March 18, 2011

School nearing bus driver crisis

School nearing bus driver crisis
It’s been a struggle finding school bus drivers and the situation doesn’t look like it’s going to fix itself.
The Parshall School District is down to two school bus drivers who are essentially driving four routes. Superintendent Steve Cascaden asked the school board last week for advice because he isn’t sure what to do.
“I’m not sure if we could have gotten the girls to the regional (basketball) tournament,” Cascaden said. “How do we get the kids home on a route? That’s where we’re at.”
Cascaden later added that now that track season is approaching, the worry will be somewhat reduced because retired teacher Harlan Johnson is a bus driver and will be taking the track teams to their meets in other communities.
Unfortunately, not every teacher or coach doubles as a bus driver. Perhaps that needs to change.
School Board President Carol Zacher suggested that Cascaden and other board members talk to anyone who is remotely interested to see if they might reconsider.
“It’s easy to take a written test,” Cascaden said. “But, sometimes you wait three months to take a driving test. And if you fail the driving test, it’s another three months. I have asked our legislators to put some heat on the DOT (Department of Transportation) to give us one day a month. That’s all we need, one day a month.”

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