GLADSTONE, Mo. — The North Kansas City School District needs to hire 21 bus drivers before the start of the school year. Roughly 15,000 of the district’s 21,000 students ride the bus.
Bus drivers in North Kansas City are school district employees, meaning they get benefits like health and life insurance as well as access to the PEERS retirement program and paychecks all 12 months.
Starting pay begins at $19 per hour and increases based on experience. Anyone with a Class B commercial driver’s license is eligible for a $1,000 sign-on bonus. Anyone needing to acquire a CDL will get paid while they train for the certification — training takes roughly three weeks.
“We will even teach you how to parallel park a bus. Guaranteed,” said Cindy Bultemeier, the district’s transportation student liaison coordinator.
Bultemeier drove a bus for years and says one key to success for drivers is developing relationships with the students who ride the bus.
“It’s so important we get drivers that the kids can build a relationship with because if you got a relationship with those kiddos, you’re going to succeed at this," Bultemeier said. "The kids become attached, you become attached to them."
To help students prepare for riding the bus this school year, Bultemeier enlisted KC Wolf. The Chiefs mascot filmed a series of videos demonstrating good behavior, and the district will send the videos to families before class begins.
North Kansas City will hold a hiring event July 19 at Oak Park High School for bus drivers and other certified employees. Interested candidates can apply sooner by visiting the district’s website.