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Schools in Charleston and Dorchester counties are going into bus strike preparation mode starting Monday, meaning their doors will open one hour earlier and stay open until the last child goes home.

Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley said she didn't know whether a bus driver strike will be called, but she asked parents to use the weekend to make alternate transportation plans starting Monday.

This is the second time this week McGinley has held a press conference asking families to prepare.

Should a strike be called, transportation would only be provided for special education students on that first day, she said.

Schools have been asked to create site-specific plans for children if a strike occurs.

A bus strike hotline soon will be up and running, Charleston County school officials said.

Dorchester County School District 2 School Superintendent Joe Pye said the situation there is not as critical as it appears to be in Charleston County, but he urged District 2 parents to be prepared.

Dorchester 2 will follow preparations similar to what is taking place in Charleston County, Pye said. Schools will be opening an hour earlier on Monday. If a strike is called, only the buses for special education students will be on the road the first day,

Pye also said the school district will be advertising for replacement drivers this beginning this weekend. He said driver training takes about a week and he urged residents to apply for the jobs.

Training for the new drivers will begin Monday, Pye said.

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