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Dec. 4, 2022

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Woodland bus routes delayed, Castle Rock elementary school class closed due to COVID

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LONGVIEW — An elementary school class is closed through Friday and bus routes for two Cowlitz County schools were canceled or delayed Thursday due to students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms.

Castle Rock

A third-grade class in the Castle Rock School District is closed through Friday due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, reports the district. Officials say affected families have been notified and those who did not receive notification are not affected by the closure.

Bus routes 15 and 17 for the Castle Rock School District still are canceled through Friday due to a staffing shortage. Castle Rock Superintendent Ryan Greene said the routes have been canceled all month due to drivers with COVID-19 and other “unforeseen emergencies.”

Woodland

Three Woodland bus routes were delayed Thursday due to drivers calling in sick with COVID-19 symptoms, report officials. Bus routes 602, 604 and 609 were on a two-hour delay Thursday, but will return to their regular schedules Friday, said Woodland School District Communications Manager Eric Jacobson.

Officials say school started at its normal time Thursday, and students who arrived late on the bus weren’t marked as absent. The district reports teachers will work with students to make up any missed work. Jacobson said all three routes affected students from all school levels.

He said a cooperative of bus drivers called KWRL runs transportation for Kalama, Woodland, Ridgefield and La Center schools and the number of buses and drivers assigned to each district fluctuates based on need.

The organization’s website states they are hiring drivers starting at $23.37 per hour, with signing bonuses of $1,500 to $3,000. The organization reports it pays for drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

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