MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The fall semester is in full swing at Manistique Area Schools.
Superintendent Howard Parmentier has been pleasantly surprised by this year’s enrollment.
“Enrollment is actually up in both our elementary and our high school,” he said. “Over the previous years, we’ve lost probably 10 to 20 students per year. We’re actually up over 10 in each building.”
Parmentier is excited to have a full education staff on board to teach them.
“This is the first year that I’ve been in Manistique that we’ve actually had a full staff of certified teachers in every classroom,” he said. “Not the same for bus drivers.”
Like many school districts, Manistique was heading into the year short on bus drivers.
“We had a retired bus driver return so we would be full, so we have one posting for a bus driver,” said Parmentier. “When we fill that, the one that returned would like to retire again.”
There is also a need for substitute drivers.
“We have a lot of situations where if we have sports, if a driver gets sick, we are combining routes,” Parmentier said. “It’s definitely not what we want to do but we have to do to just make sure our kids get safely to where they need to be.”
Manistique is looking for more substitutes for the classroom as well. Parmentier says the district is offering increased pay in hopes of drawing qualified applicants.
“For substitute teachers, we’ve been raising that rate by $10 a year,” he said. “We’re now at $110 per day. What’s disappointing is no matter how much we raise it, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting more.”
Academically, the future is bright, with Manistique Area Schools students earning competitive math and English PSAT scores last year. According to the Middle and High School principal, every Advanced Placement student passed their courses last year as well.
Parmentier says thanks to hard-working students and a dedicated staff, he is optimistic about the year ahead.
“With changes that we’ve made in our instruction, just in general, our teachers have been fantastic,” he said. “I look forward to continuing that and building that relationship for the success of our students.”
Manistique Area Schools are hiring transportation drivers at $19.36 per hour, substitute drivers with experience at $18.00 per hour, and substitute drivers with no experience at $17.00 per hour. The district pays for new hires to get their CDL license and medical exam. If you are interested in becoming a bus driver for Manistique Area Schools, contact Parmentier at (906) 252-4330 or Transportation Director Scott Nance at (906) 252-4315.