Back to School 2023-2024
Amid nationwide bus driver shortages, Rockford Public Schools is tackling the problem head-on.
After getting distressing news from a contracted bus company less than two weeks before the start of the new school year, the superintendent jumped into action.
“We can dwell on the problem,” said Dr. Ehren Jarrett, “Or we can dedicate ourselves to helping kids and parents.”
Originally, the district was promised 50-plus contracted drivers for the 2023-24 school year to support the extended school day. But because of driver shortages, they anticipate only 15 bus drivers for the start of the school year.
“As a father and a leader in the community, I know what this means for Rockford families.” Jarrett said. “Everyone here at the school district is working tirelessly to ensure there’s as little disruption as possible.”
Within hours of hearing about the driver shortage, the superintendent, board members, school leaders, and union leadership all came together and agreed on a solution.
Here’s what Rockford families need to know:
- Shifting school schedules ensures RPS drivers will now cover all bus routes.
- Extended day Elementary Schools will now start 20 minutes earlier and dismiss 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled.
- Extended day Elementary Schools have 35 additional minutes per day this school year compared to last school year.
- Middle & High Schools will start & end 5 minutes later daily.
- RPS Transportation will send updated bus schedules Monday 8/28.
Dr. Jarrett added, “We want everyone to know, we’ve planned for these shortages, and with our adjusted schedule in place, everyone can breathe easier knowing their kids are getting to and from school, just like always.”
The Rockford School District is all about putting students first. Every day, thousands of educators are working day-in and day-out to provide a first-class public education for all Rockford families.
- When will we receive the new bus schedule?
- Does anything change once we have more drivers?
- Do the updated schedules affect students that do not take the bus?
- Why the short notice?
- Why did this happen?
- Are we actively recruiting new bus drivers?
- What ways has the district communicated these changes?
- What can I do to make sure I’m contacted by the district with important communications?
- Which schools have extended hours?
- What is the purpose of the extended hours?
Please submit your questions through Let's Talk!