COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland School District Two is hiring bus drivers to transport students to and from school.
Richland Two starts bus drivers at $15.22 an hour. According to the district, that is nearly double the rate the state recommends. Paid training is provided for qualified drivers, and most positions qualify for full-time benefits.
District leaders say fear over getting sick has led some drivers to stay home, but they do have safety precautions in place to try to keep everyone safe.
"There still is a fear out there. We've got drivers who are... concerned about their safety and concerned about the safety of the ones that they go home to" Richland Two Chief Operations Officer Will Anderson said. "Our job here is to alleviate those concerns... we're going to show them that you're going to have a mask and do all the safety things that we're going to do to make them feel as safe as possible."
According to Anderson, the buses will operate at limited capacity. Students and drivers will wear masks and the buses will be disinfected after each route, including the use of electrostatic sprayers.
They're short about seven drivers now, but are hoping to hire around 30 people in case someone isn't able to come to work amid the pandemic.
"We hope that we'll have many more people coming to drive with us and... join the Richland Two family," Anderson said.
Anyone interested in becoming a Richland Two bus driver can apply here.
Richland Two is set to resume school on August 31. The school will have a phased in option for in-person learning and a fully virtual school option to begin with.
The phases are triggered by DHEC's assessment of the rate of virus spread in the county.
Phase 1 (high spread): E-learning and virtual school
Phase 2 (medium spread): Pre-k through 5th grade will have elearning, a virtual school, and classroom communities. 6th through 12th grade will have those options as well, but also the AA/BB days blended with eLearning.
Phase 3 (low spread): Virtual school, eLearning through schools, and a traditional face-to-face instruction.
Read Richland School District Two's complete back-to-school plan