PARISHVILLE — The number of quarantined staff members from the district’s Transportation Department has forced the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District to pivot to fully remote learning this week.
“We have eight bus drivers, so when it hits, it doesn’t take a lot,” Superintendent William E. Collins said.
He said that, in addition to regular bus drivers, custodians and bus mechanics are also licensed, but that hasn’t helped because of the number of individuals in quarantine or isolation. And, he said, the situation hasn’t impacted just bus drivers.
“It isn’t just bus drivers. We have between isolation and quarantine about 80 students and staff,” Mr. Collins said.
He said they anticipate having all bus drivers back on Monday, and they’ll be able to resume in-person instruction. Everyone who is now quarantined will be eligible to return to in-person instruction on Monday.
“We’re very hopeful that we can return to in-person. Absolutely nobody wanted to go fully remote, especially this early,” Mr. Collins said.
He had sent an email on Friday saying that if they lost one more driver to isolation or quarantine, they wouldn’t be able to transport students.
“Not only did we lose one more, we lost two more and a spare,” he said.
In addition to the move to fully remote instruction, there is no All Paws after-school programming this week. Available remaining bus drivers are being reassigned to transport students to Board of Cooperative Educational Services and out-of-district programs.
Transportation for sporting events was also impacted. There are no away games next week, and parents are urged to transport their student-athletes to next week’s home games.
Because of the move to remote instruction, the district is offering “to-go” breakfasts and lunches. Those are being provided at an 11 a.m. drive-through pickup for enrolled students. Those who were interested in obtaining the meals could sign up at http://wdt.me/cL8fga.
Mr. Collins said this is the first time they’ve needed to move to fully remote instruction dating back to the 2020-21 school year.
“We did so well last year. Despite everything, we never had to fully close the school,” he said.
He credited the district’s Reopening Task Force, which looked at all safety measures that would need to be put in place. He said any transmission last year came from somebody bringing it into the school, and not within the school itself.