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By Jay Mullen

Whitehall Central School District is still waiting on members of the community to inform them if they need transportation for their children this upcoming school year.

The deadline for parents or guardians to let the district know about their transportation intentions is Friday, Aug. 14.

“Because our bus capacity is limited by the social distancing regulations our bus capacity has been reduced by two-thirds,” said Elementary School principal Judy Gould.

Gould said the district is asking families to contact the schools, especially if they are going to need a bus for transportation.

Self-transportation is a huge burden in the community, according to Gould.

“We have nurses, corrections officers and all kinds of people who work all kinds of shifts,” she said. “Our limitations for letting students into the building early are tying our hands to make transportation one of the easy things that we do.”

If a parent knows that they can drive their child to school each day the district will know they have that bus seat for a student who needs it.

But if a parent can only commit for some days, a bus seat must be left available for their child.

“If a parent needs a bus, even if it’s a random Wednesday, they need a bus,” Gould said.

She said the district’s phones have been “ringing off the hook” the last few days with parents letting them know what their transportation intentions are.

But there are still a handful within the community who haven’t reached out.

This makes things difficult for the school district because there are only so many seats available, Gould said.

“We are a double bus district, we have to run high school in first and then elementary. We run some out-of-district runs, so transportation is a bug hurdle for us,” she said.

It is important that families let the school know before the deadline because they are going to start assigning seats immediately after.

If you are not able to bring your child to school and the buses fill up, there may not be another option.

“Once those seats get full I’m not sure what options we will have,” Gould said.

She also said the district is willing to work with families, which is why it is so important for them to reach out to the district. The more information they have the better chance there will be for them to help you out.

They want to be problem solvers during these trying times.

“We are really eager to get kids back on campus, as many as we can have,” she said.

To inform the district if you can bring your child to school or you need bus transportation from them call the district offices at 518-499-1772.

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