Today is Georgia School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, and we should all extend our deepest gratitude to our bus drivers for their commitment to our students during school and during their many after-school activities.
They aren’t just bus drivers. They are educators on wheels!
After parents and care-givers, they are often the first adults our students see during a school day. As part of changing to a child-centered culture and our work in social emotional learning, our bus drivers have learned how they can set a positive tone for students’ education every day.
While their first priority is to drive the bus, each of our drivers strives to be another caring, trusting adult in our students’ school life with a genuine and vested interest in their education and success. They know their students’ names. They ask them about their day. And they are learning other ways to ensure they make a positive impact on students.
So please make the time to thank a bus driver! #YellowTogether
This week – Oct. 17 through 21 – is also National School Bus Safety Week, but we should be promoting bus safety all year long. Nothing is more important than safety any time we transport students to and from school or provide transportation for field trips, for school events or for athletic competitions.
Students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they take the bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends.
This school year, Atlanta Public Schools has worked to do an even better job of getting our students to and from school safely and on time. Our Transportation Department has made significant improvements in on-time arrivals, which is not only due to our bus drivers but to the wonderful employees working in the brand new Transportation Call Center.
Bus safety is also about everyone else on the road respecting our school buses and drivers. So think about our children whenever you drive on Atlanta’s roads. We all need to drive slower and safer, especially when we are near the vehicles carrying our most precious cargo. Let’s all be mindful and respectful of our drivers every single day, not just during National School Bus Safety Week.
Our Atlanta Board of Education deserves a big thank you for giving us a real-time, $3 million investment so that we can have the safest buses on the road. We have more new buses, a reorganized fleet and more Automotive Service Excellence-certified mechanics to maintain our fleet, ensuring the consistent, reliable operation of our buses.
So for APS, both Georgia School Bus Appreciation Day and National School Bus Safety Week go beyond transportation. It’s yet another child-focused effort to help prepare our children to graduate on time and ready for college and career.
Hat’s off to our wonderful and caring bus drivers! #YellowTogether