Message from the Superintendent: Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

Message from the Superintendent: Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

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Category : CCSD

Macedonia Bus Safety 020

Show a Bus Driver That You Appreciate Them

By Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent of Schools

Every parent has those days when he or she feels like a bus driver.

Maybe your SUV is loaded up with your kids and a couple of their friends after school.  Or you’re carrying half the team in your minivan to a game.  And it’s more crowded and noisier and messier than usual.

But we all know that’s not the half of it for our school bus drivers.

These dedicated employees transport 29,000 children along 20,000 miles of busy roads during morning and afternoon rush hour.  Some are driving specially equipped buses to carry children with special needs.

They not only need to safely navigate the road with these additional challenges; our school bus drivers also must maintain order on a bus like a teacher does in the classroom.

They stand ready for a crisis at any time… students have experienced medical emergencies aboard buses that required life-saving actions on the part of our drivers.

They rise in the dark hours of the morning, day in and day out, rain or shine.  They drive additional routes so children can enjoy field trips, extra-curricular activities and athletic competitions.

When inclement weather strikes, our school bus drivers put aside concerns for their own families and focus on delivering their precious cargo home first.

We continuously train our drivers to ensure they have the skills and tools they need to be as successful as possible… no matter the challenges aboard, in the next lane or in the forecast.

Our school bus drivers represent a cross-section of our community… their ranks include parents and grandparents of children in our schools.  Some choose this as their first career and serve for decades, and for others it’s a second career after the corporate world or public service.

What they all share in common is great care for what they do and who they serve.

This week, we’re observing School Bus Driver Appreciation and School Bus Safety Week.  We’re celebrating throughout our school district and ask you to please join us in showing our community’s appreciation.

Thanks to a community sponsor, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we’re hosting breakfast this Wednesday for all of our school bus drivers and the support team of monitors, specialists, administrators and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence Blue Seal of Excellence-certified technicians… who together keep our fleet of nearly 400 school buses running and on time.

How can you show your appreciation?

Maybe it’s a card or small gift your child can make and give to his or her school bus driver.  Maybe it’s an email you can send to your child’s Principal praising a driver.

At the minimum, please be patient and courteous when you encounter our school bus drivers on the road each day.  We know they often must drive slow and make stops, and that can be frustrating in our hurried world.

But remember, they’re carrying the most precious of cargo: our future.