PBC schools seeking more bus drivers; Job fair Friday

060713 met school bus 2The school district continues to seek bus drivers and is holding another job fair Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its Summit Boulevard compound.

This is the first job fair since the Palm Beach County School Board signed off on raises that brought a driver’s minimum pay up to $14 an hour. Drivers also get full health benefits, life insurance and a retirement plan.

The district also dusting off a recruitment tool it has used in the past but not recently :  putting out a robo-call to the parents on its phone list. The move has already landed more than 200 inquiries, said district spokeswoman Kathy Burstein.

The district is looking to fill 44 substitute driving positions as well as build a stable of drivers ahead of the beginning of next school year. Last year, school began with a shortage.

Palm Beach County isn’t the only district to struggle this year with driver shortages. The Orlando Sentinel reported earlier that Seminole County and others in Central Florida were “having a hard time recruiting and keeping bus drivers.” The culprit, an improving economy that lures some to jobs that pay more and are less stressful.

In its appeal to job seekers, the Palm Beach County district noted drivers get “paid sick leave and a flexible work schedule so you can spend time with your family.”

The district provides the training required to be a certified driver.

From the district’s announcement: “It is our goal to ensure that each student we transport arrives safely to their assigned destination in the most efficient manner possible,” said newly-appointed Transportation Director Pete DiDionato. “We have a great team of dedicated individuals coming together for a common goal, but we need your help.”

“It is our goal to ensure that each student we transport arrives safely to their assigned destination in the most efficient manner possible,” said newly-appointed Transportation Director Pete DiDionato. “We have a great team of dedicated individuals coming together for a common goal, but we need your help.”


Interested in becoming a driver?

When: Fri. April 15, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 3300 Summit Blvd. West Palm Beach


  • You must be a licensed driver for 5 years and have a good driving record with not more than one moving violation in the past three years and not have a DUI charge for the previous 7 years.
  • You must be of good character; be able to clear the district’s background check, drug screening, a DOT physical and be able to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.

You can also call 561-242-6515 or apply online



Park Vista cheerleader, autistic boy hit dance floor after viral ‘promposal’

Thousands saw the “promposal” – the viral video in which a Park Vista High cheerleader asks a boy with autism to prom in a surprise that also involved a huge cookie.

But have you seen the pictures of the date?

The Post’s Allen Eyestone headed to prom at the West Palm Beach Marriott to capture the moments for a photo gallery, and Mikal Bartosik and Jonathan Ramilo had plenty of them.

Jonathan and Mikal dance at Saturday night's prom. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)
Jonathan and Mikal dance at Saturday night’s prom. (Allen Eyestone/ The Palm Beach Post)


Pre-prom party. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Pre-prom party. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)


That’s all you get from me, but click over to see the whole gallery. 




No school in PBC Friday! But note these events first

Students have a short school week with no school during a teacher work day Friday, heading into a week off for Spring Break next week. But Friday is also the day the district has chosen to encourage parents to Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work. (Nationally, this is celebrated on April 28 this year, but that comes during Florida’s testing season.)



But before we all arrive at Spring Break…

TUESDAY Elections. Voting takes place at hundreds of spots across the county including more than 70 schools. Voters in the Boynton Beach area take note: Voting at Citrus Cove Elementary has been moved to Boynton Beach High due to a gastro illness that swept the elementary last week.  That’s precincts 3138 and 3164.

WEDNESDAY The School Board meets. A workshop begins at 4 p.m. and the regularly monthly meeting follows at 5 p.m. at district headquarters 3300 Forest Hill Boulevard.

Some highlights from the agenda:

Buses The board is set to give final approval to leasing 60 replacement buses at $7 million. It will also consider putting 30 old buses out to pasture, sending them out for salvage.

Cafeteria Royal Palm Beach High becomes the latest high school to get a cafeteria makeover using federal meals program money. The board already agreed to the &743,700 makeover, this vote approves the construction contract.  Atlantic, Forest Hill and Santaluces high schools report more students are eating lunch after what was served and how to present it was reconsidered. Next up: Palm Beach Central High, per board vote Nov. 17, 2015.

Lunch money Looks like the cost of buying a school lunch is expected to remain the same next year at $2.05 for elementary schools and $2.30 at middle and high schools. A reduced price lunch through the Department of Agriculture holds at 40 cents.







A day to fight bullying, the origins of the pink T-Shirt and a movie star

It’s that day of the school year once again when we consider bullying, how to prevent it and what to do when confronted with it…and don pink T-shirts – but we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, know that several Palm Beach County Schools have planned events or conversations for this day, including Okeeheelee Middle School which has perhaps the biggest headliner of the day: The actor who played football player Michael Oher in the movie The Blind Side, Quinton Aaron.


School officials say Aaron will spend the day at the school in suburban West Palm Beach. He’s talking at morning assemblies and then working with smaller groups at lunch time.

Now, back to those pink T-shirts…

pink shirt


Wearing a pink T-shirt made one boy in a school in Canada a target for bullies in 2007. But his classmates didn’t stand for it. They rallied by buying a mass of pink tank tops at the local dollar store and handing them out for kids to wear the next day.

Out of that show of support was born Pink T-Shirt Day – now an international event.

Wednesday in Palm Beach County, the Literacy Coalition is sponsoring events to further the anti-bullying message during Pink T-Shirt Day.  Suncoast High School students volunteered to support Pink T-Shirt Day in the district’s schools. And Berkshire Elementary in West Palm Beach is making a day of it with dancing, art-covered halls and more.

Here’s part of the Pink T-Shirt Day origins story from The Globe and Mail:

“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied [for wearing a pink shirt]…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.

‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’


As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled.

“The bullies were never heard from again.”