Outside of Glassboro High School sits a light-up sign that reads “BUS DRIVERS WANTED, $22.44 an hour.”
The Glassboro School District is experiencing a bus driver shortage, which has impacted the times that students are getting home from school, as well as dipping into their study time.
According to a letter sent to the families of the Glassboro Public Schools on Sept. 10, the school acknowledged the problems stemming from the driver shortages and is trying to come up with a solution.
“We know that the beginning of the school year is a busy time for families. We apologize if the busing disruption made the week more difficult for you,” the letter said.
One of the solutions to tackle transportation delays includes dismissing the students from the schools earlier, in order to avoid them getting home hours late.
According to the letter, Glassboro Intermediate School will now dismiss their students at 1:27 p.m., instead of 2:15 p.m., and Glassboro High School will dismiss their students at 1:40 p.m., instead of 2:25 p.m..
The other Glassboro public elementary schools such as J. Harvey Rogers, Dorothy L. Bullock and Thomas E. Bowe will still dismiss their students at the regular times.
“Our district is understaffed by eight drivers. Some resignations took place right before the start of the school year. Similar shortages are taking place throughout New Jersey,” the letter said.
The Glassboro Public Schools are also trying another solution, which implements a plan to pay parents to drive their children to school.
According to School Business Administrator Lisa Ridgway, the district will be sending out a survey asking about “Parent Transportation Contracts.”
“The district is offering $100 per month, per student until the transportation issue is resolved,” Ridgway said.
According to Ridgway, the requirements to qualify for a parental transportation contract include being eligible for transportation services, having a student in a Glassboro School, having both, a current license and vehicle registration and having auto insurance covering at least $1,000,000 combined single-limit liability coverage.
Amy Lipsett, of Glassboro, has a daughter who is a junior at Glassboro High School and has seen driver shortage effects firsthand.
According to Lipsett, the Glassboro School District has shortened the educational time for intermediate and high school students. Rowan is partnered with GPSD and juniors can take classes at Rowan.
Shortening the school day has interfered with the high school students being able to take their one class at Rowan and arriving back to the high school on time.
“The students who attend Rowan’s first block are now arriving late to their second block class and are missing even more instructional time. This is supposedly temporary, but there’s no end date,” Lipsett said.
The school encourages anyone who is interested in driving a school bus to apply for a position and apply for a Class C commercial driver’s license.
To apply or learn more, visit gpsd.us.
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