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Rockwood students won't be allowed to ride bus if they live within 1 mile of school this year

The letter said the changes are not due to financial considerations, and that the district will reevaluate if it is able to fill the driver vacancies

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Rockwood School District is changing its bus policy, requiring students that live less than a mile from their school to walk or find another means of transportation.

The district said it began the school year 31 drivers short of its normal staffing and has been able to hire only four drivers since then. As of Thursday, the district is down 34 drivers. With students expected to return to in-person classes in the fall, Rockwood is making arrangements to best serve the district under current staffing.

In order to accomplish that goal, the district is reducing routes and implementing a one-mile walking boundary around schools. That means students who live within a mile of their school will have to walk or find another way to get to school.

"Please know that we have worked very hard to avoid having to implement walking boundaries at our schools," District Director of Transportation Mike Heyman said in a letter to parents. "We understand this will pose an inconvenience for some families, particularly for working parents. With that in mind, we want to make everyone aware of the change now to give parents time to make plans for next year."

The letter said the changes are not due to financial considerations, and that the district will reevaluate if they are able to fill the driver vacancies.

The district is hiring and said it offers the following perks to attract new drivers:

  • Offer competitive pay;
  • Actively market and advertise our open positions;
  • Offer a $500 referral bonus for staff;
  • Offer a $1,000 sign-on bonus for hires who already have a commercial driver's license.

For more information and to apply, click here.