All Sparta schools closed from busing problems

Schools in Sparta were closed today but not because of the flooding.

This time it’s due to busing issues with Lamers Bus Lines.

School in Sparta began on Tuesday.

The district expected its buses to run on time as normal.

But what they found were major delays and issues with bus routes.

School was canceled today because the busing problems still aren’t resolved.

Megan Oleson has three kids who’ve been going to school in Sparta for years.

“This is the worst it’s ever been. My oldest, like I said, he’s a junior, he’s been in Sparta schools since pre-K we have never had an issue like this before, ever,” Oleson said.

Her youngest two kids–a second-grader and a fourth-grader were given the wrong information by the bus company about what buses they should be taking home.

“Poor kids were both just standing there like, ‘what’s going on?'” Oleson said.

They’re now anxious to take the bus again.

“They shouldn’t have to play that guessing game and be anxious all day long at school not knowing how they’re getting home or what time they’re going to be home or anything like that,” Oleson said.

Dr. Amy Van Deuren, the Superintendent for Sparta schools, said it’s extremely disappointing to have to delay the start of school because of busing issues.

“It’s highly frustrating. It’s frustrating for students who want to be in school. It’s frustrating for parents, it’s frustrating for staff,” Van Deuren said.

She said they’ve never faced problems like this before.

“We’ve had a certain amount of issues with busing extending since my time here. However, the issues that we’re experiencing at the start of this school year are different than previous types of issues,” Van Deuren said.

Van Deuren said she’ll delay the start of school until she’s confident in the bus company.

“I can’t in good faith allow those buses to run until I know students are going to be safely transported to and from school,” Van Deuren said.

Oleson said she just wishes all of this had been resolved before school started.

“This is stuff that should’ve been figured out over the summer,” Oleson said.

The school district says Lamers has brought in some executive management to help solve the problem.

We contacted Lamers in Sparta directly, but were told they don’t have a statement at this time.

The school district said school is also canceled on Friday.

The district said they’re hoping they don’t have to extend the school year.