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First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools still faces school bus shortage

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage
Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 11:41:57-04

OCONTO FALLS (NBC 26) — NBC 26 first reported last month about a school bus driver shortage in Oconto Falls. With the first day of school now here, we wanted to know if the district is still experiencing a shortage of drivers.

Oconto Falls Public Schools still faces a school bus driver shortage that directly affects how some students will get to class.

Due to the bus driver shortage, the school board suspended bus transportation for students living within one mile of a central location to the schools.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

Brianne Carriveau is nervous for her 7 years old son to be walking alone.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

"As you can see it's pretty busy right here on the street. This was the main street I was concerned about because it's [HWY] 22, there's no sidewalk on that side and then have him go this way because I don't want him walking in the street,” said Brianne Carriveau, a concerned parent.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

Oconto Falls Superintendent Dean Hess said that while it is not ideal, the district is trying to do all it can.

"I was out this morning just so I can get a first-hand understanding on the level of traffic and the number of students,” Hess said.

The Oconto Falls Police Department released the following map pictured below.

The department advises students who are biking or walking to school to use the safe routes highlighted in yellow.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

"We had people out and about this morning. We did a collaboration with our staff as well as the city and the police department to try to be more visible in intersections and try to recognize the hazards for kids,” Hess said.

Brianne said these additional steps to do give her a little more peace of mind.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

"Yeah it's a little more helpful, I'm just nervous of him doing it by himself because he's so little,” Brianne said.

First day of school: Oconto Falls Public Schools continued to be faced with a school bus shortage

Hess said the district is continuing efforts to recruit bus drivers.

If successful, they would re-evaluate and potentially reinstate full transportation services.

For more information on how to become a school bus driver, click this link or see the image below.