South Peace News
More bus drivers are needed for the High Prairie School Division as it prepares to return to school in September.
“We need bus drivers,” says HPSD Director of Transportation, Harry Davis.
“We need about 10-15 spare drivers throughout the whole division who are able to support us.”
He says the position is a positive experience.
“We offer anyone interested the opportunity to become a professional school bus driver with HPSD,” Davis says.
“The training is free and the job can be very enriching.”
A shortage of spare drivers was a main issue in the 2020-21 school year during the COVID-19 pandemic under restrictions.
“The year has not been without challenges and, at times struggles, specifically not enough spare drivers,” Davis says.
Buses in the school division transport about 2,000 students on 45 routes to 16 schools about 4,000 km each day.
HPSD has 15 routes in the High Prairie region, five in the Joussard and Kinuso area, nine in the Falher and McLennan region, and 16 in the Slave Lake region.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the school division also logged about 700 field trips in one school year that covered about 400,000 km, Davis says.
“We look forward to a less stressful 2021-22 school year,” Davis says.
“We are currently planning and scheduling summer activities to ensure transportation preparedness towards a successful 2021-22 year for our schools, students and families.”
A bus with a banner to advertise bus drivers will tour the region during the summer, he says.
“A lot of work for the new school year takes place over the summer,” Davis says.
HPSD is not alone in the struggle to recruit drivers.
“School divisions across the province are challenged to have enough bus drivers,” Davis says.
He invites anyone interested in becoming a bus driver to contact him or talk to a driver to get a better insight on the opportunity.
For more information, phone Davis at  523-3654 or the school division office at  523-3337 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.