ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. Johns County students return to class Monday.
The district is preparing to bus up to 24,000 to and from school every day.
Drivers will spend the weekend nailing down their routes to reduce any potential issues during the first week.
St. Johns County school bus drivers are doing final test runs before Monday’s first day of school. The district is preparing to bus up to 24,000 students Day 1. pic.twitter.com/zJlJ2HtJFq— Aaron Farrar (@aaronfarrarNews) August 13, 2021
The school district is carrying over a lot of safety protocols from last year.
Students are encouraged to wear a mask, but it is optional.
There will also be assigned seats and the drivers will sanitize their buses once a day.
“Our department is all about getting the operators ready to support the children,” said assistant director for transportation Logan Lowery. “We are making sure that they have the routes in tiptop shape.”
For Monday’s first day of the school year, 237 routes are expected to be run. There are 293 buses in the fleet. Lowery said the number of routes is expected to grow throughout the school year. The most there would be is 247.
“We’re assigning a lot of students to routes, changing some route times and making some adjustments from our two department rehearsals,” Lowery said. “[We’re] just finalizing. It was last-minute preparations.”
If there are any bus issues, parents can call 904-547-7810.
Lowery said the best things parents can do leading up to the first day their kids ride the bus are check the “Home Access” portal on the district’s website for any potential changes and practice bus stop routines with your kids.
“It makes kids comfortable for that first day,” he said. “You can start to look at some of the safety zones around the bus and things like [check] where to stand on the sidewalk and wait for the bus, and to monitor traffic is the best way to keep kids safe.”
The school district does have a bus driver shortage right now. There are 17 vacancies. If you’re interested in becoming a driver, call this number 👇🏿 pic.twitter.com/AB3j6aJRdf— Aaron Farrar (@aaronfarrarNews) August 13, 2021
St. Johns County Public Schools does have a bus driver shortage right now.
Lowery said there are 17 vacancies, and the district is hiring.
If you are interested in becoming a driver, you can call the hotline at 904-547-8814.
Training will be provided.