SHELBURN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)- With school around the corner, bus driver John Reynolds has already had some homework.

Going into his fourth year driving for Northeast School Corporation, he spent time Thursday learning his new bus and route ahead of the first day of school August 10th.

“I liked my old route but I’m going to have a new one, and I’ve done it before mostly, so I’m kind of familiar with it,” Reynolds said.

The changes are caused by a bus driver shortage that has caused Northeast Schools to lengthen routes, as well as making some include students kindergarten through 12th grade.

Director of school services J.T. Roberts said the school had about 19 drivers in the past.

“Northeast has not changed size wise. We have a particular pie that we have to cut up, and when I first started here, many moons ago, we divided that pie by 19 drivers. I’m currently looking at dividing it by 11,” Roberts said.

To try to help combat the shortage, the school board raised pay for drivers. Daily pay went from about $85 to $100 last month.

Roberts said he’s currently talking to a wide variety of applicants.

“I’ve got people who have commercial drivers license. I have people who got a bus transit license,” he said. “I’m also currently talking to a parent who just said, ‘Hey, I’m at home and this sounds like something I might be able to do,’ so they have literally hopped online and they have already been down, got their permit, hopping on trying to get their blue card.”

A commercial driver’s license is required for bus drivers in Indiana. Roberts said the school will reimburse incoming drivers for any costs for training once they are hired.

Roberts said, besides the training, the most important part of the job is the students.

“If you love kids, and you want to see them get to school and see their sleepy faces in the morning and be the last person to see them get off the bus saying, ‘Hey I’m home,” that’s the job for you,” Roberts said.

More information on the job, as well as needed qualifications and training, can be found here.