A school bus driver in Wayne Township, located west of Indianapolis, helped to keep high school seniors on track for graduation, reported Chalkbeat Indiana.
The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township reportedly found a way to utilize the time of hourly employees who are still on payroll but have more availability after the district had adopted a virtual learning method last year.
One of those employees was school bus driver Erica Woods, a 24-year veteran driver, who served as a case manager for high school students. Woods made wake-up phone calls to the students and encouraged them to attend classes every day as well as complete classwork that is required for graduation.
There were 17 employees from the district who served as case counselors and managers for about 900 high school students enrolled in virtual learning. Wendy Skibinski, Wayne Township’s director of college and career readiness, told Chalkbeat Indiana that students were being affected by the loss of in-person support, following the nationwide school closures due to COVID-19. The district reportedly plans to continue with the check-in calls and support even though high school students are now attending in-person classes two days a week.
Woods is back to driving her bus routes again as the schools have reopened for in-person learning, but she is continuing to call students and respond to their emails in between her routes and after work.
“There’s a need that needs to be met,” Woods said in the article. “I enjoy being around people. Helping has always been my passion.”