HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Taking a photo of your kid at the bus stop on their first day of school is consistently one of the most memorable parts of that childhood scrapbook you put together, whether physical or digital.
But behind the potential everlasting memories, this year lays an issue school districts across the nation are feeling: the need for those who actually get the kids to school.
Getting hands on the wheel has been a difficult process for schools this summer.
Henrico County even created a “Drive the Bus” job fair where willing participants with a valid driver’s license could test-drive a school bus.
And while they were able to have seven applicants start classes, it doesn’t fill the 100 driver vacancies the county needs. According to Andy Jenks of Henrico Schools, there could be others in the pipeline that are working on the background checks, physicals and getting licensed.
Henrico County is still hiring bus drivers.
The county sent out a survey for parents in July to get a headcount of how many students would be planned for parent pickup or dropoff. They were able to remove about 6,000 students from bus rosters to alleviate certain bus routes.
Hanover County is experiencing the same challenges. About 10,200 students signed up for bus transportation out of 16,500 students. The school district expects the number of students signed up to increase after the start of the school year.
Hanover has 32 bus driver vacancies out of 221 contracted positions. Right now, they have five candidates in training which could reduce the number of vacancies to 27 upon successful completion.
They are actively interviewing more applicants this week.
Hanover doesn’t anticipate more job fairs in the immediate future but if you are interested you can apply online for bus driver positions.
Chesterfield County still needs about 100 bus drivers with 98% of students returning to in-person learning this year.
If you are interested in driving for Chesterfield County Public Schools, you can still apply.