The start of the 2009-2010 school year means a new beginning for the Scott County Schools Department of Transportation. John Beckstead has been named the Director of Transportation and Safety.
In addition to driving a bus for 19 years, Beckstead’s extensive experience and training include 12 years as a volunteer fire chief and 10 years as an emergency medical technician. During his four year tenure with Scott County Schools, he served as Route Supervisor and Driver Training in addition to driving a school bus.
Scott County School’s fleet totals 73, which includes five new buses. A total of 63 bus drivers travel more than a million miles each year transporting precious cargo, the students of Scott County Schools. Scott County Schools have hired five new bus drivers this summer, selecting from a large pool of qualified candidates.
As a helpful tool for parents, the complete school bus routes can now be accessed from the Scott County Schools website, www.scott.kyschools.us
. Parents new to the community can call Route Supervisor Linda True at (502) 570-3010 upon enrollment to find out bus numbers, bus stop locations and expected time for pick up and drop off.
During the first week of school, which starts Monday, August 10, 2009, three substitute bus drivers will be on stand-by to immediately alleviate bus overcrowding. Telephone assistance will be available to parents from 5:00am-5:00pm daily.
To strengthen the working relationship between parents and the Department of Transportation, Beckstead encourages open communication and can be reached directly at (502) 570-3009. Safety is his highest priority.
School bus drivers require continual yearly training which includes topics like railroad crossings, bus inspection and behavior management. In the event of an accident, the individual driver will be removed from all routes to await the results of a complete toxicology screen. The driver will participate in additional training during this timeframe.
Safe school bus stops are under constant review and consideration. A bus stop must be clearly observed and accessible with no construction in the area and must provide the visibility that would allow appropriate driver reaction time. Bus stops cannot be located in dangerous locations like hills or curves and must be at least 30 feet from an intersection.
Bus drivers are a very important part of a student’s school day, the first face student’s see each morning to welcome them and start the day off in a positive way. Discipline is an important safety component and bus riders must adhere to a code of conduct. In addition to talking with students about specific behaviors, drivers also assign seats and contact parents in regard to discipline issues prior to referral to school principals who make final decisions in regard to discipline based on a consistent matrix.