Could You Be Our Newest Bus Driver?

We are looking for inspiring individuals to join our excellent fleet of transportation staff members and drivers! Our drivers have an incredible impact on the mission of our division. They are the first point of contact for many students and can set the tone for the day.

Are you interested in sharing in this role? We’d love to talk with you about it!

Please give us a call to discuss the possibility of you joining our team:

Betty Thurston
Supervisor of Transportation
556-5367
 
Demetra Harris
Human Resources Specialist
556-5603

Transportation FAQs

In past years we have had several questions raised during the first week of school regarding transportation. Here are a few pieces of information pulled from the most Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Returning students will not receive a “new” transportation schedule unless their bus assignment has changed. If you do not receive notice of a change, your child will ride the same bus this year as last year.
  2. Transportation schedules have been mailed out to all students that are new to the school system, all rising kindergarteners, rising 6th graders, students with bus route changes and students who have moved.
  3. Guidance counselors continue to submit new student information and we are assigning students to buses as they come in. At this point we are contacting parents of newly registered students by phone to arrange transportation.
  4. We will be tweaking the bus times during the first 10 days of school to maximize efficiency and minimize student wait and ride time. Parents will be notified if a child’s schedule will need to be changed for any reason.
  5. Some parents may choose to transport their child this year but until we hear from the parents that bus transportation is not needed, the student’s name will remain on the bus rosters.
  6. Parents or designee must accompany students in grades K-3 as they wait at the Bus Stop and be there to receive them each afternoon.  For safety reasons, parents of students in grades K-3 are asked to be at his/her child’s bus stop 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick up and discharge times.
  7. As in past years, Bus Passes will not be issued for the first 2 weeks of school to allow drivers to become familiar with their new routes and students.

If we can be of further help, please let us know. Everyone is excited to get the students back in school including the bus drivers. We are looking forward to a great school year! If you have any questions, please call our transportation department at 556-5361. Thank you for your continued support!

Alternative Snow Bus Routes 2014-15

We have revised the alternative “snow bus routes” that could potentially be used in periods of inclement weather. You can click on either route sheet below to enlarge:

 

“Will these alternate routes be used every time there is snow on the roads?”

No. Use of these routes is dependent upon main artery roads being safe for travel. We will coordinate our alternate system with VDOT so that they are aware of which roads need attention in order for these routes to be implemented.

“Does this mean we will never close school again for snow?”

No. It is absolutely possible that we will need to close schools again for inclement weather, even with these alternative routes in place. Main artery roads need to be safe for travel before we implement these routes. It should also be noted that these alternative routes are disruptive for many parents’ schedules. They enable us to open schools but they still require that people make personal arrangements that often pose an inconvenience.

These routes will only be used when (a) the main roads that feed the routes are safe for buses and (b) our only alternative would be to close the schools.

“Will there be approximate pick up/drop off times posted?”

Parents are now asked to meet the buses five minutes before the pick-up/drop-off time. When and if we implement these routes, we ask parents arrive at the stops ten minutes early.

“What about children who don’t have transportation to get to the alternate stops?”

The alternate bus routes do provide an opportunity to open schools during extended periods of inclement weather, provided the main arteries of travel that “feed” the alternate stops are clear and safe. The alternate routes, however, are not always convenient for families and they do not fully mitigate the disruption that comes with schedule changes related to unsafe road conditions.

Late openings, early dismissals, and school cancellations disrupt the patterns of many families’ routines. Parents are often forced to make childcare arrangements, sometimes at the last minute. Often parents find it necessary to miss work so they can be home with their children.

The alternative bus routes address some of those issues, but not all. Anything other than door-to-door transportation service will necessitate parents arranging for children to be brought to the common stop identified in the alternate route system. If it’s raining or excessively cold, some may find taking their children to the alternate stop problematic.

Alternate routes are typically only implemented when the division is in danger of missing an inordinate number of days. They enable us to open schools and continue instruction; they do not solve many of the convenience issues parents face during weather-related schedule changes.

“Does this mean children will be dropped off at the alternate stops in the afternoon and parents will need to be there to pick them up?”

Yes. Parents will need to arrange to meet the bus at the alternate stop ten minutes earlier than their regular drop-off time. Though this will cause disruption to many parents’ schedules, I can assure you will only implement these routes when the alternative would be an entire day of absence. Unfortunately there is no other method of establishing an alternate route that avoids unsafe, uncleared secondary roads except to implement stops that are not door-to-door.

“What if I determine that the conditions are not safe for me to transport my child to the alternate bus stop. Will my child’s absence be excused?”

Yes. On days when our schools are open using the alternate snow routes, we will excuse absences for students whose parents are unable to transport to and from the alternate bus route. Students who drive whose parents deem the conditions unsafe for driving will also be excused on days when the alternative routes are implemented.

 

School Bus Safety Week

National School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program. It’s an excellent way for everyone parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety. Designed to promote school bus safety, School Bus Safety Week is held during the third week in October each year.

Transportation Mechanics, Mark Thompson, Forrest Henley, Mike Franklin, with Transportation Supervisor, Betty Thurston

The centerpiece of National School Bus Safety Week is the National SBSW Poster Contest. Thousands of school districts in over 40 states participate in local and state-level competitions to select art work that depicts school bus safety-related themes and encourages and promotes school bus safety. The winning posters are used to promote safe school transportation for everyone.

Please join us in expressing our gratitude to our exemplary drivers, mechanics, and other professionals who transport students safely every day. What an important part of our mission, to maximize the potential of every learner.

Transportation Reminders and FAQ

In past years we have had several questions raised during the first week of school regarding transportation. Here are a few pieces of information pulled from the most Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. Returning students will not receive a “new” transportation schedule unless their bus assignment has changed. If you do not receive notice of a change, your child will ride the same bus this year as last year.
  2. Transportation schedules have been mailed out to all students that are new to the school system, all rising kindergarteners, rising 6th graders, students with bus route changes and students who have moved.
  3. Guidance counselors continue to submit new student information and we are assigning students to buses as they come in. At this point we are contacting parents of newly registered students by phone to arrange transportation.
  4. We will be tweaking the bus times during the first 10 days of school to maximize efficiency and minimize student wait and ride time. Parents will be notified if a child’s schedule will need to be changed for any reason.
  5. Some parents may choose to transport their child this year but until we hear from the parents that bus transportation is not needed, the student’s name will remain on the bus rosters.
  6. Parents or designee must accompany students in grades K-3 as they wait at the Bus Stop and be there to receive them each afternoon.  For safety reasons, parents of students in grades K-3 are asked to be at his/her child’s bus stop 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick up and discharge times.
  7. As in past years, Bus Passes will not be issued for the first 2 weeks of school to allow drivers to become familiar with their new routes and students.
  If we can be of further help, please let us know. Everyone is excited to get the students back in school including the bus drivers. We are looking forward to a great school year! If you have any questions, please call our transportation department at 556-5361. Thank you for your continued support!

 

 

Alternative Snow Routes and FAQs UPDATED

We have recently published a comprehensive list of alternate “snow” bus routes that we could potentially use in periods of inclement weather. There have been some fantastic questions raised and we wanted to take a moment to clarify a few things.

“Will these alternate routes be used every time there is snow on the roads?”

No. Use of these routes is dependent upon main artery roads being safe for travel. We are coordinating our alternate system with VDOT so that they are aware of which roads need attention in order for these routes to be implemented.

“Does this mean we will never close school again for snow?”

No. It is absolutely possible that we will need to close schools again for inclement weather, even with these alternative routes in place. Main artery roads need to be safe for travel before we implement these routes. It should also be noted that these alternative routes are disruptive for many parents’ schedules. They enable us to open schools but they still require that people make arrangements that often pose an inconvenience.

These routes will only be used when (a) the main roads that feed the routes are safe for buses and (b) our only alternative would be to close the schools.

“Will there be approximate pick up/drop off times posted?”

Parents are now asked to meet the buses five minutes before the pick-up/drop-off time. When and if we implement these routes, we ask parents arrive at the stops ten minutes early.

“What about children who don’t have transportation to get to the alternate stops?”

The alternate bus routes do provide an opportunity to open schools during extended periods of inclement weather, provided the main arteries of travel that “feed” the alternate stops are clear and safe. The alternate routes, however, are not convenient for families and they do not fully mitigate the disruption that comes with schedule changes related to unsafe road conditions.

Late openings, early dismissals, and school cancellations disrupt the patterns of many families routines. Parents are forced to make childcare arrangements, sometimes at the last minute. Often parents find it necessary to miss work so they can be home with their children.

The bus routes address some of that, but not all. Anything other than door-to-door transportation service will necessitate parents arranging for children to be brought to the common stop identified in the alternate route system. If it’s raining or excessively cold, some may find taking their children to the alternate stop problematic.

Alternate routes are typically only implemented when the division is in danger of missing an inordinate number of days. They enable us to open schools and continue instruction; they do not solve many of the convenience issues parents face during weather-related schedule changes.

“Does this mean children will be dropped off at the alternate stops in the afternoon and parents will need to be there to pick them up?”

Yes. Parents will need to arrange to meet the bus at the alternate stop ten minutes earlier than their regular drop-off time. Though this will cause disruption to many parents’ schedules, I can assure you will only implement these routes when the alternative would be an entire day of absence. Unfortunately there is no other method of establishing an alternate route that avoids unsafe, uncleared secondary roads except to implement stops that are not door-to-door.

“What if I determine that the conditions are not safe for me to transport my child to the alternate bus stop. Will my child’s absence be excused?”

Yes. On days when our schools are open using the alternate snow routes, we will excuse absences for students whose parents are unable to transport to and from the alternate bus route. Students who drive whose parents deem the conditions unsafe for driving will also be excused on days when the alternative routes are implemented.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ALTERNATE ROUTES

Holiday Gathering at Transportation and Maintenance Department

Many thanks to Betty Thurston and the Transportation Department staff for hosting a beautiful reception at the new Oilville facility this morning to ring in the holidays.

Transportation and Maintenance Staff at the 2013 Holiday Gathering

John Hendron and Dr. James Lane admire the transportation poster commemorating the opening of the new facility.

Mrs. Thurston offers holiday cheer to an employee.

GCPS Student Artists Receive State Honor for Safe Transportation Posters

Please join me in recognizing some exemplary members of our school community. GCPS art teachers, Ms. Kim Bachman and Mr. Tom Case, encouraged their students to participate in the Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation’s poster contest. For the second consecutive year, Goochland High School students received state recognition for their exemplary submissions.

Student awards are as follows:

  • 1st place Carson Sylvester, awarded a $100.00 check and Blue Ribbon
  • 2nd place Aniya Hope, awarded a $75.00 check and Red Ribbon
  • 3rd place Justin Alley, awarded a $50.00 check and White Ribbon

The theme for the 2013 contest was “At my Stop – You Stop!” The Virginia state-wide poster contest promotes school bus safety through student artistic expression. These students’ posters will be published in the 2013-2014 VA State Pupil Transportation calendar. Look for their work to be showcased on our website and during a forthcoming school board meeting.

We hope even more GCPS students will consider submitting their work for consideration this year. The 2014 theme will be “Be Smart – Be Seen, I wait in a safe place!”