Pay raises, a 40-hour work week and attendance bonuses are key factors in Metro Nashville Public Schools’ new plan to address school bus driver recruitment and retention.
Here, a veteran school bus driver presents a list of common concerns among his colleagues, from uncompetitive pay to a lack of support from upper management.
The school bus contractor will hold employee appreciation days Tuesday through Thursday this week in recognition of its nearly 60,000 drivers, attendants, technicians, managers and additional staff. Officials say every First Student location will hold an event to honor employees for their hard work and commitment.
Since joining Green Brook Township Public Schools in 2008, Transportation Supervisor Nancy Farinella has been able to achieve annual cost savings ranging from $50,000 to more than $150,000 by making the operation more efficient while also bringing in an average of $125,000 per year in revenue for the district. She discusses how, along with her passion for her team.
Surely most children aren’t aware of all the specific requirements. But they do seem to understand that being a school bus driver is a tough job that not everyone is cut out for.
Lake Orion (Mich.) Community Schools’ program started out as an initiative for the district’s bus drivers to help teachers in the classroom with reading to students, but it has grown into a larger effort that includes educational activities on the school bus. Director of Transportation Dale Goby discusses with SBF the positive impact the program has had on students, school personnel and the transportation team.
The drivers, who serve Surry County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools and Elkin City Schools, are recognized at a banquet for their years of safe driving. Tim Burton of Surry County Schools is named driver of the year for 2012-13.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro was the inaugural passenger in the California operation’s program, which launched on Wednesday with Navarro watching a driver perform a pre-trip inspection and then accompanying him on a morning route. Director of Transportation Pete Meslin tells SBF that the intent of the program is to bring attention to the important role school bus transportation plays in students’ lives.
At Shelby County Schools, enhanced driver training and partnerships with school staff have led to drastic improvements in student behavior on the bus. Here, we spend a day with Director of Transportation Debbie Rike to see how she steers the operation toward success.
A year ago, Jeff Walker became transportation director at Litchfield Elementary School District #79 in Phoenix. The department has since cut costs, reduced the number of student disciplinary incidents on its buses and improved its safety record.
The contractors will recognize their more than 20,000 school bus drivers and support staff this month for their continued commitment to safely transporting students. Employees will be given lanyards with the logo for Enjoy the Ride, the contractors’ new employee relations program.
Wilfin Morales, who works for Menlo Park City School District in Atherton, Calif., has been a bus driver for nine years. He has driven more than 250,000 miles without a single accident or ticket, and district officials say he is dedicated and goes the extra mile for students.
As part of “School Bus Driver Day” on Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol joins the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown in publicly expressing appreciation to the state’s bus drivers for the job that they do.