As Rio Rancho Public Schools had warned parents, students may experience changes as COVID-19 cases rise in the community.

There has been an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, isolations and quarantines impacting RRPS staff members.

Thus, due to the shortage of bus drivers and other staff members, parents may see cancellations for some bus routes, according to the district. A route will be cancelled as a last resort, only after RRPS has exhausted all other options — including having other bus drivers and qualified office staff cover open routes.

Compounding the bus driver and staffing shortage, is the lack of rapid PCR COVID-19 tests. Many of the RRPS employees out due to symptoms are waiting on test results that have a much longer turnaround with the use of lab testing.

With the rapid PCR test, symptomatic employees were able to return sooner with a negative test, as results were ready the same day.

Parents and guardians will be notified via email and phone in the morning before school starts should a bus route be cancelled. If there is a bus cancellation, parents are then responsible for making other arrangements to get their students to school.