KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In just a few short weeks, school will be back in session. With the summer coming to an end, many districts across the Kansas City area are trying to make last minute hires before students return.

Over in Independence, the Independence School District is in dire need of bus drivers.

“We’re probably about 10 to 12, bus drivers down of where we’d like to be,” ISD Superintendent Dr. Dale Herl said.

The superintendent said with three routes that are open and in need of drivers this will impact high school and middle school students getting to school.

“We made a change that we moved our walk routes for our secondary students,” Herl said. “So that’s our middle and high school students from a mile to a mile and a half. So that does help us with the number of bus routes that we need to fill.”

Herl said when making this decision it took safety into consideration.

“So with us changing the walk boundaries for a mile to a mile and a half, that only impacted our secondary students,” he said. “Our elementary students are not having any sort of impact with this. And also, we always take into consideration for safety purposes, if there are busy highway, so we don’t ask students to cross you know, and interstate or our main artery within our community.”

ISD does provide CDL certification for its bus drivers. The district also pays for training associated with bus driving.

As for teaching positions.

“We have one open position right now as well of six others that have requested to be released from their teaching contract,” Herl said. “We have interviews going on for those as well. But we’re always welcoming any anybody who wants to apply in interview with us for any of our openings.”

Over in North Kansas City Public Schools, there are still signs for bus drivers. While it has the drivers needed, it is looking to add more drivers to its fleet.

Todd Schuetz, North Kansas City Public Schools Assistant Superintendent, said it has other needs as well.

“The food service workers, paraprofessionals, those people get to work directly with students helping teachers meet their student’s needs, custodians,” he said. “I mean, we’re all pulling on the same rope.”

Plus, it currently has only three certified teaching positions open.

“In our school district, we have a high school science, a high school math, and then a global language at the middle school level,” he said.

Schuetz said the district has found a new approach to hiring teachers.

“Had some teachers pull a Tom Brady, and come out of retirement to help us out, which is great, because it’s a win-win proposition,” he said. “Definitely looking at openings from a different perspective, like, who do we know that’s retired recently that might be interested in coming back.”

In Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, it’s had success hiring teachers and non-teaching staff positions through career fairs but it still needs more bus drivers.

One of the biggest needs we had was in the area of bus drivers. And we are so glad that the public has responded, because now we only have less than 10 needs for bus drivers,” Cynthia Fulks, the district’s assistant director of recruitment and substitutes staff said.

Spring Hill School District supplied FOX4 with this list of needs:

  • 3-Clerical
  • 1-Tech Person
  • 27-paraprofessionals
  • 14-Custodial
  • 1-HVAC-Maintenance
  • 1-Electrical-Maintenance
  • 5-Nutrition Service Workers

While many of these districts hope to get in those last-minute hires. They say they will do the best they can with the staff they have.

“Every position is important in our schools, or we wouldn’t have the position. It’s all critical for us to be able to achieve our mission,” Schuetz said.

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