The transportation department truly appreciates the adjustments and patience families have demonstrated through these past few months while we have been experiencing a shortage of drivers. Our current drivers are doing a fantastic job but injuries, illness, and family emergencies have created a void. We are doing our best to make sure everyone is picked up and dropped off on time. We are aware that altering routes to provide coverage has caused some confusion and has not always been smooth.
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
To accommodate for the personnel challenges and make improvements, we will be developing new routes for the entire district over the next few weeks. The new routes will begin operations on Friday, February 1st*. We are rolling out the new routes on a Friday so we can evaluate, adjust, and tweek as needed over the weekend. It is our goal to stabilize times for all pickups and dropoffs.
*If your child's transportation will be affected by the route changes, your family will receive a phone call from your child's bus driver. All students who ride a bus will receive a note indicating their changes or that their stop is unaffected.
Overall, we would like to stabilize our workforce. In order to do this, we need more drivers. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our team as a bus driver, please feel free to contact us at 614-873-4642. Ask for Rachel Miller or Mark Fenik.
Requirements to be a driver for a school district are:
- A driver needs a CDL-B license with passenger endorsement. The process to acquire this license includes these steps:
- The driver in training must study for and take a written test at the DMV. After passing this test, the driver will be given a temporary license. Then they call JA transportation.
- The driver must have at least 12 hours of training with a certified bus instructor. (We have two at Jonathan Alder.) On average, training usually takes approximately 20-30 hours for a new driver. We work around each individual’s schedule, therefore, expect the process to take a few months.
- A driver must also attend preservice classes with Evette Moody or Mike Hoffner. These classes last for four or five days; each class is about four hours.
- Drivers must pass a driving test at a state facility using one of our buses (a JA trainer will drive you to the location.) FYI - There is a statewide shortage of testers at these limited facilities. It usually takes a few months before we can get the appointment scheduled. We will make the appointment for you.
- Also required is a pre-employment drug screening, background check, and physical.
Additionally, potential drivers must pay for their classes. However, after a driver has driven for 90 days with Jonathan Alder LSD, Jonathan Alder will reimburse the individual.
We know the process is long and involved. However, when our drivers finish, they are prepared and qualified to drive with the high standards we expect.
Currently, we are analyzing all aspects of our department. We appreciate your continued assistance and will strive to build a stronger department. Areas we plan to focus on include:
- Dispatch Capabilities