Just days after students returned to classrooms on the island, a shortage of bus drivers is impacting Nantucket Public Schools – both on-island and on the mainland.
“We’re struggling to transport children in a timely manner due to a lack of two bus drivers,” Superintendent Elizabeth Hallett said in an e-mail to families.
The shortage of bus drivers has been reported nationwide, and has already prevented Nantucket student athletes from competing on the mainland. All of the Whalers’ off-island games that were scheduled yesterday had to be cancelled due to the shortage.
Nantucket Public Schools contracts with the Cape Cod Collaborative for transportation services, both on-island and off, and the organization has simply not been able to hire enough drivers.
The school’s policy dictates that students are eligible for bus transportation if their residence is 1.5 miles or more away from their school. Hallett is asking NPS families “to consider driving your student, car sharing with other families or getting students to ride in (by) bike or walk if possible.”
A Nantucket Public Schools teacher told the Current the shortage is resulting in some students waiting for an hour or longer before a bus is available to drive them home at the end of the school day, with some not arriving home until 4:30 p.m.