FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Fort Wayne parents were shocked to hear their children were moving to remote learning, with less than 24 hours notice Monday.
Fort Wayne Community Schools will move to remote learning through the rest of the month.
They say their transportation department is short-staffed because several employees are sick with COVID-19.
"We rely heavily on that office staff to make sure the buses are running smoothly with routing and dispatch and without those office workers, we can’t safely run our operations," Fort Wayne Community Schools Spokeswoman Krista Stockman said.
Stockman says they didn’t want to risk exposing students to the virus, had employees come back to work before fully recovering.
The department has 200 buses that transport about 16,000 kids every day.
Stockman says it would be unfair to open schools only to those with their own transportation.
“If we say we are not able to provide transportation and then we only open up the schools for students who have the resources to provide their own transportation that really creates an inequity,” she said.
Father of three Ryan Ford understands the decision but doesn’t appreciate the short notice.
“I wasn’t really a fan of the last-minute decision because that doesn’t give parents, not just me and my wife, that doesn’t really give parents a quick enough time to respond and create alternate plans for them,” Ford said.
Ford is a science teacher and says managing his Zoom classes with watching over his kids can be hectic.
He says he and his wife are fortunate enough to be able to work from home.
Others aren’t so lucky.
“With COVID still keeping everything somewhat locked down or at bay so to speak, it's hard to find sitters," he said.
Ford says he’s had to find ways to entertain his 10-year-old son Russell.
Watching hot wheels is always a solid choice for keeping things in his home running smoothly.
Stockman says that parents shouldn’t fret for too long.
“We know that by next week we should have people back and we should be up and running again,” she said.