Roanoke County School Board approves return of hybrid transportation/nutrition associate position

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 9:59 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Like many school systems, Roanoke County Public Schools has positions it is trying to fill, especially when it comes to transportation and nutrition.

“As you’re aware, we have struggled and we continue to struggle to fill our open positions for bus drivers, bus aides and nutrition associates,” said Susan Peterson, director of finance for RCPS.

Trying to have a hybrid-type position where bus drivers fill in as nutrition associates for a few hours of the school day is nothing new for RCPS.

“Many years ago, a few employees were contracted as bus drivers and in-between their bus runs would work in the cafeterias for a couple hours off of a timesheet, this practice ended in 2014-2015.”

The position was attempted again starting in 2019 but didn’t gain momentum.

“We had a few takers and they all eventually left and due to lack of interest, we dissolved this position last year in the 2022 school year.”

With higher pay, insurance coverage and bonuses this school year, RCPS is hoping the position can make a comeback.

“It will be the intent that whoever takes the job will run their bus run in the morning, return to the cafeteria and then do their bus run in the afternoon to make a full eight-hour day for them.”

It will take 16 five-hour part-time positions and turn them into 10 eight-hour full-time positions. The part time positions already had health and dental insurance, but the full time position opens up Virginia Retirement System benefits as well.

It was passed unanimously by the School Board at Thursday night’s meeting. It will cost RCPS $10,734.55 and will be divided between RCPS’s general fund and nutrition fund. You can find the document here, which explains how it works.

Currently, RCPS is down 18 bus drivers, five bus aides and 33 nutrition associates. For more information on careers at RCPS, head to its page here.

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