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Maine Elementary School Cancels Classes For Lack Of Bus Drivers

Julio Cortez
Associated Press
Snow is seen on the windshield of a school bus parked on the side of the street the morning following a snowstorm, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Edison, N.J.

A lack of bus drivers forced an elementary school near Belfast to cancel classes on Monday.

Nickerson Elementary School in Swanville informed parents that school would be canceled after several of the district’s bus drivers called in unable to report to work. Superintendent Mary Alice McLean says the district has a shortage of substitute bus drivers, but that the situation on Monday was unprecedented.

McLean says the district has now put together a plan that could include using staff differently and having drivers double up on bus runs.

“So I think it’s safe to say, it hasn’t happened before,” she says. “We don’t intend for it to happen again.”

McLean says the district is considering certifying custodians as one option.

“We do need substitutes. We’ve been advertising quite aggressively in a variety of ways, and continuing to do so,” she says. “This might prompt us to look at substitute pay for bus drivers.”

The district’s middle and high schools still held class on Monday.

Schools across Maine have been dealing with similar bus shortages this school year.