Clarke Community School District is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers. While the end of the school year is near, the transportation department and the school board are looking to get the application process started to fill much needed driving positions. With over 21 driver positions, including 15 yellow bus routes, five special needs and handicap routes, specialty transportation routes, as well as a hand full of substitute driver positions, the district finds itself struggling to meet the needs for all routes.
Immediate hires would be for two yellow bus route drivers. These drivers would drive the large yellow buses through the Clarke district for pick-up and drop-off of the students on a daily basis. They would also have opportunities to drive the kids for extracurricular events like sports, band, and field trips.
Route drivers contracted for the 2017/18 school year are paid $81.00/day – driving, on average, 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon. With special events and other transportation needs, a flexible schedule would be an advantage for applicants. Staff route drivers are provided 2 personal days off per year as well as the ability to accumulate sick days. As a Clarke School District employee, contracted drivers are also able to take advantage of the school’s IPERS retirement investment opportunities.
We’re really looking to the community to step up to help support the kids,” said Rick Perin, Transportation Manager for Clarke Community Schools. “Parents, grandparents or friends with a few spare hours a day could make a huge impact for the kids’ education and their safety – all while earning some extra money.”
Qualified drivers will need to have a CDL license and an approved medical certificate – or be able to get them before the beginning of the 2018/19 school year. Other standard requirements for district drivers include:
- a driving test (as part of the CDL certification)
- a criminal background check,
- a drug screen, as well as periodic drug testing after hired,
- clear driving record and
- clean driving insurance.
As an added value, the district will help interested applicants obtain their CDL certification as well as help with some costs related to licensing, transportation, and certification.
The shortage of qualified drivers, while not isolated to Clarke’s district has become a priority for all rural schools. This impacts not only the schedules and efficiency of the transportation department, but also, and more importantly, the safety and security of the students. These vacancies often require pulling teachers from classes or coaches to fill in on routes or special events. The addition of these district drivers will help Clarke maintain a consistent transportation schedule as well as better serve the kids and their safety during school and school events.