- In launching their own bus system, officials with the Dallas Independent School District are hoping they will be able to find enough qualified drivers to get students to school next fall, according to Dallas News.
- The district is creating its own transportation division after voters decided to close Dallas County Schools, a troubled government-run agency that currently provides bus service to several school districts in the Dallas area.
So far, the district has received about 625 applications for the 765 bus driver positions it hopes to fill.
Concerns over school bus safety have increased in recent years with reports of distracted drivers speeding, using cell phones and running red lights. Bus drivers are not only responsible for getting students to and from school safely, but they are increasingly being called upon to be an extension of districts’ efforts to improve school climate for students.
Some districts provide training for drivers on how to form positive relationships between students on the bus. Others focus on addressing bullying situations that can later spill over onto the school campus. One idea is to train older students to serve as mentors and help set positive examples for younger students. The National Association for Pupil Transportation provides a variety of resources for school transportation officials and drivers, including online training modules. Some districts face challenges in hiring qualified drivers, however, because the position doesn’t offer a full-day’s work.