Local News

School Bells Ring

Posted August 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Readin', writin' and 'rithmetic are no longer taught to the tune of a hickory stick, but the first day of school is still the first day of school. The 1997-98 school year starts today.

In Wake County, 700 yellow buses are rolling to pick up children from elementary through high school grades. The school system is still 25 drivers short, so some buses will have to run double shifts to handle all the kids.

School officials ask parents to be patient if their child gets home 30 to 45 minutes later than expected this afternoon. The double shifts take time to run. Areas most affected by the driver shortage are Cary, Apex, Leesville and Millbrook.

The double shifts may last six to eight weeks. The school system is looking for more drivers, but new hires must also undergo training. Officials have let parents in affected areas know that their children may be late.

Police expect to be especially vigilant to see that motorists obey reduced speed zones near schools. And there will be more officers on the streets -- the regular patrol is being supplemented temporarily by some special operations officers.

Police expect the increased visibility of patrol cars to help remind drivers that, despite Labor Day and the autumnal equinox still ahead of us, summer is now over.

Now. Is everyone in their places, with bright, shiny faces? And let's not always see the same hands.