District still looks to fill full-time, sub bus driving jobs

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District seeks ways to fill positions prior to opening of school; Back to School preview July 28

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Looking to step into a job where you are off when school is not in session?

How about a job where you have the satisfaction of knowing you play a role in the educational success of a school district?

And the job may even allow you to participate in some of the school field trips.

Full-time positions are now available for those wanting to become bus drivers in the Bullitt County Public School System.

According to transportation director Staci Goedde, six full-time positions were open as of last week. 

There is also a need for sub bus drivers.

For the right person, being a bus driver is a very good position, said Goedde.

The district has approximately 115 bus drivers, said Goedde. Full-time starting pay is $12.71 per hour and includes benefits.

The normal day for a bus driver is 6 1/2 hours behind the wheel.

The past year has been very difficult to find substitute bus drivers. Those serving in that role are often placed in full-time positions when vacancies occur.

Goedde said the district has done a variety of things to recruit new drivers.

Having a school bus sit in locations throughout the county asking for applicants is probably the most productive in getting inquiries.

Another change which has help came in the form of reimbursements for training.

The Bullitt County School Board voted to reimburse those who undergo the 44 hours of training -- as long as they drive for six months within the district.

Principals have placed the call for bus drivers on Facebook and Goedde said she went to the GED graduation ceremony.

“We do get a lot of calls,” said Goedde.

Over 100 people have started the hiring process with phone calls since July 1. However, Goedde said that number will drop quickly.

Requirements will include having a perfectly clean driving record for five years, including no speeding tickets. There is a drug test and a background check.

The applicant must pass a physical and a CDL permit is required. She said the district can assist a person in securing the proper licensing.

When the CDL is acquired, driver training can begin.

In the past, the normal process is for a person to become a sub driver and then eventually apply for a full-time route.

However, with the shortage already, a person has the opportunity to move directly into the full-time slot.

At this point, six vacancies were available and there are a number of positions which will need to be filled for long-term leaves, said Goedde.

Goedde said that being a bus driver carries a great deal of responsibility every day. Precious passengers ride over 1.8 million miles during the school year.

With the improvements in the training reimbursement and with the pay increasing some, Goedde said she hopes more will be interested.

Drivers are off when school is not in session, said Goedde.

When driving on field trips, bus drivers are often invited to participate.

And the safety factor in dealing with unruly students has been diminished some due to the advent of cameras inside the buses.

Four cameras give bus drivers some protection in dealing with students who cause problems. Goedde said the cameras are there to protect all the parties.

On the down side, bus drivers can earn several dollars per hour more in a place like Jefferson County. But drivers do not know what route they might be assigned.

As the start of the school year nears, Goedde is hoping that the positions are filled and a pool of sub drivers will be ready to start work on Aug. 6.

To apply, go to the Bullitt County Public School’s website and go to the employment opportunities. There will be a spot to apply for a sub driver and that will start the process.