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(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

New software, bus driver shortage leads to issues for HCS | News | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

The bus has always stopped at Camary Bridges’ driveway to pick up her children for school.

Not this year.

“Now they are making our kids walk the road to a dirt road, way up the road,” Bridges said. “I have to be at work early in the mornings so I’m not there to put them on the bus.”

With new state-mandated bus routing software and 85 bus driver vacancies, the first day of school this past Monday presented a few more challenges than the usual first day hiccups.

Bridges’ younger child is already afraid of the dark, too. She said she was able to go in late to work to be sure her daughter got on the bus safely, but she can’t do that every day.

After school, her six-year-old was dropped off and had to walk the road alone to get home, Bridges said.

“She said the bus just drove away and left her to walk alone – when I got home from work she was in tears because she was terrified,” Bridges said.

Horry County Schools officials are asking for patience from parents.

“It will take longer in the first two weeks then as we get adjusted,” said HCS Chief of Human Resources Mary Anderson at last week’s Horry County Board of Education meeting.

She said it does take time to get bus drivers into place with the necessary CDL training, but there are some transportation substitutes that can help them this week.

“We can consolidate some routes as needed,” Anderson said.

Kelly Education, the newly introduced staffing agency that will help fill the district’s substitute teacher needs, is not contracted to assist with substitute bus drivers, said HCS Transportation Director Ben Prince.

Bus driver wages begin at $17 per hour, and once each semester they are eligible for a $1,500 bonus based on their attendance history and whether or not they stay in good standing. HCS pays for the driver to obtain a commercial driver’s license certification, as well.

According to Prince, the move this year to the new TYLER Technologies bus routing software was a change that came from Columbia.

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