New changes coming to Lancaster County Schools transportation, update on in-person learning

New changes coming to Lancaster County Schools transportation, update on in-person learning
Lancaster County Schools is seeing at 45 percent drop in bus ridership this year. (Source: Morgan Newell, WBTV)

LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) - Change is the only constant with the coronavirus, and Lancaster County School district is making some major changes on Wednesday.

According to the district’s Safety and Transportation Facebook page, Lancaster County Schools is seeing a lower ridership. Bus riders have reduced by 45 percent with the new, updated schedule. That is prompting the district to make some changes to accommodate a smaller need.

Students at Lancaster High, Buford High and Andrew Jackson High will start at 8:50 instead of 9:30, which was decided back in June. The district says the start time will help combine middle and high school students. The high school routes will be rolled back.

The announcement came during a school board meeting. The new schedule takes effect in two weeks, October 5. Elementary and middle school schedules will stay the same.

The district is also not hiring anymore bus drivers. This will continue until the five day in-person learning starts back up. The district is confident the drivers they have will be able to pick up the changes.

Parents brought up the transition from the hybrid, two days two to three days off, schedule. They are asking when the district will go to a full five days in person. The district says this will not happen anytime soon. Numbers for Lancaster County are “not positive.”

Lancaster County’s incident rate and positivity rate are in the high category, according to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). The two-week trend, which measures how many cases in the county within two weeks, is the only data at “medium.”

“Without the current schedule and safety measures in place it is believed that our school level impact would be tremendously greater than it is currently,” says Bryan Vaughn, district safety and transportation director, on the Facebook post.

According to SCDHEC’s school data, three Lancaster County schools have less than five positive coronavirus cases among students. Two schools have less than five positive cases among staff.

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