School transportation employees play an important role in the safety of Kansas children – so to help honor their dedication and expertise, Gov. Laura Kelly designated Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, as School Transportation Appreciation Day.
In Kansas, there were 4,366 school bus drivers during the 2020-2021 school year who transported 188,848 students more than 23 million miles.
“School transportation employees play an important role in the safety of our students,” said Keith Dreiling, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Unit. “There is a critical shortage of school bus drivers, not only in Kansas, but across the nation. We just don’t have enough school bus drivers to fill the need. We are asking community members to consider driving a school bus if they can, and I want to encourage the state of Kansas to help celebrate the men and women who currently sit behind the wheel of our buses and dedicate their time and talent to keeping our students safe.”
School Transportation Appreciation Day falls within National School Bus Safety Week, which is Oct. 18-22. National School Bus Safety Week takes place the third full week of October each year. It is designated to promote school busy safety.
Here are a few bus safety rules that parents can review with their children:
• While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street.
• Be alert to traffic. When you get on or off the bus, look left, right, left before you enter or cross the street.
• When you get on or off the bus, look for the bus safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
• Remember to cross in front of the bus.
• If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. NEVER crawl under the bus to try and pick it up yourself.
• Don’t jump up or down, fight, bully or tease other passengers or make a lot of noise while riding the bus. These activities can distract the bus driver, and he or she won’t be able to give proper attention to driving.
For more information about school bus safety, contact KSDE’s School Bus Safety Unit at (785) 296-3551.