The safe transportation of students is the top priority for Barbara Gildea, the transportation coordinator of the Three Village Central School District, who presented updates to the Board of Education at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Gildea said it’s a collaborative effort to make sure the transportation process runs smoothly, as students, parents, school officials and bus drivers all play an important role in the process.
“Student transportation in this country is the largest public transportation we have,” Gildea said. “Our school bus drivers are second to none. They provide care for our children to and from school.”
Prequalifications for school bus drivers include having a commercial driver’s license with a “P” endorsement and with zero or minimal points. They must also get state and federal fingerprint clearance.
Before transporting students, SED-approved curriculum school bus driver training is provided to drivers upon hire. Drivers must complete the School Bus Driver Pre-Service course before they are assigned a route. After gaining employment, drivers must complete a 30-hour School Bus Driver Program course within the first year of hire. They must also complete two separate two-hour refresher courses annually. During employment, they’re required to undergo random drug and alcohol testing.
School buses are maintained and inspected on a regular basis, and preventive maintenance inspections are performed every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. The New York State Department of Transportation requires drivers to maintain daily inspection logs. School buses and logbooks are inspected by DOT-certified examiners every six months.
During the 2013-14 school year, contractors Suffolk Transportation Service (large buses) and Acme Bus Corporation (mini-buses) made 686 trips to athletic competitions, 334 educational field trips, and transported 180 nonpublic school students to 13 different buildings.
During the typical school day, there are 339 school routes for Three Village buses, all of which are equipped with video cameras.
“I’d like to commend Barbara and her office for the work done every day to ensure our children are transported safely to and from school,” Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich said. “Getting our students to and from school safely is a top priority.”
To view the PowerPoint presentation from the Board of Education meeting, visit the district’s website at www.threevillagecsd.org