Guilford County Schools superintendent addresses long pick-up lines

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The impacts of COVID-19 are now being felt in the pick-up lines at schools, and more than 20,000 more students are being picked up by parents at school than normal.

The long wait times have been among the biggest concerns from parents to schools in the first few days of the new school year.

Some parents reported waiting 45 minutes in line, while one parent described arriving more than an hour early to pick up their child to avoid being stuck in line.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras explained fewer students have opted to take the bus this school year.

“If parents are choosing to drive students to school, the car lines are going to be long,” said Contreras, who went on to say there is nothing the district can do.

In a typical school year, there are roughly 35,000 students who ride the bus to and from school. This year, however, there are only 14,000, which is fewer than half of the expected number.

“The district can’t really control this,” Contreras said. “We’re trying to adjust how to change the car lines to accommodate the increase in parents driving their children to school. We’re not going to cut any time off of the school day just to accommodate that. Students need to be in school a certain amount of time a day. But, we are going to work to make the lines as efficient as possible.”

During Thursday’s pick-up, a handful of parents said that they are actively trying to sign their children up to take the bus.

District leaders encourage parents that have any suggestions to fix the traffic troubles to contact the district.

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