Transportation - New School Year
Tahlequah Public Schools Transportation Department is putting the finishing touches on preparing for the beginning of the new school year 2015-2016. There are approximately 1200 students that are transported to school and back home every day. There are 23 bus routes that travel a total of 303,306 miles each school year.
All buses have been inspected from top to bottom, and are checked before and after every trip. Safety of the students is our number one concern, not only during transport but while loading and unloading which is the most critical.
We have radio communication in every bus. Drivers can communicate with the office if they need to. We also have monitors on many of our buses to help the drivers and to help maintain discipline. Riding the bus is a privilege and can be taken away from students if they don’t follow the simple rules.
All drivers must have a CDL license, school bus driver certification, and must continue updating with at least 4 hours of professional development throughout the year. They also must have a background check and are subject to random drug testing.
Our number one priority is transporting the more than 1200 students back and forth to school each day. After getting students to and from school, our job is still not done. We drove 893 field trips last year, and used over 60,234 gallons of fuel to run our bus routes and activity trips. We also run shuttle buses throughout the day for Central Academy, Boot School, and for students who only attend for half-days.
On top of all this, we also run buses for the Boys & Girls Club after school programs and for summer school in the month of June. I have had several people ask, “What do you do all summer?” We are very busy all summer providing bus maintenance for their routes, and assisting our patrons who request to use our buses and drivers for community purposes. This summer we had the honor of driving for the Mayors Conference that was held here in Tahlequah.
So, next time you see someone that works for the transportation department, recognize them as a team player with a very important task of transporting your children safely. For further information, you may contact the Transportation Department at 918-458-4168. Assistant Transportation Director Jack Lankford, Transportation Manager Larry Wood and Office Manager Meri Parks will be ready and able to assist you.