Michigan Schools Face Driver and Staff Shortages as the New Year Starts – HollandSentinel.com | CialisWay

As children return to Michigan classrooms in August and September, the school districts that serve them continue to look for ways to staff the buildings.

Whether bus driver, substitute teacher or class teacher, many districts start the year with vacancies.

West Ottawa Public Schools held a "drive and drive" Recruitment event Wednesday 13th July to recruit bus drivers.

In St. Joseph County, along the Michigan-Indiana border, a meeting of superintendents earlier this month revealed nearly 100 vacancies for educators.

As of Aug. 9, there were 95 job openings for teachers, teaching assistants and other positions across the county, including nine school districts with nearly 10,000 students.

Teresa Belote, superintendent of the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District, noted at an Aug. 22 meeting that the ISD is looking to fill 30 positions.

Holland Public Schools in Ottawa County, which opened Aug. 24, plans to hold a hiring event on Wednesday, Sept. 7 to fill several open positions in the county. The event will be held from 9am to 11.30am and 1pm to 4pm at the HPS administration building and will include the ‘on site’ setting.

Vacancies include teaching assistants, bus drivers, substitute teachers, substitute secretaries, and food service.

Pupils return to Dutch West Primary School for the first day of the 2022-23 school year on Wednesday 24th August 2022.

Northern Michigan school boards are working hard to avoid bus route cancellations amid a statewide shortage of bus drivers.

Charlevoix Public School Superintendent Michael Ritter sent a letter to families in late July, noting that the school board is taking action after failing to recruit enough drivers to offer a single bus ride in the 2022-23 school year.

“In an attempt to enlist nine regular bus drivers for the fall, we offered a single-ride bonus and increased base pay, which combined equaled $34 an hour for a single bus ride,” Ritter wrote. “Despite these efforts and phone calls to all current and potential drivers… we are still short of two bus drivers to be able to offer a single ride this fall.”

To address the shortage of bus drivers, Charlevoix Public Schools uses a bus route that consists of two separate routes—one for middle/high school and one for elementary school—and schools that start and end at different times of the day.

The result for Charlevoix students is a dual bus route consisting of two separate routes – one for middle/high school and one for elementary school – and schools that start and end at different times of the day.

Cheboygan Area Schools Superintendent Paul Clark also expressed problems with filling bus driver positions. Clark is using some school district janitors as drivers this year, according to Superintendent Matt Stevenson, as is the East Jordan Public School District.

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