Silver Falls Community,

We need your help!!

As with many districts throughout the state and the nation, we are in the midst of a severe shortage of school bus drivers. There are a number of reasons for this shortage, ranging from the ongoing pandemic to the increase in competition for commercial drivers from companies like Amazon.

The situation is dire, and future outlook is grim. Our transportation provider, Durham School Services, offers competitive wages, signing bonuses, and paid training. Despite these facts, and just as with many other sectors in the service industry, open positions remain unfilled – no one is even applying for these jobs.

In order for Silver Falls School District to operate on its current hybrid, in-person schedule, we’ve had to bring in drivers from California. These out of state drivers have allowed us to continue to serve students.  However, as more and more districts reopen for in-person instruction, the number of available out-of-state drivers will shrink significantly. To give you some perspective, our understanding is that Salem-Keizer School District is currently running 53 fewer routes than pre-pandemic due to a shortage of drivers.

To be clear, this driver shortage is now the number one barrier to beginning a 4-day in-person school week for as many of our K-8 students as possible. While our district is not at all unique in experiencing this problem, we truly believe our community can help us solve it. Applicants with a CDL would be great, but any individual who can pass the background check, and would be capable of working with children, would be welcome. Paid training, a starting wage well above minimum wage, and signing bonuses are available.

Driving a school bus is also a great option for college students taking online classes; retirees looking to put more money in their pocket; or anyone who would enjoy working with students on a daily basis. If you know anyone who may be interested, please encourage them to reach out to SFSD Administrator, Kevin Palmer, at palmer_kevin@silverfalls.k12.or.us.

This is truly a community problem, and we believe that together, we can find community solutions.

Sincerely,

Scott Drue
Superintendent
Kyle Palmer
Mayor
Stacy Palmer
Executive Director
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