Several area school districts are trying to attract more bus drivers, and Westfield Washington Schools is no exception.
WWS Supt. Sherry Grate said she’s not sure why theres a shortage, other than the fact a Commercial Driver License is required.
Grate acknowledges there are plenty of incentives for people with CDL licenses across a variety of fields, but she said the bus driver position offers attractive incentives licensees might not be aware of.
“You think about maybe someone (with a CDL license) who is on the road for a period of time and away from their family versus the benefit of being a driver for a school district,” Grate said. “It’s very flexible. You have a morning route and afternoon route and you’re not on the road overnight or away from your family.”
Grate said bus drivers who may have young kids not yet in the school system can bring their own kids on the bus during their route so they don’t have to acquire child care.
Grate said on days when shortages are glaring, such as when a driver or drivers call in sick, other drivers have to run several routes, meaning kids get picked up on a second route and either get to school or get home later than normal.
Although Grate said teachers are accommodating with students arriving late due to bus issues, the district wants to avoid shortage situations.
“Our two biggest challenges are human capital, the number of bus drivers and the number of people with CDLs, and the second challenge is overcrowding,” Grate said. “Once we can address that issue and be fully staffed, then we can move forward with overcrowding.”
WWS has 74 bus drivers, two substitute or part-time drivers and five people working toward achieving a CDL. Grate said the district wants to recruit eight to 10 more drivers. If someone applies for the position without a CDL, the district will help the applicant obtain one.
For more or to apply, visit wws.k12.in.us or call 317-867-8040.