Tahlequah Public Schools Transportation Department made economical changes two years ago that seemed to work very well and continued to be very successful. After reducing two bus routes and no longer offering door-to-door service, our patrons and students embraced the positive change.
The bus routes were shortened and central locations were put in place. This helped to reduce what was a very long bus ride for many students. We are presently compiling the data but we have seen a significant savings on fuel cost and maintenance for bus upkeep for our district.
TPS presently has 21 routes (2 Special needs routes) which pick up students all over Cherokee County from Peggs to the north, Barnacle Bills Marina area to the south, Shady Grove road to the west and Adair County line to the east.
Safety of the students is always our number one concern. All TPS buses are inspected from top to bottom each summer to meet state requirements. All drivers must have a CDL license, school bus driver certification, and must complete at least 4 hours of professional development yearly. In addition, every bus must have a pre-trip and post-trip inspection by the driver, which helps insure the bus is safe and in working condition at all times.
TPS Buses are outfitted with cameras with both audio and video as well as emergency radio communication to cover our whole county. Bus seating charts were implemented on all buses for safety purposes and we continue to have monitors on many of our buses to help our drivers maintain discipline.
All students who need bus transportation for the 2018-2019 school year to and from school will need to fill out a new contract for bus services. These contracts not only give us a good estimate of how many students we will need to accommodate, but also provide us with valuable information for the student’s safety. If there is any change of address after the new contract is signed, those changes can be made at the Board of Education site and you must show proof of address.
Bus contracts must be completed in full by the parent or legal guardian of the student. These new contacts are located at the Transportation Department office at 820 Pendleton across from the middle school campus.
For additional information, you may contact the Transportation Department at 918-458-4168. Ask for Meri Parks the Office Manager or Assistant Director Larry Wood.