Teacher Evaluation and Licensure Supervisor for Washington County Tennessee Schools Jarrod Adams said Monday that the school system is almost fully staffed when it comes to school bus drivers.
However, county officials are still looking to fill three more bus driver positions.
According to Adams, pay has increased this year for Washington County bus drivers, with single-run drivers making $58.62 a day and double-run drivers making $78.62 a day.
This past summer, Washington County Schools entered into an agreement with Direct Healthcare to provide health care services for new drivers. This will help new drivers who would otherwise not be covered in their first year, since school bus drivers must fulfill a year of service before they are eligible to sign on with the school system’s health insurance.
Once they hire those three drivers, the system will be able to take its mechanics of the road so they can work full-time in the bus garage.
This all comes after missed bus routes and stranded students made for a not so memorable first day for some students in Washington County, Tennessee last year. There were also a few crashes involving county bus drivers last year.
“Every once in awhile, there will be a bus driver who will call in sick the day of their run and we have to scramble to get someone else to cover that,” said Adams. “We put into place things that I knew and the school board knew would increase the quality of individual we were getting in our bus garage and in our transportation department.”
Adams also said they are working to better notify parents through social media and text messaging in the case of future bus delays.
School start schedules for Grandview and Lamar will start 15 minutes later to cut down on bus haul and waiting time.