As school year approaches, local school districts ramp up hiring efforts for bus drivers, others

chesapeake school bus .jpg
Posted at 5:00 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 23:25:46-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – If you add a worker shortage along with back-to-school season, it creates a challenging time for school districts.

Currently, Chesapeake Public Schools reports 113 bus driver vacancies.

Dr. David Benson, director of transportation for Chesapeake Public Schools, says they are actively recruiting and that most bus drivers work 25 hours per week and receive the same benefits as full-time workers, like health insurance and paid holidays.

Benson reports that starting pay is $15.26 per hour plus a sign-on bonus and says the transportation department will train drivers.

“We’ve recently been given the capabilities of doing our own CDL testing here on site,” Benson stated.

On Wednesday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chesapeake Public Schools will host a job fair. It will be to fill vacancies not only in transportation, but also in custodial services and nutrition workers. The fair will be held at For Kids Inc., located at 1001 Poindexter Street in Chesapeake. For more information, call 757-547-0001 or click here. Applicants should bring their license and any applicable references.

Dr. Benson says the district is encouraging parents who are able to drive their children to school to do so, to help with the staffing challenges.

Related: Hampton Roads school districts face bus driver shortages ahead of 2021-22 school year

Two other local school districts sent the following information regarding their hiring efforts:

Hampton City Schools

As of September 13, Hampton City Schools is down to just 17 vacancies after new hires and trainees.

HCS has been conducting walk-in interviews every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Patriot Operation Center, located at 1589 Wingfield Dr. in Hampton. These walk-in interviews will continue to run every Wednesday through September 29. For more information, candidates may contact 727-1562. Potential candidates do not need to attend a walk-interview; they can apply using the following link and clicking on the "Employment" tab.

Hampton’s starting pay for bus drivers is a minimum of $15.73/hour. In addition, we are offering a sign-on bonus of $750 (after taxes) if training is completed by September 20. No experience is necessary. CDL training is provided and trainees receive $11/hour.

York County School Division

As of August 17, YCSD has 18 openings in the transportation department.

The pay scale range is $15.49 to $22.47 per hour based on years of experience/placement on the pay scale step. Additionally, YCSD is currently offering a signing bonus for drivers. The bonus is $500 after successful completion of training and an additional $1,00 after six months of service following completion of training. Bus driver assistants would receive $250.00 after completion of training and an additional $250.00 after six months from the completion of training.

Division staff have taken steps to adjust and consolidate bus routes based on student transportation requests, which were due earlier this month. If the vacancies still exceed the number daily routes, the division may take several actions, including: Daily reassignment of other transportation staff from their responsibilities to driver duties, lengthening existing routes and combining routes when possible. These actions can all possible affect a route’s ability to operate on time.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools

  • Approximately 110 open positions as of Aug. 18
  • Currently about 28 individuals in training. Officials expect to have approximately half of those ready to drive by the first day of school.
  • Training involves a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction, 14 hours behind the wheel of an empty school bus, and 10 hours behind the wheel with children on board. It also includes a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) review to be able to obtain a Class B CDL, with P and an S endorsements, including air brakes. Additional requirements include the ability to successfully pass background checks, federally required drug and alcohol testing as well as a medical physical.
  • Pay range is $15.65 per hour for substitute drivers and $16.39 per hour starting pay with benefits for contracted drivers.

For more information on jobs, click here.

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