ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday is officially the first day back for Albuquerque Public Schools. The district says it is excited to welcome everyone back this year, especially since students will not have to deal with any COVID restrictions.

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This year, the district says they have been working on fences, locks, camera systems and even special trainings for students to make sure everyone is safe. APS schools are still experiencing staffing shortages; right now they are looking for 82 teachers and 127 special education teachers. “We have high needs area in special education. That is something that we have had in a year over year basis,” Chief HR and Legal Support Services Todd Torgerson said.

The district is also down about 40 bus drivers to start the year. That means new routes for buses and they have also expanded walking boundaries to a mile for elementary kids, one-and-a-half miles for middle school kids and up to two miles for high schoolers. The district says to expect bus routes to be a little rough as the school year starts out, but as they see where resources are needed it will clear up.