7000 - Personnel

7401 Duty to Drive a School Bus

Duty to Drive a School Bus                                                Policy 7401                  


All teacher assistants, cafeteria workers and custodians first hired or re-employed following a break in continuous service after April 14, 1997 (as set forth in Policy 7400), and all bus monitors first employed on or after the effective date of this policy must obtain or already hold a North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with P & S Endorsements (with school bus driver certification) and be willing to drive a school bus. This duty shall be considered an essential function for these positions, in order that the school system maintains sufficient qualified drivers and substitute drivers to efficiently and effectively operate the school transportation system. These employees must sign a bus driver agreement as a condition of new or continued employment with Pender County Schools. 


Teacher assistants, cafeteria workers and custodians employed prior to April 14, 1997, and continuously re-employed with no break in service since that date, and bus monitors employed prior to the effective date of this policy, are exempt from this policy and are not required to sign the bus driver agreement.


A valid CDL with school bus driver certification shall be maintained by all teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians and bus monitors subject to this policy, for the purpose of driving a school bus.


Any teacher assistant, cafeteria worker, custodian or bus monitor subject to this policy who is not currently assigned a regular bus route will be expected to drive a school bus when a substitute driver is needed. Failure to drive a school bus may result in loss of employment.


The following exemptions may apply for individuals subject to this policy:


DMV Medical Exemption - To determine if an employee subject to this policy is eligible for a DMV Medical Exemption, the employee must first complete the written component of the Bus Driver Certification CDL class. Once this is completed the DMV Trainer will assist them in completing the DMV Medical Review paperwork. This is reviewed by the DMV Medical Review Unit (MRU) and a decision will be made regarding that employee’s medical eligibility. The possible outcomes are as follows:

A.    A driver who is approved by the MRU can obtain a CDL with School Bus Certification. They will be subject to a regular medical review schedule as determined and required by NC DMV. DMV may require a medical review on an annual basis, every two years or up to every five years. This process is entirely independent of Pender County Schools' policy.

B.     A driver who is denied by the MRU is medically ineligible for a CDL with a School Bus Certification at that time. Once a driver is denied under DMV medical review, there is no schedule set by NC DMV for the driver's medical status to be re-evaluated.

(1)         It is the responsibility of the employee, who has had a medical waiver, to enroll in a bus class within three (3) years after being determined medically ineligible, and to pass the written component of bus driver training to initiate the DMV medical review process again as required by this policy. The employee must pass the written component of the DMV bus certification process before a medical review will be processed by DMV, as required by DMV procedure.

(2)         Employees who obtain medical exempt status may be required to monitor a bus or perform other duties upon school administrative request.

(3)         An employee subject to this policy may apply for a Local Long Term Medical Exemption to be evaluated by Pender County Schools, as set forth below.


Local Long Term Medical Exemption – A Local Long Term Medical Exemption may be requested by any employee subject to this policy, once the DMV Medical Review Unit (MRU) has determined them ineligible to obtain a CDL with School Bus Certification. The Local Long Term Medical Exemption is intended for individuals with a medical condition that will not change or improve, to prevent these individuals from the unnecessary hardship of completing the written component of Bus Driver CDL class without a reasonable expectation of being medically qualified by DMV MRU to obtain a CDL with School Bus Certification. For example, an individual who is denied by MRU for an eye problem that cannot be improved or corrected by medical treatment should apply for Local Long Term Medical Exemption.  An individual may apply for this exemption as follows:

A.  Complete Attachment A.

B.   Submit a copy of the DMV medical denial notification letter and Attachment A to Human Resources.

C.   A Bus Driver Exemption Review Committee consisting of the Director of Human Resources, Director of Transportation, and the Lead School Nurse (or other appropriate medical practitioner selected by the Director of HR), will evaluate the eligibility of each request for a Local Long Term Medical Exemption and shall maintain the confidentiality of confidential personnel and medical information submitted.


Temporary Local Medical Exemption – A Temporary Local Medical Exemption for employees with a current CDL with School Bus Certification will be handled at the lowest level possible. These exemptions will be for short durations based on an employee’s request supported by a doctor's note for a specific amount of time. These exemptions are not permanent and should typically be granted for six (6) months or less. These are only available to employees who already hold a valid NC CDL with School Bus Certification. For example, an employee who is prescribed medication which requires that they not drive while on the medication can be temporarily exempted by the school level Bus Supervisor or Director of Transportation.


The Superintendent or designee shall develop any additional procedures needed to implement this policy.


Legal References: G.S. 115C-36, -47, -245, -276

Cross References: Job Descriptions (Policy 7400)

Adopted: November 23, 2015


Attachment A Duty to Ride a School Bus

Legal References:
Cross References:
Monday, 23 November 2015
Last Updated: