Dawn Chavez, a bus driver trainee for Tucson Unified School District, goes through five weeks of classroom instruction, driver training, third-party road testing, and Department of Public Safety training before she can accept students on a school bus. Chavez said she "likes to drive" and decided to make it a career. She gets plenty of support and instruction from senior trainer Frances Romero, one of 23 state-certified trainers with TUSD, and Jessica Spangler, a TUSD driver who is studying to become a Behind the Wheel Instructor, like Romero.
The driver training program at TUSD is extensive. The program includes:
• A 40-hour class for Commercial Driver License.
• 25 hours of classroom training on job duties and functions
• 20-25 hours of behind-the-wheel training
• 20-40 hours of third-party testing and on-the-job training
• 24 hours of classroom instruction with the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety
Once drivers are certified, they get two days to practice their routes before school begins. Routes usually average 8-10 pick-ups and drop-offs.
But drivers don't just hop on the 40-foot bus and go. They must perform a safety check each morning, including engine belts and fluids, mechanical components under the bus, tires, lights, emergency doors and safety equipment. For trainees, that's a one-hour commitment. But experienced drivers can usually cut it down to about 20 minutes, according to trainer Frances Romero.
Finally, there are kids – sometimes 70 of them. But that's another story.
Full story here: https://tucson.com/news/local/photos-tusd-bus-driver-trainees-put-their-skills-on-the/collection_09ee40d8-a400-11e9-a8f4-23c5cc3ae31d.html?utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR26A0UzCJCjm5_DGtXYt9-4Fv-t3776teZ_QzA-EKnwh6t50IxqPf5yXWE#10