A long line of parents in cars snaked down Rabbit Creek Road, as families tried to get their children to Goldenview Middle School on Friday. On Facebook, drone footage showed long lines of cars idling and inching along Lake Otis Road and Abbott Loop, waiting for their turn to drop schoolchildren off near the front door of elementary schools in the area. Parents reported waiting in line for 45 minutes, unable to report to work because they were stuck in school traffic. It’s a breakdown in the social infrastructure of Anchorage — people not able to get to work and children not able to get to school.
Anchorage School Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt on Friday cautioned parents to be careful what they post on social media, as much misinformation is being passed along about the lack of transportation for Anchorage schoolchildren.
Things will improve, Bryantt said in his note.
“It’s always a huge challenge to start a school year as smoothly as possible. For you, it was even more challenging given the circumstances these last four weeks or so. I am very proud of our community’s resilience. How ALL of you stepped up, in the spirit of partnership, to help was nothing short of amazing! Our schools are full and feel alive again! Our students and staff arrived and departed schools safely! I saw it myself as I visited multiple schools yesterday. THANK YOU!,” Bryantt wrote.
“With that said, we still have much work to do to get us back to full bus service. There are many things we learned yesterday that worked and didn’t work. We are constantly reviewing all the information, including your feedback, and making the needed improvements,” he said.
“We are excited to tell you four more drivers are hitting the street next week. It brings the total number of new bus drivers to seven. This is fantastic news! Please know new drivers are added to the rotating bus routes according to our route reinstatement priorities, which include safety, student needs, and efficiency. Once a route is reinstated, our transportation team contacts families directly as quickly as possible. Families are our priority. Hang in there,” Jarrett wrote.
“There is much misinformation being posted on social media. Please be mindful of what you share and/or believe. Our bus transportation webpage is the best source of information. Please continue to check it daily. The FAQ page is a great resource! If you have any questions or feedback, please contact your individual school. They are always happy to help,” he wrote.
Late last week the district reached out to the Alaska National Guard for help driving children to school, but that effort failed.
If you are interested in becoming a bus driver or bus driver attendant, click here. But drivers for the Anchorage School District make $20.68 per hour. These are temporary positions and hours vary. The district needs more than 60 new bus drivers to be at full capacity.