With funding in place, the Cumberland County Board of Education took the next step toward implementing one of the programs it hopes will help recruit and retain bus drivers for the school system.

The board approved a job description for afternoon bus attendants during its Oct. 24 meeting. The four part-time positions are now being advertised at the school system’s website, ccschools.k12tn.net.

“This is the bus attendants the board voted to hire for some of our troubled routes,” Director of Schools Janet Graham said. 

The Cumberland County Commission approved a budget resolution moving $100,000 from the school maintenance budget to the transportation budget to pay the bus attendants and provide for other driver incentives. 

According to the job description, the individuals will be tasked with assisting the bus driver in handling emergency situations and provide driver support during normal transportation of students; assist students and passengers for safe loading and unloading of the bus; monitor students until released to the teacher, instructional assistant, parent, etc.; and report observations and incidents such as discipline, accidents or inappropriate behavior to appropriate personnel. 

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent, CPR and first aid certification, and a criminal background clearance with fingerprinting. Starting pay is $8.57 per hour, with an anticipated schedule of approximately two hours each afternoon during the school year. 

Estimated cost for the pilot program is $18,451 to $31,576, depending on if the additional two hours of work moves part-time employees to full-time status. This cost is recurring. 

Other incentives approved last month by the board include a $150 quarterly safety and attendance bonus, estimated to cost a maximum of $48,881 this year, and paying teachers who drive buses for snow days at a cost of $1,892 each year. 

The school system also reimburses the cost of Tennessee Department of Transportation physicals. That costs about $75 per driver. 

The job description was unanimously approved.

The board also approved a change in the student information administrative assistant job description. This is not a new position, Graham explained. Changes were made regarding supervisor and essential functions.

“The person who is in this job answered primarily to technology,” Graham said. “But mostly, what that person does is day-to-day answering questions from attendance clerks and helping them.”

The position differs from the student information system administrator who works with the various software programs used to track students.

“She makes all of our software systems speak to each other,” Graham explained. “She’s trying to set up a single sign-on for our students.”

The administrative assistant handles a lot of day-to-day questions and assists with truancy efforts. The new job description assigns the employee to the supervision of the emergency management, security, truancy and disciplinary hearing authority supervisor. 

“It’s for the efficiency of the offices we have,” Graham said. 

In other business, the board approved the following items:

•2019 local education agency compliance report

•individuals to serve on the 2019-’20 textbook committee to evaluate materials for reading and language arts


Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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