Anchorage parents face long wait times during drop-off and pickup on first day of school

Anchorage School District is still needing to fill 70 school bus positions. They currently have 50 bus drivers who are in the hiring or training process.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:45 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Thursday kicked off the first day of school for students in the Anchorage School District. Long lines of cars stretched around some schools as parents waited to drop off and pick up their children.

“The line was literally liked wrapped all the way in a big zig zag basically,” said Anchorage School District parent Laura Faatoafe. “I left the house 30 minutes before school started, and we were still late because the line was going all the way to the street all the way down Dimond.”

The district is still short 70 bus drivers, with 50 bus drivers in the hiring and training process. Anchorage School District Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt said in an email that three new drivers should be starting by next week.

“We will have an additional 50 drivers starting between now and the end of September. So that will leave us at 20, but keep in mind every day we are interviewing new bus drivers, every day, more people are applying,” Bryantt said.

However, with new drivers being hired, Bryantt said that the bus rotation list works as a living document. Bryantt said that families should expect changes as routes are adjusted and positions are filled.

“That list is going to be ever-evolving,” Bryantt said. “It’s really important for the public to know that the bus route is not assigned to just one school, it’s assigned to several schools.”

Bryantt said families should be patient, and communicating with the district will be very important as the district works to find solutions to the bus driver shortage.

“We’re going to do what we need to get done. We are going to be here for our kids when they show up,” said Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School Principal Ron Brown.