Bus drivers needed in South Washington County

Preliminary levy on agenda for September 8 school board meeting

By Joseph Back

Can you drive a bus or would like to? IF so, the South Washington County School District, could use you. District Communications Director Pepe Barton laid out the details in a response to Journal staff inquiry.

“Like most school districts and bus companies, we continue to see a shortage of bus drivers despite ongoing hiring efforts,” he said. “Our mechanics, transportation office staff and transportation administrators are filling in as drivers on a daily basis. Though we have a couple candidates working through the training and hiring process, our critical need for drivers will be an issue for the foreseeable future. We invite anyone interested in making a difference in their community to apply at sowashco. org/careers. SoWashCo Schools bus drivers start at $20.40 an hour with excellent benefits.” Additionally, bus driver pay can rise to $22.45 per hour, based on qualifications and experience. Health insurance benefits are included for those with 25 or more work hours each week, while applicants must be able to pass a CDL physical and pass the Minnesota CDL/School Bus Road Test, among other requirements.

As to the upcoming September 8 school board workshop, meanwhile, superintendent Julie Nielsen will be getting an evaluation from the board in closed session pursuant to state statute, while school showcases are also planned for four separate elementary schools, these being Valley Crossing, Liberty Ridge, Woodbury, and Pullman. The first reading of three policy review changes will be had with regards to 301.1 Administrative Organizational Plan, 305 Policy Implementation, and 307 Records Retention. Recommended action would see the Administrative Organizational Plan Policy removed, clarifying language changes made to the Policy Implementation Policy (substituting more direct phrasing than at present), with no suggested changes to the Records Retention Policy.

Barring the unforeseen, said policy review would be finalized at the September 22, 2022 regular board meeting, with public comment allowed following information on the proposed changes.

Finally, district director of finance and operations Dan Pyan will be presenting preliminary levy information to the board.

September 7, 2022