Clearview looking at ways to mitigate increased costs of driver training

Entry-Level Training Program will ensure all school bus drivers will meet entry level requirements

By Kevin J Sabo For the Advance

With legislation changes impending, the Board has begun to look at transportation concerns within the division.

The Mandatory Entry-Level Training Program will ensure that all school bus drivers will meet the basic entry level requirements, but it will come with a cost beginning March 1st.

Since the training could only be conducted by someone considered to be a senior driver trainer, the cost of the training would be around 125 hours of instructor’s time, plus around $1,000 for new hire wages while they attend the training. Added to this is the fact that the government has not supplied any training or testing materials that would be required, so Clearview would be required to pay for this program development as well.

The legislation coming into effect March 1 will require all new drivers seeking Class 1 or 2 licenses to have a minimum 18.5 hours classroom, 11 hours in the yard and around the vehicle and another 24 hours of behind the wheel training for any incoming bus drivers.

While this would add a level of safety for students the costs attached could be prohibitive for the board and further impede the ability to hire and train drivers.

With the average age of regular and spare drivers being 58 years of age, and drivers being difficult to recruit in the rural areas as is, the new legislation could lead to a bus driver shortage in the next several years.

The board is currently looking into options to mitigate costs, such as a partnership with Wolf Creek or Red Deer Catholic Senior Driving Trainers, as well as the potential development of their own program. There is no clear solution going forward but Clearview Public Schools is reviewing all options.

Some Stettler band students will be visiting the island state of Hawaii later this year. The Clearview Public Schools Board approved the trip during their Feb. 6 board meeting. Sixty-one band students and 29 chaperones from Wm. E. Hay Secondary will be flying to Honolulu May 1 to May 6, 2019. The students attending the trip will attend a concert band clinic at the University of Hawaii, perform publicly at a shopping all, an elementary school and the trip will be capped off by performing at the iconic USS Missouri Battleship Memorial.

The USS Missouri, an Iowa Class Battleship from World War 2, sits as a tourist location and memorial in Pearl Harbour and is best known as the sight where Japan signed the treaty ending World War 2 on its decks.

The Wm. E. Hay Secondary students aren’t the only Clearview Public Schools group to do some traveling this spring. During the same meeting, the board issued final approval for 20 students from Gus Wetter School to attend a school exchange with Experiences Canada from April 9 to 16. For this year’s exchange the 20 students will be traveling to Shawville, Quebec. The Quebec students will then be hosted by the Gus Wetter family’s later in May.

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