Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

American Education Week - Bus Transportation Staff Appreciation Day

  • The Transportation Department is responsible for transporting more than 25,000 students to and from school each day.
  • GCS operates 358 state-owned school buses, 11 district-owned magnet buses, 8 NCLB buses, and 36 district-owned activity buses.
  • Transportation staff schedule activity buses and regular school buses for athletic and extracurricular trips.

Did you know - school bus transportation is one of the safest ways to travel?  Bus drivers are the first staff members many students see in the morning. The atmosphere on the school bus can set the tone for the rest of a student’s day.  Driving a school bus requires special skills to react quickly in heavy traffic or bad weather, and to maintain order on the bus by enforcing the school system’s rules regarding student conduct.

Aaron Kelly III, a former corrections officer and a 14-year school bus driver, knows the important role he plays. “A school bus driver’s job is to transport students safely to and from school,” he said. “Parents are counting on us to take care of their children while they are on the school bus. I take that role very seriously,” he said.

In addition to driving morning and afternoon routes, Aaron is responsible for the care and maintenance of the camera and audio systems on 69 buses served by Golden Strip Bus Center.  “I maintain the visual and audio capabilities of each system.  Radios have been installed on buses to enhance communications between the driver and the supervisor. The radio is the first line of defense if there is an accident.  My job is to make sure that the communications systems are working properly on every bus.”

One of the responsibilities of a school bus driver is to check the entire bus at the end of the route. Aaron explained, “One day I found a lunch bag under the seat. I saw the child’s name on the bag, so I took his lunch over to the school. He was so happy to have his lunch that day. He was almost in tears.”

Bus drivers get a child’s day off to a great start. Many thanks to the 358 Greenville County Schools bus drivers who drive more than 26,000 miles every day – that’s more than a trip around the world, every day!

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