August 23, 2022
Dear Helena Public Schools Families,
As I shared with you in July, our transportation contractor, First Student, has worked throughout the summer to address the shortage of bus drivers that continues to challenge school districts in Montana and across the nation.
While we were hopeful that this summer’s robust recruitment campaign would enable us to start the school year with all routes staffed, we do not yet have enough drivers to return to a normal bus schedule.
As a result, we will begin the school year with a four-week rotation bus schedule similar to last year’s.
We are grateful for your cooperation as we work through this extended staffing challenge, which is affecting employers throughout our community.
As was the case last year, parents will be responsible for transporting their student/s to and from school approximately one week a month (every fourth week in a four-week rotation). Families with two or more students who ride different bus routes – for example, an elementary student and a middle school student – may need to provide transportation for each of those routes during different weeks.
If you plan to use bus service this fall, please confirm your student/s rotation week/s here.
If you would like to be reimbursed for your transportation costs, you must:
Please note that all documents required for reimbursement must be submitted before Nov. 1. Reimbursement is not available for courtesy riders.
I would again like to thank you for your help as our community navigates this ongoing challenge. Together with First Student, we continue to focus on recruitment, with the goal of returning to a normal bus schedule before the holidays.
We look forward to serving your family,
Tom Cohn, Transportation Director
Helena Public Schools