“Red Lights Mean STOP!” is the theme for this year’s National School Bus Safety Week. The theme this year is to promote a heightened awareness to school bus safety for motorists.
“October 19-23 is National School Bus Safety Week,” said NLISD Transportation Director Clint Hildreth. “North Lamar is taking extra steps to promote school bus safety for our students and community.”
National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program and an excellent way for parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators and other interested parties – to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety.
“We incorporate school bus safety in our curriculum along with evacuation training for our riders,” said Hildreth. To expand on the importance of school bus safety, age appropriate videos, Pre-K through high school, have been posted on North Lamar’s website under the transportation page for anyone interested. The district will also highlight the videos on Facebook, and teachers will have the opportunity to show them in class.
Protocols to address health and safety measures on buses due to COVID-19 have been implemented in North Lamar’s Re-Entry Plan. Drivers and students 10 and older are required to wear masks while on board. Students have assigned seats and a seating chart is maintained by the bus driver. Hand sanitizer is placed in the stairwells of all buses for use when loading and unloading. All buses are sanitized daily. Windows are partially open during routes to allow for additional ventilation.
“We are also celebrating our drivers and monitors for the job they do each and every day transporting our students safely,” said Hildreth. “Two of our individuals, Joe Franklin and Shelli Kropp, drove every school day last year. Mrs. Kropp has not missed a day for three consecutive years. They do an excellent job, and we are proud to have them on our team.”
Kropp, who is also a teacher’s aide at Stone Middle School, began driving a bus for North Lamar when her kids were young so she could be on their same schedule. She began as a bus monitor, then a relief driver and is now full time driver.
“I don’t want to leave anyone shorthanded,” said Kropp. “We don’t have enough drivers as it is let alone sub drivers.”
Kropp went on to say, “I really enjoy my route and my special kids.”
Hildreth says the drivers and monitors cannot be thanked enough for the job they do. The district will show appreciation to the drivers throughout the week of Oct. 19.