CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County Schools Superintendent Merv Daugherty is apologizing to families for the “stress and frustration” a major bus driver shortage has caused at the start of the school year.
As the first week of school nears its end, the division is still scrambling to fill the positions, which, in turn, has created a frenzy in the transportation department.
“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 in a letter. “I am so thankful to everyone on Team Chesterfield for doing what’s best for our kids.”
All week, 8News has reported on the major bus delays and long lines created by the shortage. One Chesterfield parent told 8News that his daughter’s bus arrived at school at 8:30 a.m., the same time classes started. He also shared that his son’s bus was an hour and a half late to the bus stop.
Daugherty acknowledges these concerns and says the division is actively working to resolve the issue.
“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,” the superintendent wrote.
Still, with no concrete solution, the division is encouraging parents to drive their students to and from school.
“Our families are doing what we asked, and we appreciate their support,” Dr. Daugherty said.
The starting hourly pay for bus drivers at CCPS is $17.21. The division says it 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.
If the community wants to help, here’s how school leaders say you can:
- Encourage people to apply to work for Chesterfield County Public Schools
- Send your ideas for improving student transportation to email@example.com.
- Make a supportive sign for your yard or chalk a message on your sidewalk or write it on your car window. Be sure to take a photo and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Write thank you notes to school bus drivers and teachers.
- Organize a group of friends to cheer from your front yard as students go to school.