LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Most students don't really start getting ready for the new school year until a couple of weeks out from the opening day, but it is a much different story for their bus drivers. Drivers go through a refresher training course in June and then they're back on the road a week or so before school starts. Friday was the first day for school bus drivers in Jefferson County.
"We do practice, simulation runs the next week or so as we prepare for the first day of school", says Rick Caple, director of transportation services for the Jefferson County Public Schools.
Joe Shepherd, who instructs new bus drivers, was out practicing his own route on Friday.
"Drivers are running their routes to make sure they know where they need to go and while they're out running their routes they're looking at their bus stops to see where the students may be picked up and looking for safety issues at these bus stops," said Shepherd.
Besides driving their routes, there's more to getting ready for the first day according to Caple.
"Bus drivers will be meeting with principals to go over discipline and bus referrals and things," said Caple. "And principals need to see those drivers just like their teachers so we're kind of doing all that mechanical stuff as we prepare for the first day of school."
Over 900 buses will be rolling on the first day of school and they all need to be mechanically ready. Caple says that's pretty much a monthly routine with more emphasis this time of year after the buses have been sitting all aummer long.
"We've been doing a little more deeper maintenance from the standpoint as we do in the summertime more body repairs and those kind of things to make them look nicer," said Caple.
Across the river in southern Indiana, Danny Libs, director of transportation for the New Albany-Floyd County school system said they are ready for the start of school next Wednesday.
"We're just finishing our Indiana State school bus inspection," said Libs. "The state police inspected them we have a hundred percent safety record here."
You can expect to see even more buses on the road this year in Jefferson County with the new assignment plan. Caple says their goal is a 60 minute ride time this year with a maximum of 75 minutes for elementary students, but their goal is no more than 60 minutes.
Jefferson County Public Schools return to the classrooms on Tuesday, August 17. New Albany-Floyd County schools begin this coming Wednesday, August 11.
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