SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99 ¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Brainerd School Board hears update on transportation woes

The transportation director said they consolidated a route between a couple of buses and that is going well.

Norby Klimek
Transportation Director Norby Klimek of Brainerd Public Schools updates the Brainerd School Board Wednesday, Sept. 29, at a special school board meeting about the challenges of the school year. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd Public Schools began the school year on a good note having enough bus drivers for its routes to get students to their school.

And then they didn’t.

Transportation Director Norby Klimek updated the Brainerd School Board Wednesday, Sept. 29, at a special school board meeting about the challenges of the school year.

“The year started out great. ... We had ample staff, and the routes were filled,” Klimek said. “Then after two weeks, two drivers unexpectedly quit, three drivers were out with COVID and a few left for medical reasons and basically retired. So in one week we went from fully staffed to running seven short.”

Klimek said they consolidated a route between a couple of buses and that is going well. They also used a school district van for another route. They hired a new bus driver, who passed the background tests and will start driving for the school district.

ADVERTISEMENT

The transportation department also has been busy running 64 extracurricular trips, 43 regular routes and 16 in-between school trips throughout the day. Klimek said the students are being dropped off at home before 5 p.m.

Brainerd Superintendent Laine Larson said some of the extracurricular routes are decided at the last minute and she doesn't want the public to think it’s not because the transportation office is not being creative with doing the routes.

“The fact is these drivers are amazing,” Larson said. “They’ll go and do their own route and then take an extracurricular route on top of it. So far we have not been able to address one of our extracurriculars. ... We’re hoping our drivers get healthy.”

JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at jennifer.kraus@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.
Related Topics: EDUCATION
What to read next
A revised budget for the 2021-22 school year show a deficit of about $2 million.
The Minnesota State Patrol confirmed the two-vehicle crash occurred at 5 p.m. on Highway 210.
Tow trucks and emergency vehicles responded to the scene. Vehicles were stopped in traffic.
Athletes participated in the Little Falls Nordic Ski Invitational on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.