School bus driver recruitment rises

By: Meredith Baker | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 4, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. 

RINCE GEORGE – Prince George County Public Schools has been able to recruit a number of potential bus drivers since implementing a raise in October. 

Transportation Coordinator Clarence Thweatt said the division has hired three new drivers, has made three other drivers full-time, has recruited fifteen potential drivers who possess a CDL and is training even more potential drivers who do not yet have a CDL. 

“We’re excited about transportation,” Thweatt said.

Thweatt said that, of the division’s 124 routes, all but five are covered by contracted employees, and those five are covered by long-term substitutes. 

“There are no vacant routes, except for the ones we have the long-term subs on,” Thweatt said.  

This school bus with a big banner advertising a need for drivers has been parked outside Walton Elementary School, facing the busy roadway of Courthouse Road in an effort to attract more drivers to the school division.

After the division is able to fill those five positions, Thweatt said he would like to hire about fifteen or twenty of the new trainees, which will help relieve some of the most crowded buses. 

Director of Operations Ron Rhodes said there are still nine routes that require buses to double back and pick up more children after their first run, and he said that ideally those should be divided.  

“We actually need to get those children in school in a more timely fashion,” Rhodes said. 

Rhodes said drivers who do not have a CDL must complete a minimum of 48 hours of training, but those who do have a CDL only need three or four hours of training. 

The school division has been actively advertising their need for more bus drivers, using buses parked outside schools along busy thoroughfares, such as Courthouse Road and at the school board office, adorned with banners encouraging those interested to apply to get the word out across the county.

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