Parents who put their students on Cartersville City school buses every day can rest assured that safety is the top priority for those drivers.The school system’s transportation department, led by …
Parents who put their students on Cartersville City school buses every day can rest assured that safety is the top priority for those drivers.
The school system’s transportation department, led by Director of Operations Ken Paige and Transportation Supervisor Kim Black, were one of 16 districts across the state to win a 2019 Pupil Transportation Safety Award from the Georgia Department of Education this month.
The second annual awards program — sponsored by Blue Bird, Georgia’s school bus manufacturer, and Yancey Bus Sales and Service — recognized school districts and transportation professionals who go above and beyond their job description to ensure students get to and from school safely and efficiently each day.
“Our pupil transportation professionals are entrusted with precious cargo and work incredibly hard each day to make sure Georgia’s students arrive at school safe and ready to learn,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a press release. “These 16 districts are going above and beyond to ensure student safety and recognize the school bus as an extension of the overall climate and culture of a school. I thank them for their efforts and commend them for their work.”
Cartersville received a Green Award — runner-up to the Blue Award — for District 5, the school systems with a full-time student enrollment between 3,650 and 5,149.
The district’s transportation department was lauded for keeping the focus on bus and student safety by requiring all drivers to attend a fire extinguisher re-training session, a simulated smoke evacuation training session with the fire department, a seizure/diabetic training session and Stop the Bleed and first aid training.
All drivers also have mandated state training that’s renewed once a year with a mandatory safety meeting, according to Black.
“I am so proud of our transportation department,” Cartersville Superintendent Dr. Marc Feuerbach said. “Everyone from Kim Black, [secretary] Lori Bolen and Ken Paige to our bus maintenance department to all of our bus drivers take their role in student transportation very seriously. Their No. 1 goal each day is to make sure we provide our students with a safe bus environment to and from school. I appreciate the state recognizing our transportation department for all of their hard work.”
Feuerbach also said Black is “one of the best and makes sure that we are going above and beyond in the area of bus safety.”
Black also was happy that her department was recognized by the DOE.
“This is only the second year the state of Georgia has issued these awards,” she said. “It was a true honor to be recognized so quickly for our extra efforts. The safety of our students is our No. 1 priority.”
Winners were selected in eight divisions based on enrollment size.
The winning districts were selected by a panel of judges, based on an application that evaluated a number of factors that impact bus safety, including completing safety training, evacuation drills and other safety initiatives with students; evaluation of accidents and internal practices to prevent accidents; and innovative initiatives used to inspire safe practices, hire and retain drivers and enhance student safety.
The Cartersville system, which has more than 4,500 students enrolled, has 27 buses on the road that travel 1,316 miles a day — more than 230,000 miles a year — and employs 31 drivers, Black said.