Greenville County Schools will provide at least 280 buses and drivers to assist with evacuations from the coast because of Hurricane Matthew. The school buses and drivers finished their routes Tuesday, refueled, and will be heading to the coast Wednesday morning. The school buses belong to the state and as a state asset are part of the South Carolina Emergency Preparedness plan and were requested by Governor Nikki Haley.
Greenville County Schools will be open Wednesday, but will not run any buses, officials said.
Greenville County has 27,000 bus riders out of its 77,000 students. Students who are coded as bus riders and cannot find alternate transportation will be excused; all other students will be marked absent if they are not in attendance. We have made the decision to remain open because we believe it is the most helpful one for our families, particularly those who have young students who are unable to stay home by themselves. All field trips are cancelled for Wednesday.
The first evacuees to arrive in Greenville will be housed in the TD Convention Center and various churches, but several of our schools have been designated by the state as alternate shelters, and will be utilized if necessary. If those schools begin sheltering evacuees, we will evaluate and make a decision about school schedules at that time.
Greenville County School officials are in the process of determining whether they can transport students to special centers such as Career Centers and the Fine Arts Center. If high schools are unable to provide transportation, students will be held at their regular school. Students who have permission to drive can continue to drive themselves.
As this situation develops, we will keep you as informed. Greenville County Schools is committed to helping those who along the coast who’s lives and homes are at risk. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the path of the storm.