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St. Paul Schools Shifting Schedules, Giving Older Students Metro Transit Cards Due To Bus Driver Shortage

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- St. Paul Public Schools don't start until Thursday this week, in order to celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but some students there may not have a ride to school.

Meanwhile, other students will see their school day shifted as St. Paul, like several districts, faces a bus driver shortage.

School officials tell WCCO they are giving some high school students Metro Transit cards and telling them to take public transit buses.

Students at Central High School, Como Park Senior High, Harding Senior High and Washington Technology Magnet School will receive a free student Go-To card this year. Three schools that previously used Metro Transit -- Creative Arts Secondary, Johnson Senior High and Gordon Parks -- will still do so.

Some St. Paul schools are also implementing schedule changes "in order to provide as many students as possible with transportation to and from school," the district said.

The affected schools, and their new schedules, are as follows:

  • American Indian Magnet: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Battle Creek Middle School: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Capitol Hill Magnet School: 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
  • Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • L'Etoile du Nord Elementary: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Upper Campus) / 8:40 a.m.-3:10 p.m. (Lower Campus)
  • Murray Middle School: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Wellstone Elementary: 9:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.

The district expects the schedule changes to last at least until winter break, which begins Dec. 23.

"We understand these changes are difficult on families, staff and students, especially so close to the first day of school, and we apologize for these last-minute changes," SPPS said in a statement. "We wish circumstances were different, and are prioritizing school bus transportation for elementary and middle school students."

The Stillwater school district is also dealing with a driver shortage.

The school board there is holding an emergency meeting Tuesday night to talk about the challenges.

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