Bus driver for Roanoke City Public Schools dies from COVID-19
ROANOKE, Va. – A bus driver for Roanoke City Public Schools has died from COVID-19, according to a representative from Durham School Services, the transportation provider for the school district. The Durham representative said on Tuesday his team is “heartbroken” by the news and shared the following statement:“We have received word that one of our employees has passed away. At this time, we do not have any more information. We are heartbroken by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with our team member’s family.”10 News is working to learn more about this developing story. Check back for updates.
Durham bus drivers, aides in Roanoke City vote against joining union
ROANOKE, Va. – Bus drivers and aides for Durham School Services in Roanoke City voted Tuesday night against joining the Amalgamated Transit Union, or ATU. Durham officials say 162 employees voted against joining the union, and 43 voted in favor of the move. He added that Durham has been campaigning against the union, which is a legal right given to companies. The Roanoke City School District told 10 news in a statement: “The district is pleased with the progress. We will continue to work with Durham to address issues.
New Roanoke school bus transportation boss hands out turkeys to boost employee morale
ROANOKE, Va. – There’s a new boss in town running the Roanoke City school bus show and he’s been tasked with a tall order. Among other issues, there is a shortage of bus drivers. Ron Young is the new general manager for Durham School Services, which is the transportation company used in Roanoke City Public Schools. Young said he enjoys getting face time with the employees and letting them know they’re appreciated. “When they’re working extra hard or they don’t think they’re respected or appreciated, that’s never good.
Durham hires new Roanoke general manager
ROANOKE, Va. – As patience continues to dwindle and pressure proceeds to mount, the transportation provider for Roanoke City Schools has hired a new general manager to run the company’s Roanoke operations. Durham School Services announced on Thursday that Ron Young, an Army veteran and longtime Roanoke Valley resident, would be taking the helm in the Star City. Last week, the school board received an update from Durham which it viewed as unsatisfactory and demanded an action plan by the following day. Durham met its deadline, but the school division chose to wait five days before giving 10 News its requested copy. But, while board Chairman Mark Cathey was pleased with the plan, the real test will be if Durham can deliver.
Roanoke City bus provider Durham School Services promises fixes in action plan
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City School leaders continue to pressure Durham School Services to get its act together. Last week, the school board got an update from Durham which they viewed as unsatisfactory and demanded an action plan by the following day. Durham met its deadline, but the school division chose to wait five days before giving 10 News its requested copy. Wednesday marks three months since the first day of school in Roanoke and while many of the bus issues have been resolved, there are still some that need fixing. Roanoke City bus drivers receive the highest starting hourly wage in the area and are offered full benefits.
Roanoke school parents demand answers, bus provider admits mistakes in school bus saga
ROANOKE, Va - On Tuesday night, Durham School Services, the private company running Roanoke City School buses, said there is a light at the end of the tunnel for its turbulent start to student busing. The school board got an earful from both sides at its meeting Tuesday, and board members also questioned why issues have not been resolved yet. Durham said they will continue to increase drive bonuses, and are about to launch a new app for parents to track their kids school bus next week. School bus staff have spoken with 10 News in the past, but only under the condition of anonymity, fearing for their jobs. The school board told Durham it needs to do better, and they can't keep having these meetings.
Roanoke City Schools' bus provider increases sign-on bonus
ROANOKE, Va. - After several months, the embattled transportation provider for Roanoke City Schools has increased its signing bonus for new drivers. The substantial increase comes after drivers told 10 News that Durham School Services is short drivers. Previously, the sign-on bonus was $500. Now it's $2,500, according to a tweet by Roanoke City Schools. The transportation company's debut in Roanoke has been rocky, including late pickups, late drop-offs, personnel changes, and a slew of parent and driver complaints.
Company looking at app to notify parents of Roanoke City school bus delays
ROANOKE, Va. - Delays are continuing for some kids riding Roanoke city school buses. Durham School Services says it's working to make sure parents stay up to date. According to Durham's vice president of operations, that could mean a future app. He says the company is 10 drivers short, but would like to add 20 to 25 positions. Many kids in Roanoke are still having major delays in their buses to and from school.
Transportation provider for Roanoke City Schools confirms major personnel change amid scrutiny
ROANOKE, Va. - After a week of delays, late pickups and late drop-offs, the transportation provider for Roanoke City Public Schools has confirmed a major personnel change. Durham School Services confirmed to 10 News that Arnie Sandecker is no longer employed with the company as the chief of operations for Durham's Roanoke City Schools operation. Below is the full statement that Durham School Services gave to 10 News on Monday:"We have been working in unison with the team at RCPS. In addition, we are always looking for great drivers and current employees are eligible to receive a referral bonus for any new employee they refer who is hired by Durham School Services." -- Durham School ServicesCopyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.
'You can only do so much': Roanoke school bus drivers discuss issues with new company
ROANOKE, Va. - The first week of school has been filled with frustration for Roanoke's school bus drivers. Durham School Services took over management of the district's bus system this year, and its tenure has already been marred by delays in student pick-ups and drop-offs. Two bus drivers who anonymously spoke with 10 News say the issues have trickled down to the drivers as well. The drivers say many of the delays on the road have been caused by Zonar, a new computer system Durham installed that drivers have to use to check the bus. "We have to log back in to the Zonar system, wait and scan a bunch of tags for the child check," Jay said.
Struggles with Roanoke City Schools' bus operator have school year off to a bumpy start
ROANOKE, Va. - Roanoke City Schools' struggles with its new bus operator have started the school year off on a bumpy road. Durham School Services' buses ran so late this week, the school district called parents and posted to social media about it. This is definitely not the start Durham School Services was hoping for when it took over Roanoke's school bus system. Roanoke City Schools drew attention to Durham's delays yesterday with both a Facebook post and a robocall to parents. Roanoke City Schools still has a phone number that parents can call to air out their concerns with the bus service.
Roanoke school leaders expect bus delays Wednesday afternoon
ROANOKE, Va. - School leaders in Roanoke expect delays when it comes to busing students home after school Wednesday afternoon. Justin McLeod, director of public relations and marketing for the school district, made the announcement to parents, staff and the school board at 1 p.m. Wednesday. In the statement, McLeod said that leaders are aware of the issues with transportation and "are working diligently to resolve them." Anyone with questions or concerns can call Durham School Services, the transportation provider for Roanoke schools, at 540-970-3000. You can also contact the school board office at 540-853-2382.
Roanoke City school buses get upgrades, drivers needed before school year begins
ROANOKE, Va. - We are just a few weeks away from kids heading back to school. This school year, Roanoke City Schools students riding the bus will see some changes on their ride. Durham School Services is the city's school bus operator and its general manager, Arne Stensaker, said the new cameras will come in handy if drivers are illegally passing school buses, although the main goal is training bus drivers. "We want our drivers to be coached to be better drivers, to make better decisions and to be just a better professional transporting these kids," said Stensaker. The job fair is happening from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Durham School Services office at 5401 Barns Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24019.
What's News Today: July 30, 2019
Here's a look at some of the stories we'll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia. Durham School Services holds a job fair today in Roanoke. Horizon Behavioral Health holds a ribbon cutting today for its new Intermediate Care Facility. There's a ribbon cutting today for another Little Free Library in Roanoke County. There's a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. for the one at Walrond Park.