CAMDEN – Rob Stohlman, the director of facilities and transportation, is no longer working for the school district, Superintendent Maria Libby confirmed Wednesday night.

The announcement came after notice was sent out earlier in the day that there would be an emergency closed-door meeting of the school board concerning a “personnel matter.”

Stohlman was hired this summer and began working for the district July 1.

Libby sent a letter to parents concerning issues with transportation in the district.

I want to apologize to those of you who experienced transportation glitches today. The beginning of the year is always difficult, as we have many new students, but this year it was compounded by new transportation staff, combining bus routes, and lack of good communication. I expect we will have continued difficulties tomorrow, but we are working diligently to “right the ship.” We know that many students were not picked up, many students had conflicting information about which bus to take, and buses were running very late. With the combined routes, the timing is not working well for our two runs. We also recognize that the posted routes on the website are not that helpful (they are listed in alphabetical order with street names only). We are working to address all these issues. Hopefully within a week we will have another driver and restore our old routes. In the meantime, here are some insights that might be helpful to you. Most of this pertains to Camden and Rockport routes.

1) Most CRES busses are leaving the compound at 6:45. Some are beginning to pick up students around 7. For now, CRES students might want to be ready by 7:00 and see what time the bus arrives tomorrow at their stop. Some missed the bus because it came much earlier than parents expected. We hope to fix this when we add a driver. When that happens, I will send a message and we will not be picking up quite that early. CRMS and CHRHS buses for Camden and Rockport are beginning their routes anywhere between 7:35 – 7:50. Hopefully HAL students had smooth sailing today with the Luce runs!

2) Some streets were missed today. Hopefully most of those have been addressed and a bus will come by tomorrow.

3) We had over 100 calls and emails today about transportation and could not get to all of them. If your child doesn’t ride yet, but you are looking to have them join a route, I would ask that you wait until we get the current situation squared away and finalize the routes. We will be in touch with you within the next two weeks.

4) For the first month or so, we are only dropping students at their homes, with rare exceptions for parents of young students with no other options than dropping at daycare or work. If you are hoping to have your child be dropped elsewhere, please wait for a month and then be in touch with us, unless you are in dire straights after school with no options.

5) School Transportation is in crisis across the nation – there are not enough drivers. We are in the same situation. Schools in Maine are rescheduling sporting events due to no transportation, schools are going hybrid because they cannot transport all their students to school, and some are simply not offering transportation. If you or anyone you know is at all interested in driving a bus to help our local situation, please be in touch. We are going to face the same issues as the rest of the nation this year unless we can find several more drivers.

Finally, please bear with us. We are working hard to straighten things out – we know we did not put our best foot forward today!

Thanks and I hope everyone’s child(ren) had a great first day at school!

Maria Libby