Can Driving an SD308 School Bus Be a Rewarding Career For You?
In every city, there are professional bus drivers. The transportation of children via the school bus has been popular since the 1930s and continues to be a widely used mode of transportation. The demand for professional bus drivers is rising at a steady pace, especially in growing suburban areas such as SD308.
Why not reward yourself and join the SD308 team of professionals? Take pride in supporting children through their educational experience. Here is a short list of reasons why bus driving might be a perfect career for you.
- You care about children’s safety. Fortunately the number of school bus accidents per year is very low. This is because of careful drivers who make the safety of their passengers a top priority. Professional drivers make sure to keep an eye on on-board conduct, see that kids make it home safely, and enforce safety rules on the bus and when loading and unloading the school bus.
- You have great people skills. A career as a bus driver means being surrounded by different types of people every single day. This can include teachers, parents, school officials, and of course, kids! The ability to communicate and understand an assortment of personalities is a valuable trait that every successful bus driver has to have.
- You enjoy working with kids. If you love kids, a career as a professional bus driver could be a very rewarding job. You don’t just need the skills to get students from A to B, but you also need the desire to make them feel comfortable and safe.
- You like to drive. Operating a large vehicle can be exciting for some and daunting for others. If driving is enjoyable for you, a career as a school bus driver can be both challenging and relaxing.
- You remain calm under pressure. The situations you will face as a bus driver can include: severe weather conditions, challenging children, congestion and traffic, and overwhelming road construction, which can happen at any time on the road. However, if you have a patient manner and are able to keep a clear mind when unexpected issues come your way, problems like these can actually be a rewarding challenge for you.
- You are looking for a flexible work schedule. Most often a bus driver works early in the morning and then late in the afternoons with a nice break in between. There is also the option of driving midday routes, field trips, after school activities, or shuttles for additional hours. If the thought of the ordinary 9 to 5 job is not best for you, a career as a bus driver could be the ideal solution.
- You want a position with rewarding benefits. SD308 shows appreciation to their staff by offering bonus programs, paid holidays, personal days, sick days, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.
When recently asked, a bus driver shared what they enjoy most about their career…
“What I enjoy most about being a school bus driver is the reward of a child’s smile and their excitement to board the bus every morning. Then every afternoon when I pull in to pick them up, and maybe they’ve had a hard day, but then things don’t seem so bad when they see a familiar cheerful face. We really do make a difference in their lives, and kids say the funniest things that make today even better than yesterday.”
How to Become an SD308 Professional School Bus Driver:
Now that we have your interest, let us share with you how you can become a Professional School Bus Driver for SD308. Our Transportation Safety Coordinator and team of driver trainers will be by your side and assist you every step of the way.
- Complete an online application at www.sd308.org. Click on Employment Opportunities under District Links on the left hand side of the web page.
- Applicants must be twenty-one (21) years of age and have held a valid driver’s license for three (3) consecutive years.
- Your application will be reviewed, and if you meet the requirements of SD308, you may be contacted for an interview.
- Your personal references will be contacted and verified.
- Upon a successful interview and reference check, the Transportation Safety Coordinator will schedule you for a pre-employment physical examination including vision, hearing, TB, and drug and alcohol testing by the district’s medical examiner that is on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
- An evaluation of your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) and a complete background check will be conducted.
- You will be scheduled to attend and must pass the state-required eight (8) hour initial training course.
- You will be required to study the Illinois Commercial Driver’s License Study Guide. The Transportation Safety Coordinator and/or a driver trainer will assist to ensure you fully comprehend the material prior to testing.
You must pass the written State of Illinois CDL core knowledge test, which includes federal regulations to earn a Commercial License Permit. Areas of study include:
- procedures for inspection and repair
- safe vehicle operations
- safety control systems such as lighting systems and horn
- vehicle control such as shifting, passenger, backing, and skid control
- basic vehicle control and safe driving skills
The “S” endorsement written test includes loading and unloading children, proper operation of school bus, specific signal devices, and emergency exits and procedures.
- An SD308 Driver-Trainer will provide you with important training of pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections and the behind-the-wheel educational program.
- Upon successful completion of the training stated above, a behind-the-wheel skills test will be scheduled with the Secretary of State’s commercial license division. There are three sections to your skills test.
- The pre-trip inspection portion will evaluate your ability to correctly point out and evaluate
- The basic skills portion will evaluate controlling the vehicle, including your ability to start, stop,
- The final portion of the test evaluates your safe driving skills. You will be tested on your visual
- Once you have obtained a commercial driver’s license with endorsements, you will be required to complete the state-required yearly physical examinations, yearly and random drug and alcohol testing, as well as an annual refresher class to maintain your school bus permit.
- SD308 Bus Drivers are required to complete a special needs training program, department orientation, student management training, on-going professional development, and safety training.
- SD308 employees must complete yearly GCN training on blood born pathogens, sexual harassment, domestic/sexual violence, teen parenting, educator ethics, and school employee – student conduct.
The requirements and responsibilities of you as a Professional School Bus Driver are extensive, but successful applicants will have the right tools, knowledge, and skill set to be a successful employee of SD308. We welcome you to a noble and rewarding career providing safe, effective, and efficient transportation services to thousands of students in support of their educational experience.