July 16, 2019–7:19 a.m.
The Rome City Schools Board of Education met for a special meeting on July 15, 2019, to discuss personnel items and information regarding the new transportation program that will begin Jan. 7, 2020.
The new plan that Central Office is calling “Rollin’ with RCS 2020” is already underway, and Superintendent Louis Byars offered the Board some of the specific areas the system is currently focused on.
Central Office is now hiring new bus drivers and providing training opportunities for drivers already hired to start in 2020. Superintendent Byars said that they have had success in filling the approximately 34 new positions that will come along with the system providing transportation for RCS students. “We still need to hire around 20 new drivers and we will be adding two new positions that will oversee the buses and the maintenance facility,” Byars explained. “Those two new positions will be a person who will assist in planning the routes and managing the drivers, and the other position will serve as a director of the maintenance of the buses and the entire transportation department.
“We have added some incentives to our push to hire new drivers, like a competitive pay scale, several insurance options and the chance to pick up additional routes in the afternoon,” he continued. “In addition to our competitive pay scale, we have added a $1,000 bonus for drivers that will be broken down into two parts. This is in place so that we can encourage our drivers to stay with us long term.”
The school system has been successful in hiring from outside of the area and they will continue advertising the jobs until they are all filled.
Rome City Schools also qualified for a $77,000 rebate for one of their new buses. This money will be reimbursed from the state and supplement the budget allocated for the new buses. Also, the system is working
with a fuel company that will offer a discounted rate for unleaded gasoline, further assisting with the cost of operating their own transportation services. Byars said that the cost of operation will be comparable to the $1.5 million RCS has paid for transportation before taking over the operation.