School Bus Driver Training

Welcome to the GCISD Transportation Department and preparation for obtaining your commercial driver’s license (CDL). We are glad to work with you through this process. The department provides pay for time spent in “behind-the-wheel training” and the School Bus Certification course. The department also covers the cost of the DOT physical and fee for the certification course. Your out-of-pocket expenses are the cost of the Class B Learner’s permit ($25) and $61 for the written DPS series of tests and the road test. Below, you will find the information necessary to help you navigate this process successfully. Please do not hesitate to ask questions of us. We are here to help.

If you already have a Class B License with CDL Endorsement the section labeled I have a Class B License with P/S Endorsement is for you. If you do not have a CDL, please skip to the next section that is labeled Beginning the Process.

I have a Class B License with P/S Endorsement

To drive a GCISD school bus with students, you will need:

  • Your CDL (Class “B” License with “P/S” endorsement) must be current
  • DOT Physical or medical card (current)
  • Current School Bus Certification Card

Here are the steps of the process:

Step One: Contact Lynora Lewis, Safety Coordinator & Lead Trainer (817) 251-5705

Step Two: Email a copy of your driver’s license to manny.rubio@gcisd.net

Step Three: Lynora will contact you when the license check is cleared. You will then need to come to the Transportation Department to get a signed form from Manny to go for your drug screen and DOT Physical, if these are not current. Unfortunately, I Care Now will not accept a copy of the signed form.

Step Four: Next, please contact Lynora to set up your training schedule. This consists of approximately eight (8) hours of training.

Driving Evaluation & Training
You have the opportunity to perform a preliminary road evaluation in a school bus with a Trainer. Additional hours of training may be required if the initial assessment is below the minimum standards required to safely operate the bus with students on board. Your training will be spent primarily “behind the wheel’ of the bus.
The Trainer will look at the following during the road evaluation:

  • Bells and Whistles of the bus
  • Pre-Trip & Post Trip inspection
  • Air Brake Test
  • Mirror Types and Proper Adjustment
  • Bus Blind Spots
  • Proper Parking Lot Speed
  • On the Road Driving
  • Stop Signs Observed
  • Proper Left and Right Turns
  • Accelerates Properly
  • Observes Traffic
  • Obey Speed Limits
  • Yield the right of Way
  • Brakes Properly
  • Proper Lane Changes
  • Proper Lane Position
  • Following and Stopping Distance
  • Railroad Crossing Procedures
  • Loading & Unloading Procedures
  • Backing Techniques
  • Defensive Driving Skills
  • Driver Alertness
  • Child Alarm System
  • Camera Surveillance System
  • Bus Tail Swing and Danger zone
  • Adding Fuel (propane, diesel and gas)
  • Large SUV (Suburban) Operation

Additionally, the Trainer will check to see that you have knowledge of Transportation Department Procedures. You are also required to view three videos of approximately 15 minutes each on Drugs & Alcohol, Hazardous Communication & Defensive Driving.

After this, you should have completed the process and are ready to start driving in GCISD.

Beginning the Process (No Class B or CDL)

Below are the steps to becoming a certified and qualified driver. The steps are to help you acquire the following:

  • CDL Class “B” License with “P/S” endorsement
  • DOT Physical & Medical Card
  • Certification through the Region XI School Bus Certification Program

Step One: Email a copy of your driver’s license to manny.rubio@gcisd.net. Your driving record must be checked to qualify for the program.

Step Two: When license check is cleared. You will need to come to transportation to get a signed form authorizing Care Now to conduct your DOT physical. (Care Now requires an original document, so we can’t email this to you.)

Step Three: You need the CDL Handbook. The handbook is available online http://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-7C.pdf. Our training department also has a limited supply on hand.
Below, are the sections to study in order to obtain the Class B Learner’s Permit. Classroom training begins approximately 5 - 7 days.

  • Section 14 (Special Requirements)
  • Sections 1-3 (General knowledge)
  • Section 5 (Air Bakes)
  • Section 11 (Pre-Trip Inspection)
  • Section 4 (Passenger)
  • Section 10 (School buses)

Step Four: Go to DPS and take test. You will need to complete all five tests to obtain your CDL Learner’s Permit. The fee is $25. The fee for your commercial driver’s license is $61.00. This fee will need to be paid prior to taking your road test.

Please note, that if you do not pass a written test in three attempts, DPS will require $25 to retake test from the beginning.

Step Five: Send a copy of your Permit to Lynora Lewis at lynora.lewis@gcisd.net. Lynora will call to set up behind the wheel

Step Six: After completing the written tests, you will begin hands-on training (behind the wheel of the bus) with a Transportation Trainer. The paid training will take 3-4 weeks, five hours each day at $17.60 per hour. Information about the training is further down this page.

Step Seven: While the hands-on training is in progress, Transportation will register you for the DPS Road Test and inform you of the date and time. DPS availability date may be as long as one month away. Please be flexible on your availability.

Step Eight: The day of Road Test, you and the Trainer will drive to the DPS site together. This could be anywhere in the DFW area or outside of the area depending on DPS site availability.

Step Nine: After you pass the Road Test, speak with Lynora Lewis on the next available course program with the Region XI Service Center. Lynora or a Trainer will enroll you for the mandatory paid ($17.60 per/hr.)  20-hour School Bus Certification class.

Region XI will issue a temporary certification card only after you are enrolled for the next available 20-hour class. Training location may be anywhere in Tarrant county.

Training Behind the Wheel of the Bus
These fifteen days are to prepare you for the DPS Skills Test, which consists of three phases.
   A. Pre-trip walk around
   B. Backing skills maneuvers
   C. Road Test

Days 1-7 will consist of (learning to drive the bus)

  • Bus orientation (bells & whistles, emergency evacuation, bus videos)
  • Pre-Trip inspection
  • Air brake test (must verbalize each step to DPS officer)
  • Child alarm system
  • Camera surveillance system
  • Mirror types and proper adjustment
  • Bus blind spots
  • On the lot driving
  • Turning maneuvers and techniques 
  • Bus tail swing and danger zone
  • Bus control
  • On the road driving
  • Proper lane technique’s
  • Defensive driving
  • Parallel parking
  • Straight backing
  • Off set backing
  • Rail Road Crossing (must verbalize each step to DPS officer)
  • Student Loading & Unloading (must verbalize each step to DPS officer)
  • Mechanical Breakdowns
  • Accidents
  • Written reports
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Fuel training (propane, diesel and gas)
  • Requirements (dress code, cell phone use, driving on the parking lot, parking area and accident procedure)

Days 8-15 will consist of the new DPS pre-trip walk around

Please note that you must pass this part of the skills test with the DPS official before you can advance to the driving section of the test. You must be able to name each component of the bus and how it operates, in detail.

  • Front of the bus (all lights windshield, bumper, etc.)
  • Under the hood (radiator, leaf springs, slack adjusters, steering linkage fluid levels, etc.)
  • Passenger side of the bus (all lights, reflective tape, signage, tires, windows, etc.
  • Under the bus (frame, exhaust system, drive shaft, fuel tank etc.)
  • Rear of the bus (all lights windows, bumper, etc.)
  • Drivers side of bus (stop sign, battery box, electrical box, etc.
  • Internal check (emergency equipment, gauges, switches, seats, emergency exits, etc.