According to the Anchorage School District, there are still not enough school bus drivers to provide transportation for half of the students in the district.
As of Friday 172 out of 228 routes are in full service, said Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt on Friday. This week, the district expects nine new routes to be added, and 30 drivers are in training.
That’s not the focus of the Anchorage School Board, which tonight will take up the proposed rule mandating a “land acknowledgement” at certain official events. Already, the school board recites a land acknowledgement at every meeting.
The superintendent said in his weekly memo that attendance is now at 91%, up from 87% last year.
The percentage of students who attend 90% of the time has increased from last year’s 54% to this school year’s 68%.
“On Monday, when we switch to cohort three, drivers should expect heavier traffic around Begich, Wendler, Goldenview, Romig, and Hanshew middle schools, along with Bartlett, Service, East, West, and South high schools. If possible, community members at large should avoid these areas during drop-off and pick-up times (7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.),” Bryantt wrote on Friday.
“We were hopeful to be within arm’s reach of an end to the cohort system by October. There will unfortunately be a setback in this trajectory. This is a delay but not a defeat. We have a large training pool, we are still accepting applications for bus drivers, and hiring incentives are in place,” he wrote.