The omicron variant of COVID has hit the KWRL Transportation cooperative hard with many staff members calling in sick due to symptoms indicating potential infection. As you may know, KWRL serves four different school districts – Kalama, Woodland, Ridgefield, and La Center – and in an effort to be equitable and reduce the overall impact to students as much as possible, KWRL will be modifying certain bus routes for all districts over the coming days and weeks. Rather than put entire districts on delayed/modified schedules for the remainder of this week (Thursday, Jan. 20 and Friday, Jan. 21), individual bus routes in each district will be modified in order to impact the fewest number of students.
During this bus driver shortage, Ridgefield schools will still begin and end following their normal schedules. However, individual students on affected bus routes will be on modified school schedules. On Thursday, Jan. 20, students who ride on routes 301, 307, and 309 will attend school following an early release schedule. Students who typically ride the bus for transportation can choose to ride with their parents and attend the full school day, but students who are riding those particular buses will be on an early release (half day release times) schedule on Thursday, Jan. 20.
Of course, there will be no marked absences in the afternoon for any students on the early release schedule, and teachers and school administrators will work with these students to ensure there is no loss to their learning due to the modified schedules. Any further changes to bus routes will be announced using the same communication methods that we use for inclement weather including direct email, FlashAlert, and on the district website at www.ridgefieldsd.org.
We apologize for any inconvenience that families may experience from these route changes, and we hope you understand that we are doing everything we can to reduce the overall impact to school schedules and minimize the number of affected students and families. Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue working to serve students and the community through the COVID pandemic.