How Drivers are Selected & Trained
School bus drivers hired by the HISD Transportation Department must meet standards developed by Hutto ISD and state law in the following areas:
Motor Vehicle Records Check
A bus driver's driving record must be acceptable according to standards developed by the Department of Public Safety and the Hutto Independent School District. A pre-employment driver license check is required for school bus drivers in Texas. This check covers the driver's motor vehicle record (accidents, tickets, etc.) for the past three years. Hutto ISD maintains a procedure that no new employee may be hired with more than four penalty points within the last three years. No one may drive a school bus whose driving record shows 10 or more penalty points during the three-year period prior to the current driving year. Drivers who have recently moved to Texas from out of state will be required to furnish a three-year record from the state or states in which they lived for that period of time.
Criminal History Record Check
All potential employees are subject to a criminal history record check. Criminal history must be acceptable according to standards developed by Hutto ISD and state law.
Work History/Personal Background Check
Hutto ISD will perform both work history and personal background checks during the hiring process. Potential employees must meet standards acceptable to the district.
Annual Physical Examination
"It shall be unlawful for any person to be employed to drive a motor vehicle while in use as a school bus for the transportation of pupils who has not undergone a physical examination which reveals...physical and mental capabilities to safely operate a school bus." All school bus drivers must complete a Texas Department of Public Safety physical examination each school year. All drivers must have received a physical examination before driving students in an HISD vehicle or be subject to suspension, without pay.
NOTE: Persons who are disqualified may request special consideration from the State Commissioner of Education. The applicant must present, in writing, "clear and convincing evidence that his or her functions are not impaired in any way which would reduce the applicant's effectiveness as a bus driver or endanger the safety and welfare of the children."
Employees covered under this policy are classified as operating in safety-sensitive positions. "Safety-sensitive employees" are defined by the federal law as drivers of vehicles having a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more or who operate vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons.
Job applicants are required to undergo drug and alcohol testing before they are hired, after an offer to hire, or when on probation or having limited rights prior to full employment status, but before actually performing safety-sensitive functions for the first time. Pre-employment testing is also required when an employee transfers to a safety-sensitive position. The purpose of this pre-screening effort is to minimize internal corrective actions and possible accidents related to drugs and/or alcohol. Safety sensitive positions are also subject to random and reasonable suspicion drug testing through out the duration of their employment.
Hutto Independent School District is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons because of age, race color, creed, religion, disability, gender, ethnic or national origin, or veteran status. HISD prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and will reasonably accommodate applicants with a disability, upon request, and will also ensure reasonable accommodation for employees with a disability. Complaints should be directed to Employee Relations, Human Resource Services.
Additional employment information may be obtained by visiting Human Resources Web Page.
Transportation employees receive initial and continuous training to enhance their skills. The Transportation Department is committed to continuously improving our service through the education of our employees. All of our driver training staff have been certified by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) at Texas A&M University as school bus driver trainers.
The complete training course consists of at least eight hours of behind-the-wheel training, some of which is range training, on an empty bus, plus four hours of observation and driving a loaded school bus with trainer observing. The applicant may receive an additional two hours of classroom training in commercial drivers license preparation.
State of Texas Commercial Drivers License
HISD School Bus Drivers must possess a current Texas CDL License Class A or B (with a "P"-passenger and "S"-school bus endorsement and carry it at all times while working. Trainees must take the DPS Driving Test in a 65-78 passenger school bus in order to receive a Class B. Drivers must inform their Supervisors any time the license expires or is revoked. Original requires passing written and driving tests as well as an eye test. Renewal requires eye test. New drivers who do not have the correct license will receive behind-the-wheel training, which will qualify them to apply for a Class A or B license, as part of their bus driver training.
Anyone who operates a school bus with a suspended or expired Class A or B license, or before they have completed the proper licensing procedures through DPS and it is documented, will be terminated immediately.
Anyone who reports in advance that their Class A or B license has expired is not to be terminated (unless they actually have operated a school bus with an expired license), but will be suspended without pay until the license is made current.
School Bus Driver Certification
Successful completion of the school bus driver training course is required of all drivers. School bus drivers shall have in their possession a certificate indicating enrollment in or completion of the 20-hour course. Drivers are responsible for renewing their certification every three years by completing a eight-hour refresher course.
Special Needs Training
All employees will receive training in special needs transportation. A basic course in student management, route driving, student loading and unloading, and wheelchair securement, as well as, additional specialized training for individual students is offered as needed.
Other Required Training
All employees will receive training in Radio Usage, Safe School Bus Pedestrian Crossings, Pre-trip Inspections, and Drug and Alcohol Awareness.
Annual Required Training
All employees receive annual training in these areas: Blood Borne Pathogens, Sexual Harassment Awareness, Back Awareness and Lifting Techniques, and Railroad Grade Crossing Safety.
Monthly Safety Training
The Transportation Department provides monthly safety training for all employees. Topics for this training vary based on department need.
Evaluations and Retraining
The Transportation Department routinely evaluates driver performance and incorporates training into the process. Drivers are observed and given feedback and direction to enhance operational skills.
Drivers performing below expected levels are retrained. A driver trainer is assigned to the individual to provide one-to-one interaction and assure improved performance.
Departmental Procedure Book
All employees are expected to read, understand, and comply with the current departmental procedure book. The book sets guidelines of expectations and training needed to become successful employees. A copy of the current procedures may be viewed by clicking the Transportation Department Procedure Book page.