’t going to get bus transportation, but now they will as of Monday of next week. So that’s good news," Urbanski said.

Some high school students at five different city schools who have no means of getting to school on their own will be allowed to attend classes remotely this Thursday and Friday.

Urbanski said it’s an extra burden that teachers are prepared to deal with.

"This is temporary, and a limited, and emergency measure and teachers understand that, and teachers love their students, and they are willing to do it for the period necessary until the district straightens out all the transportation," Urbanski said.

A community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8 at the First Genesis Baptist Church, which is located at 292 Hudson Ave. in Rochester. Board of Education President Van White organized the meeting as a citizen rather than as a Board of Education Member.

White says Myers-Small will give transportation and other operational updates during the meeting, representatives from the transportation industry will discuss job opportunities and nonprofits and other community-based organizers will share their safe alternatives to bus transportation.