Hiring Process

Applicant Requirements

  1. Must submit a complete application.

  2. High school diploma or equivalent (waived for Bus Operators and Bus Attendants)

  3. Bus Operators: Hold or obtain a valid Florida Commercial Drivers License, Class B, with passenger endorsement and school bus endorsement (P, S). (Must have held a valid drivers license for at least 5 years).

  4. Satisfactory Clearance of Criminal Record – A criminal background check is made through FBI and FDLE. Fingerprinting must be completed prior to your New Hire Processing appointment and after your training is completed. The fee will be $73.25. A fact sheet outlining pertinent information to schedule your background screening, as well as instruction with your required Field print Code will be provided during training class. DOT drug screening fee (for Operators) of $19.40 or Non DOT drug screening fee (for Attendants) of $16.25, payable by check or money order made payable to “The School Board of Highlands County” at time of New Hire Processing appointment.

  5. Good Health – Successful completion of a physical examination (by a School Board approved physician) and reflex test at the end of training. Physicals will be paid by the School Board of Highlands County.

  6. Ability to complete reports and maintain records.

  7. Must attend and complete 40 hours of state approved training. Compensation of $200 for Bus Operator training and $75.00 for Attendant training will be made after working 20 days – PAYABLE AT THE NEXT PAY DATE, LESS APPLICABLE WITHHOLDING. (Example: if you complete your 20 days at the end of the month of November that pay date is at the middle of December).

  8. Physical ability to inspect the bus daily, to include checking the brake system and the engine compartment (belts, hoses and fluid levels), emergency doors, windows and hatches.

  9. Physical ability to operate the service doors and open and close windows.

  10. Physical ability to ascend and descend bus entrance steps to ensure safety to oneself and others.

  11. Physical ability to implement emergency evacuation procedures.


      • Driving under the influence (DUI, DUBAL, or DWI)

      • Vehicular Homicide or Manslaughter

      • Any other major traffic offense resulting in a suspension or revocation

      • More than 4 current (36 months) points

      • More than 12 accumulated points within 10 years

      • More than 3 moving violations within 10 years

      • Any current suspension or revocation

New Hire Process

Once the Transportation Department has received your application for employment, it is reviewed and the references are contacted. Driving and criminal history investigations are then conducted (this will take up to three working days to complete). If the application is approved, you will be contacted by phone or letter to schedule an interview. If you are selected, then a trainer will contact you with training information (you must obtain a CDL “B” permit with P & S endorsements before class starts).

BUS OPERATOR training process - Approximately 2 Weeks

      • 40 hour state curriculum (classroom and behind the wheel training and testing)

      • CDL training and testing and waiver issuing

      • HR processing, drug testing, fingerprinting, DMV license issuance

      • Notification of clearance and report to duty by area supervisor

BUS ATTENDANT training process - Approximately 1 Week

      • 24 hour state curriculum (classroom and hands on training and testing)

      • HR processing, drug testing and fingerprinting

      • Notification of clearance and report to duty by area supervisor

Substitute Operator/Attendant Status

  1. Obtain Commercial Driver License permit from DHSMV prior to attending class, this will be a 4 part written test. Pre-trip, Skills and On the Road test will be given by the Transportation CDL Examiners.

  2. Pass School Bus Operators Physical Examination and Reflex Test at the end of your training class. This will be paid for by the School Board of Highlands County.

  3. Rate of pay – Operator $14.15 Attendant - $10.55

  4. Amount of work available:

      • Average regular operator’s work 5 or 5.5 hours per day – range is from 4.5 to 8 hours.

      • Substitute may reasonably expect to work an average of 2 to 3 days per week.

      • Some work will be paid time to learn various routes or areas of the county.

      • Some substitutes may be employed on a Stand-By basis to cover break downs or emergencies.

      • Substitutes occasionally driver for extra-curricular trips that cannot be driven by regular operators due to interference with their regular route.

  5. Dress Code:

      • Florida State School Board Rules require that Bus Operators be clean and neat in appearance.

      • No tank tops, bare midriff or any tee shirts with suggestive or inappropriate slogans.

      • Shoes must be closed toe and heel type. Tennis shoes or deck shoes are acceptable. NO high heeled shoes or boots (No heel higher than 1”).

      • Excessive or inappropriate tattoos or body art must be covered. Tattoos that depict violence, vulgarity or hatred toward any group or race are not acceptable.

      • No visible body piercing other than a maximum of two (2) earrings per ear.

  6. Operators must have a reliable watch.

  7. Dependable transportation is a must.

  8. Absolutely NO SMOKING OR PROFANITY in the presence of students or parents.

  9. No rough handling of students, EVER. Do not threaten to strike any student.

  10. Follow the written schedule, no favors to students.

  11. Must have a working telephone number.

Prospect for Future or Continued Employment

All operators start as substitutes. Substitute operators are under constant observation as a measure of their suitability as regular employees. The degree of proficiency and professionalism with which they do their job directly affects the chance of being selected for a regular route or to continue being called as a substitute. Under normal circumstances, non-contracted substitute operators will be considered for regular contracted positions based on the criteria listed below.

      • The degree of professional ability as demonstrated by actual job performance.

      • Date of training course completion

      • Previous experience with special needs students and applicable training, when required.

      • Other factors such as attitude, neatness and willingness to work as a substitute.

NOTE: Other factors related to the bargaining agreement might also enter into a decision to employ a non-contracted operator.