Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) continues to aggressively recruit bus drivers, and several potential drivers are currently in the hiring process of interviews, background checks and training. Many schools are working to increase efficiencies, where possible, to student drop-off and pick-up procedures to improve traffic and reduce the time families spend in line when transporting children to and from school.
A shortage of bus drivers has resulted in transportation problems for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Chesterfield school bus drivers are working long hours and driving multiple routes to get students to and from school, but dozens of school buses are sitting idle because of a lack of drivers. Many students are being picked up late and delivered home late. School districts throughout the nation are experiencing similar bus driver shortages.
“I apologize to our families for the stress and frustration that these transportation problems have caused at the start of the school year,” Superintendent Merv Daugherty said. “Our bus drivers are vital to our school system, and I encourage everyone who wants to help children succeed and stay safe to apply to drive a school bus for CCPS.”
The school system held two bus driver job fairs earlier this year, and another bus driver job fair is scheduled for 4- 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Manchester Middle, 7401 Hull Street Road.
School bus drivers make a daily difference in the Chesterfield County community: They are the first and last school representatives that students see each day. $17.21 is the starting hourly pay for bus drivers in CCPS — higher than almost every other central Virginia school system. CCPS will help applicants train to earn a commercial driver’s license and will pay them while they train. Chesterfield drivers receive a $500 bonus in October and April, and can earn bonuses for safe driving ($100 per semester) and perfect attendance ($50 per month). Apply at https://mychesterfieldschools.com/apply-at-ccps/ or call Human Resources at 804-748-1984. (Applicants who need access to a computer can apply 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in the School Board Central Office at 9900 Krause Road.)
“There is no doubt that issues with transportation cause a ripple effect and create stress not just for our families but also for our bus drivers, teachers and school employees,” Dr. Daugherty said. “I am so thankful to everyone on Team Chesterfield for doing what’s best for our kids. In every school and in every department, I see people going above and beyond their job descriptions and pulling together to get us through this difficult period.”
Before schools opened Aug. 23, CCPS asked families to help by driving their students to and from school. “Our
families are doing what we asked, and we appreciate their support,” Dr. Daugherty said.
As Chesterfield County Public Schools works aggressively to hire bus drivers and resolve transportation issues, here are ways community members can support schools:
“The opening of school included a lot of joy this week as teachers and students reconnected after being apart for so long,” Dr. Daugherty said. “We are happy to have our students back in school, and I appreciate the patience and support of our families and employees as we work to ease the transportation challenges we are facing.”