In recognition of National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 22-26, Atlanta Public Schools proudly salutes the nearly 500 school bus operators, bus monitors, mechanics, dispatchers, supervisors, and other APS Transportation Department employees who help keep APS students safe – both on and off the school bus.
Held during the third full week of October each year, National School Bus Safety Week is serves as an excellent opportunity for parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and others to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety.
This year’s theme is “My Driver – My Safety Hero!” Week-long events include pre-recorded “thank you” messages to bus operators from District administrators; a Transportation Appreciation Cook-Out; and a bus driver safety program/celebration assembly at Hope-Hill Elementary School.
John Franklin, executive director of Transportation, commends those APS safety heroes – the bus operators, monitors, dispatchers, mechanics, supervisors, and other transportation employees – who make student safety their top priority while transporting 28,000 student riders to and from school, home, field trips, and other school activities.
“Everyone in this department is dedicated to safety – from our mechanics who make sure our buses are mechanically sound – to our drivers who perform their routes and observe the policies and procedures implemented by the state to ensure that all kids are safe,” Franklin said.
“We also do training throughout the school year to make sure transportation employees are well-trained and prepared in case of something unexpected,” Franklin noted. “It’s important for all parents, stakeholders, school administrators and families to know that APS stands prepared to make sure that we transport children safely.”
In addition to 405 bus operators and 86 bus monitors, APS Transportation maintains 295 daily bus routes and 422 buses, all while supporting 8,000 field trips per year, both in fine arts, athletics, and a variety of other activities that help students succeed at a very high level.
According to Franklin, it takes the entire community to promote and maintain school bus safety.
“It takes everyone contributing to student safety everyday – from motorists driving safely and using the speed limit – to students being sufficiently prepared and on time to the bus stop,” Franklin said. “All of this is very vital and are important pieces to making the bus the safest possible medium for students to get to and from school.”