Citing lack of bus drivers, Niles City Schools makes major adjustment

Local News

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The Niles School District is making a major adjustment due to a lack of bus drivers.

Less than a week before school starts, the district announced it is changing the eligibility zone.

Now only students who live more than two miles away can ride the bus. The change affects the Niles middle and high schools.

The district is down five permanent bus drivers with no substitutes.

There has been a nationwide issue with school bus drivers and it has finally made its way to the Valley.

There’s just five days until the school year starts and Niles City Schools are down bus drivers.

That means more students potentially walking to Niles Middle School and and Niles McKinley High School.

“Some of our middle school students that had transportation last year and they were still inside the two-mile range, but we had the drivers. We were able to transport. With this current situation we’re in, we’re having to eliminate some of those routes that the students normally did have transportation,” said Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen.

That two-mile walk zone could possibly affect those students that fall inside that radius from getting to and from school on the bus. According to the superintendent, those impacted have already been notified.

“If magically we get four bus drivers in a week, we’ll reroute the whole district and bring these back. Unfortunately, it does take a little bit of time to get properly certified to be a bus driver, so at this moment, this is where we’re at,” Thigpen said.

With this transportation issue, many parents are left wondering how their children are going to get to school this year.

“I have to work in the morning and I can’t take my kids to school, so now I’m stressed out about how they are going to get there and then walking to school,” said Liane Terrill, one parent.

Terrill says she has concerns but is trying to be understanding and would like more information going forward.

Thigpen says they are still trying hard to find creative ways to help with this issue, but she wanted to thank the parents for their patience.

If you would like to become a bus driver, call their transportation department at 330-652-5764.

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