School district still short on bus drivers, cohorts to continue
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District announced plans Friday to activate bus service for the third transportation cohort starting Oct. 3, and that the expected end date for the cohort program won’t be met.
In a letter emailed to parents of district students, Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt said that the anticipated end to the use of cohorts for school bus routes will not happen in October.
Bryantt said that 172 of the district’s 228 bus routes were fully operational.
The district hoped to have school bus driver positions fully staffed by October, but was unable to meet that hiring goal. The school district’s website states that an additional 56 drivers are needed to quell the shortage.
Friday’s message to parents did not say how many bus drivers are currently employed by the district, but a separate letter sent last month stated that 168 drivers were on staff, with another 37 in training and 20 potential candidates.
The District also says that it will be introducing new software that will “ensure operational efficiencies” for future bus routes, and is considering a change to start times next school year.
Drivers in Anchorage are encouraged to avoid delays during morning dropoff (7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.) and afternoon pickup hours (2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.) in the areas surrounding the following schools:
- Begich Middle School
- Wendler Middle School
- Bartlett High School
- Service High School
- East High School
The district continues to offer hiring incentives for those who sign on as bus drivers, and are still accepting applications.
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