St. Louis, Missouri 2021-10-07 19:15:00 –
Granite City, Illinois (KMOV.com)-The Granite City School District wants more bus drivers to join its fleet after losing more than 40 drivers in the last two years.
The district said COVID-19 amplified the problem, especially with its older drivers.
“We found that the bus drivers were older. I don’t know if COVID-19 was something they didn’t want to deal with,” said Stephanie Cann, director of the Granite City School District. “Historically, this district is more difficult to staff than other districts when it comes to bus drivers, at least that’s what the Illinois Central School Bus tells us.”
The district has contracts with the Illinois Central School Bus Company, which employ drivers. The district has launched its own recruitment activities, complementing the bus company’s work to acquire new drivers.
“We have 30 drivers waiting on our wings, but historically about 50 percent of them go through the process,” Kang said. “So you probably rely on 15 or 16 drivers.”
Currently, approximately 3,000 students across the school district do not have access to buses to and from school. Some families can adapt, while others are forced to absent from school. The district said attendance rates declined, especially between grades 5 and 6.
“I worked in the county for 34 years. I got tired of staying at home, so I got off the couch, stopped watching Netflix and started driving the bus,” he said, driving in the area for three years. Tammy Lane said. “Don’t be afraid of it, it’s fun.”
The district said other local employment opportunities, such as the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, tend to be drawn from the same candidate pool. In addition, all drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license to drive the school bus.
Illinois Central pays drivers who are likely to train for CDL, and the school district is currently offering a $ 3,000 sign-on bonus.
“It was very out of my comfort zone, but once I started driving, I love it,” Lane said. “I want to drive this rather than a car.”
Within the past few days, the district has returned five bus routes to service, providing middle and high school students with reliable transportation. But the district said it could run 15 routes.
“This isn’t exactly ideal in our district. We are unique in this area and must be understood as soon as possible,” Kang said.
The school district wants to prioritize young students who have few options to go to school, so it offers full bus services to elementary school students. We have also partnered with Madison County Transit to allow students to board the bus for free until the end of October. To apply, please visit the following website: www.driveayellowbus.com..
“We are begging people. Please help,” Kang said. “This is not a long-term solution.”
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Granite City School District pleading for bus drivers, 3,000 students currently without bus service | St. Louis News Headlines Source link Granite City School District pleading for bus drivers, 3,000 students currently without bus service | St. Louis News Headlines