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Bus route difficulty keeps Sparta schools closed

Problems with coordinating bus routes for students in the Sparta Area School District means no school for another day.

The district released a statement Thursday afternoon saying the district and Lamers Bus Lines continue to work on a solution. Lamers said the work won’t be finished in order to bring students to the schools, so the district cancelled classes for Friday.

In a message on the district’s website, it said that the district found problems last week with the routes planned by Lamers. Although they worked to correct them over the Labor Day weekend, there were problems on the first day of school on Tuesday.

In a message on the district’s website, it said that:

“Unfortunately, on Tuesday we experienced several busing issues: students not being picked up, delays in student drop off, incorrect routing, long student ride times, and families unaware of route information.”

It was those problems that led the district to postpone classes Thursday.

On the school’s website, the district stated:

We have determined that in order to resume school, the following must occur: 1) The district must have updated, correct route lists, 2) drivers must have access to the updated, correct route lists and have time to practice their routes, and 3) families must be notified of new routing information.

In Thursday’s message to parents, it said that Lamers informed them those conditions won’t be ready for school Friday.

That message prompted the district to cancel classes for the day.

The statement from the district said they plan to work with Lamers officials though the weekend with the goal to hold classes Monday.

The district said they’d confirm whether to start Monday by 5 p.m. Sunday.

At the end of the message about calling off classes Friday, the district said:

We understand parent concerns about the effects of these two days extending the end of the 2018-19 school year.  We will be working with DPI and our Board of Education to pursue an emergency exemption for Thursday and Friday, September 6-7, 2018.   Once again, student safety is our top priority.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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