A shortage of bus drivers along with rising cases of COVID-19 in the district are among the latest issues to lead the Highland School District to apply for a waiver with the Iowa Department of Education to move all learning online. Superintendent Ken Crawford says support staff is a key component of the school’s operation, “We knew that if adults in a certain area, whether it be the cooking staff, the cleaning staff, or the bus staff, if those personnel go down and we can’t get kids to school or from school, then we just can’t have school, and unfortunately, it was our transportation area.” Crawford says the district has six drivers for six routes, but too many drivers are out sick to operate enough buses needed to get students to school and back. If approved, Crawford says Highland’s waiver request for online learning would mean virtual classes for all grades effective through December 2.

UPDATE: The Highland School District’s waiver request was approved by the Iowa Department of Education Wednesday afternoon according to a post on the school’s Facebook page at about 2 pm Wednesday