Cedar Rapids Bus Driver Shortage Impacts College Sports Activities


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Fall sports seasons have started for colleges in Cedar Rapids, but the schedules for those sports have changed dramatically.

The shortage of bus drivers for Cedar Rapids public schools has impacted several games in every fall sport.

“I would say that in every college that we’ve probably had, per sport, at least three to four have been affected as a result of that out-of-district trip,” said Kathy Dvorak, director of operations at Franklin College.

Dvorak and other administrators had to reorganize schedules and cancel matches and fixtures in several sports. She said she understands how this affects parents.

“The parents are obviously working and they asked for time off to be able to attend these events. They had to go back and change things because the schedules have changed, ”said Dvorak.

Cross country has been one of the hardest hit sports, but several colleges in the Cedar Rapids area were able to hold a meet at Cherry Hill Park last Thursday.

Eighth grade student Adam Gray finished first among the boys. It wasn’t just his first meeting of the year, it was his very first meeting.

“It was really good to be my first meeting. I played soccer so I think it helps a bit, ”Gray said.

No matter where their kids ended up, parents and grandparents were just thankful that fall sports were back.

“Anything we can do to get them out. This last year has been really tough so all we can do about it is what we want to try to do, ”said Sabrina Tapps-Fee.

“Well, it’s wonderful because it’s been so long,” added Bob Wangsness.

This meeting will be the first, but not the first in a long series. Several fixtures in Iowa City, Prairie and Linn-Mar were canceled for middle schools in Cedar Rapids, leaving them with only a small handful.

“Yes, it would be really good to show their talents a little more with four or five meetings instead of two. I mean that’s why you go across the country, but you still get the benefits, ”Wangsness said.

Some parents who are able to change their work schedules have volunteered to take the kids to meetings outside of Cedar Rapids.

“We were able to line up some parents who were ready to step in, myself being one of them,” Tapps-Fee said. “We feel very lucky to be able to step in and help because I know not everyone can. It’s just one of those, if we can, we’ll do it, so we can make sure the kids can do it.

Franklin’s Dvorak said that as stressful as the situation is, it’s the young student athletes who get things done.

“The kids you know ride with it. “Just let me play. “That’s what it is for them,” she said.

The district says it is working to make sure high school students have a full activity program. Colleges executive director Adam Zimmerman said in a statement the district will work with schools in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City to revise schedules and minimize bus requirements while ensuring students can have a full schedule. . They will rearrange bus drop-off and pick-up locations to avoid traffic jams, explore the possibility of staff and parents carpooling for targeted activities, and explore the possibility of adding additional meetups and games to the area. by Cedar Rapids.

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