SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — With many Shelby County schools already being nearly three weeks into the academic year, officials are still looking to combat the challenges they face.

A shortage of bus drivers has plagued school districts all across the country and Shelby County Schools is no different.

“The challenge right now is, we have, is with bus drivers. I think right now, currently, we have two or three routes that we’re struggling to find drivers for,” SCS Superintendent Lewis Brooks said. “Ultimately, if we have sickness, we’ve had to cancel some routes.”

On top of that problem, comes the return to classrooms after two-plus years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After the pandemic, we’ve had to work even harder to identify any students that may have suffered learning loss,” Chief Academic Officer for Alabaster City Schools Amanda Wilbanks said.

Pelham City Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter reiterated the COVID-19 challenges but is hopeful that students and faculty will power through due to the excitement of being back in the classroom.

“Getting things back to a normal feel is really critical,” he said.

Brooks says that districts are continuing to look at ways to solve the bus driver shortage. The district plans on advertising the open jobs in different places like Indeed as well as offering courses to become certified drivers for those interested.