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WCSD In Desperate Need Of Bus Drivers, Substitute Teachers

A bulletin board at an elementary school to the right of tables and chairs for small children.
Alexa Ard
KUNR Public Radio
The Washoe County School District needs qualified employees to fill bus driver and substitute teacher positions.

Washoe County School District (WCSD) has a critical shortage of school bus drivers. The unemployment rate is low in the Reno-Sparks area, at 3.2 percent, and there is fierce competition for qualified employees. The district is seeking qualified people in the community to apply for school bus driver positions.

WCSD is short 50-55 drivers on a daily basis. The district works to provide full service to students each day using solutions such as transportation staff not assigned as drivers and combined bus runs. WCSD is concerned about the potential impact the bus driver shortage may have on students, families, and schools in the near future if more hires cannot be made soon.

“School bus drivers are an important part of a student’s day. The driver is the first and last staff member a student sees,” said Rick Martin, WCSD director of transportation. “Our drivers play a valuable role in supporting of our students in their educational journey.”

District Spokesperson Victoria Campbell said the district has recently hired a number of new bus drivers, and district officials are hopeful that the shortage will be reduced once the new hires are trained and certified.

The district also needs more substitute teachers. “[The district] has a serious shortage of guest teachers (substitute teachers) for the remainder of the school year,” according to Campbell.

“On average, WCSD uses more than 400 guest teachers daily with a shortage of approximately 80 guest teachers daily. The district is prepared to discuss the situation and provide information to the community and those interested in becoming a guest teacher.”

To read more on this issue, visit ThisisReno.com.

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