Bus driver shortage means creative troubleshooting

Laura Jean Schneider
ljschneider@ptleader.com
Posted 11/3/21

 

Chimacum Schools has been forced to make changes to their bus routes …

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Bus driver shortage means creative troubleshooting

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Chimacum Schools has been forced to make changes to their bus routes due to a lack of staffing, Superintendent Scott Mauk said recently.

“We are working on different solutions each day as we figure out variables like commercial driver’s licensing needs, driver seniority, and combining routes,” he wrote in an email to The Leader.

“Priorities for transportation are in order,” he added, stating “special education students and homeless students will take priority, followed by general education students, with field trips and sports activities rating lowest priority.”

“We are also working on a plan to reduce field trips to non-sports days or [to] keep the trips in between the school day bus runs,” Mauk noted.

“We are also looking at combining a run with Quilcene. It’s a bit of a Tetris game, but we have some really smart drivers, mechanics, and administrators who are collaborating and problem solving each day to keep things moving safely,” he added.

In order to find a wider applicant pool, Chimacum Schools has broadened the search to websites like Indeed and Facebook.

“We are working with Chamber of Commerce on an employee recruitment campaign, and we are changing some of our branding and communications to stand out some more. Although it is difficult to do, we are working on ways to ‘fast track’ driver training,” he concluded.

The school currently has opening for four drivers.

“Ideally, we would have nine drivers and three or four subs,” Mauk explained. 

Parents should consult csd49.org for the latest updates about bus routes and schedules, as some have changed.

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