Bus drivers needed
Job offers great hours, benefits & chance to make difference in kids’ lives
CASTLE ROCK – Every day Douglas County bus driver Larry King has one thing on his mind. Whether he is running through his lengthy pre-trip safety checks or navigating the streets of Castle Rock, he is focused on ensuring the students in his care get to and from school safely.
“Our main goal is safety. It has to be number one,” King said. “We have an entire bus of students. They are precious and we have to take good care of them.”
All DCSD bus drivers must meet the Colorado Department of Education’s requirements, as well as completing an intensive 8-week training course, which covers all of the Colorado Department of Education requirements and training in mountain driving, crossing train tracks, first aid, CPR and much more. At the end of the course, participants receive their Class B or Class C Colorado Drivers License free-of-charge, a value of approximately $3,000 outside the District.
Additionally, the Transportation department offers monthly refresher courses, which cover everything from student management to new regulations, but nearly always focus on safety.
“It is like a lot of things, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the easier it gets. The more you work with kids, the more you realize what works and what does not work,” King said.
By building a solid relationship with his students, he is able to focus on driving.
“While you’re driving, you’re dealing with the inside environment and the outside environment,” King said. “You have to build a repartee so they will behave while they’re on the bus. You’re busy driving that bus and if you’re watching them, you are not watching the road.”
Often, drivers pose the biggest challenges.
“Drivers do not want to be behind a school bus, so they will do anything and everything to be in front of the school bus. They do not want to be behind the bus,” King said.
He must be continuously alert and flexible.
“Things happen. If there is a wreck on the road, you may not be able to get where you need to go, so you have to go around the block,” King said.
King says every day is a little different.
“There is a little bit of stress, but it is a different kind of stress than what I used to do” King said. “I used to work in a high tech environment, fixing systems for customers. When the system is down, they’re losing money every minute. That’s high stress. Plus, you’re stuck in an office.”
King, who lost his job in the economic downturn a few years ago, appreciates the flexibility and freedom the job offers, as well as the great benefits package. Benefits are provided to anyone who works 30 or more hours a week.
Transportation Director Donna Grattino says there a lot of people who enjoy being bus drivers and transportation educational assistants (TEAs), because of the schedule—from stay-at-home mothers to retirees.
“They love it. They have a lot of freedom in their schedules. They love it because they get to interact with kids on a daily basis and they can make an impact on students,” Grattino said. “A lot of them are retired and this is their filler job. They really bond with the students and enjoy the time with them since they don't always get time with their kids or grandkids."
The starting wage is $15.90, plus both bus drivers and TEAs can choose part-time or full-time schedules and get holidays and breaks off.
We offer a competitive benefits package. We have one of the highest salary ranges on the Front Range.
Grattino says it is a great position for young mothers, because drivers may even bring young children aboard with them, as long as they are old enough to sit in a booster seat.
“They don’t have to put them in daycare, Grattino said. “It is a win-win, especially for stay-at-home moms.”
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“If you’re thinking about it, you should give a try. You might be one of the next best bus drivers out there,” King said.
Hiring Incentive Program: Douglas County School District employees who recommend someone to be hired by the Transportation Department we will pay you $200 after the first 60 days and then another $200 after they are here 12 months.