N.H. district delays start of school year due to bus driver shortage

  • Northwood elementary school assistant prnicipal Adrian Alford talks with a Dial bus on Monday, August 28, 2017 as they drop off students on the first day of school. GEOFF FORESTER

Staff and wire reports
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bus driver shortages in the state have forced one school district to delay the start to the school year.

WMUR reported that elementary and middle school students in Wakefield will start Sept. 11, a week later than scheduled. School business administrator Terry Wiggin says the district has 14 bus routes but only three drivers.

High school students have been directed to report to the Paul School if they need bus transportation.

Wiggin says the district will revise and test new routes this week to try to solve the problem. The district is also working with vendors and the New Hampshire Department of Education to find drivers.

Wakefield’s bus driver shortage reflects a larger problem in the state. There are around 4,000 bus routes and only 3,000 licensed drivers.

The delay in Wakefield follows a similar situation in Northwood, where a bus driver shortage force the elementary school to push the school day back to 10 a.m. and the high school, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, the stop bus service altogether.