school bus (drivers)

A class is schedued in September for substitute bus drivers for the Livingston Parish school system.

Dsk and ye shall receive? Squeaky wheel gets the grease?

Pick any catch phrase you like, in most cases its just nice to be heard.

The community’s voice was definitely received at the Livingston Parish Public School offices, as the administration worked through both a rollout of new buses, and finding drivers to man them.

Social media was ablaze early in the school year as buses were late, buses were packed, and in some cases bus drivers had to take liberties in order to make their rounds in the allotted time frame to get their students to school on time.

It was a tough situation for the school board, as 22 new buses were rolled out during the summer for use this school year. And yet, logistical problems still arose at least every week with crowded or late school buses.

So the transportation department took it one step further – let’s begin rolling out courses for substitute bus drivers.

The system had the fleet, but it needed more drivers in case a driver had to be absent a certain day, or perhaps a spare bus had to be sent to make up for a breakdown.

Much like the system’s response to high heat days in early August, bringing 20,000 bottles of water to thirsty and hot bus riders in those early sessions of the school year, the board and administration were paying attention to the needs of students – and concerns of the parents.

The classes run over several weeks as potential drivers learn the ins-and-outs of buses and how to drive them safely with kids on board.

And that appears to be the mantra of the school board of late – if the concern is legitimate, seek out an answer. If the problem can be answered, then take care of that issue.

Nothing happens as quickly as the public would like, but a system with 26,000-plus students and 3,000-plus faculty can only move so quickly. There’s also the consideration of things that are not so popular. It would cost several million dollars to outfit the fleet with air conditioning systems – an idea that drew mixed results from the public in an informal poll issued by the News.

Many folks wanted the Southside and Denham Springs Elementary campuses rebuilt, which would have been cost ineffective. But the administration rolled out the information as quickly as possible, to let people know what was coming.

And that’s the important part – the school board is listening, and working to respond to the needs of the students, and the requests of the parents.

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