RCPS looking to hire bus drivers during shortage

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Rockingham County Public Schools continues to struggle like many school districts across the country in finding bus drivers for all 189 of the school district's routes.

RCPS said you don't need a CDL to apply and if you pass their initial screening you can take their CDL class on November 13, 2019.

Alvin Estep, director of transportation for RCPS, said they currently have three routes without a permanent driver.

He said it may not seem like much of a problem, but when drivers need to call out it can become difficult.

"We might get a phone call at 6:30 a.m. from someone that's sick and then the bus routes at seven so we're scrambling around to find sub drivers and right now we don't have them," Estep said.

Estep said this can cause confusion for a lot of parents because routes have to be pieced back together and different buses may pick up their child.

He said this may also cause drivers to pick up students at a later time than usual.

The school division is now taking applications to fill in those driver positions and are looking to hire substitute drivers as well.

Estep said you no longer need a high school diploma or a GED to apply. He said he has seen drivers in the past who hold Commercial Driver's License that are qualified to drive a bus but may not have their diploma.

Estep said you don't even have to hold a CDL, if you pass their initial screening you may be offered to take their CDL course on November 13 through the 15.

"You can come in here without a CDL and leave with one," Estep said. "You'll also leave with a class B with an SNP endorsement and be able to drive a school bus with passengers."

For more information on positions or applying you can call the transportation department at (540)-433-2458.