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Bus delays likely for some Great Falls schools due to driver shortage

Posted at 3:46 PM, Aug 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 20:49:16-04

GREAT FALLS – The first day of the new academic year for Great Falls Public Schools is Wednesday, August 29th – but there will be delays for some bus-riding students.

The GFPS said in an email on Tuesday afternoon that Big Sky Bus Lines, the contracted bus company, is experiencing a bus driver shortage, and there is increased ridership in some areas.

As a result, GFPS say that parents and students can expect 10 -15 minute delays and more students on buses.

Big Sky Bus Lines and GFPS say that they are working to solve the problem.

Here is a list of the schools and bus routes affected by the delays:

  • Bus 26 Riverview Elementary
  • Bus 29 North MS & CMR HS
  • Bus 30 North MS
  • Bus 31 North MS & CMR HS
  • Bus 32 North MS & CMR HS
  • Bus 33 North MS & CMR HS
  • Bus 38 North MS & CMR HS
  • Bus 44 West Elementary
  • Bus 45 Valley View Elementary & West Elementary
  • Bus 46 West Elementary
  • Bus 49 Meadow Lark Elementary
  • Bus 50 Giant Springs Elementary
  • Bus 51 Giant Springs & Morningside Elementary
  • Bus 52 Whittier Elementary
  • Bus 54 Longfellow Elementary
  • Bus 56 East MS
  • Bus 57 GFHS
  • Bus 58 East MS & GFHS
  • Bus 59 East MS & GFHS
  • Bus 63 Sunnyside Elementary & Mountain View Elementary
  • Bus 65 Sacajawea Elementary
  • Bus 67 Mountain View Elementary

Periodically, we remind people about safety and security policies in the Great Falls Public School District.

The GFPS website provides information and links that may be helpful, including this overview:

  • Here are the definitions of key safety terms used by the Great Falls Public School District:
  • Evacuation: Defined as an internal emergency that requires students and staff to leave the building for their safety. Parents should follow emergency notifications.
  • Lockdown: Defined as an internal and/or immediate threat. All staff and students are locked in rooms. No one IN or OUT!
  • Shelter In Place: Defined as a safety precaution for an external threat that is not an immediate or internal threat.
  • Class Hold: Defined as a safety precaution implemented during an incident where students need to be kept in the classroom.
  • Release with Care: Defined as a possible threat in the schools’ neighborhoods during arrival and release time. Release with care procedures.

To ensure safety, the building administrator may ask staff to escort students to/from buses or waiting cars.
Staff may also be asked to accompany students home.

Student safety precautions for getting to and from school:

  • Students should walk in groups or pairs
  • Students should travel on a designated route, and parents should know the route their student is taking
  • Students should check in with a responsible individual when they arrive at home
  • Students should be taught to always be aware of their surroundings
  • Students should avoid alleys on their designated route to/from school
  • Students should walk on designated sidewalks and in well-lit areas
  • Parents should notify the school when after-school procedures change

Click here to visit the Safety section of the GFPS website.