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Carmel school start times change due to bus driver shortage

Carmel Clays Schools is among the honorees.

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel Clay Schools on Tuesday announced a change to school start times because of a bus driver shortage.

In an email to parents, Carmel Clay Schools Superintendent Michael Beresford says the district is down by 30-40 drivers.

That means current drivers will have to handle three to four routes each day, instead of the normal two.

Also, bus transportation will not be offered to kids who live within a 1-mile radius around each school building.

Parent Zach Stock says his family conveniently lives about a mile from the school, but he still hasn’t figured out how his son will get there.

“He’s gonna have to walk or be driven, so it’s complicated the morning schedule that’s for sure,” Stock said.

While biking and walking may be the answer for some, it’s not the case for the district’s smallest students. Janice Laczi’s twin granddaughters start kindergarten next week, but how her son and daughter-in-law will get them there is still up for debate.

“They’re little, they can’t walk a mile to school. It’s a big let down. They were also looking forward to riding the bus for the first time so it’s sad,” Laczi said.

According to an email sent to parents, students on special needs or early childhood buses will not be impacted.

Elementary schools will be using what the district called “double routing,” where some students are picked up as much as an hour before the morning bell so that the driver can complete a second route. The process will be reversed at dismissal time. The superintendent in the email said no students would have to both arrive early and stay late.

The new bell times are:

  • Elementary schools: 7:40 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.
  • Middle schools: 8:25 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.
  • High schools: 9:05 a.m. – 4:05 p.m.

Late start bell times are:

  • Elementary schools: 8:20 a.m.
  • Middle schools: 9:05 a.m.
  • High schools: 9:45 a.m.