REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond School District has launched a sudden recruitment effort for school bus drivers. "This just happened last week, so it just hit me like a brick wall. This is a little unusual for this to happen right at the beginning of the school year," says Transportation Supervisor Michelle Rainville. She tells KBND the loss of five drivers in the past couple of weeks won't impact regular school routes. "But, being shorthanded limits what we can do for athletics and field trips and emergency circumstances. Right now, I have five regular driver positions open. We do need school bus monitors as well, for our special needs routes."
While it's not unusual for school districts to see high turnover within their driver pool, due to the nature of shifts, Rainville says this time was a perfect storm of resignations. "Someone’s moving and someone’s retiring, it all kind of just hit us. We were just looking for substitute drivers over the summer, but I didn’t have any applicants. So, we weren’t doing any training really over the summer that would’ve put us in a better position having these people resign so soon."
Superintendent Mike McIntosh says, "Our bus drivers are, if not the most critical, certainly one of the most critical positions we have. Besides maintaining the physical piece- between the lines, and going up and down the road and stopping at the right time without throwing kids out of their seat – but a bus drivers job is bigger than that. They’re the first person from our district they see and the last person they see in the afternoon. So, how they greet kids and how they interact with kids and families is paramount."
The district is offering salary advancement and a $500 bonus after 90-days, as an incentive for new regular employees. Click HERE
for more information.