All CCSD's school buses go through a state inspection each summer.
CCSD's Transportation Department spends the summer break getting its fleet of big yellow buses inspected and ready for another 4 million miles on Cherokee County roads. In the days before the start of the school year, CCSD’s school buses can be spotted out on the county's roads and highways, running their routes. One practice run with their bus is required, but many drivers practice more times in their own vehicles. Parents can find information about their child's bus and bus schedule on the Transportation page beginning July 26.
CCSD school buses run almost 2,000 routes each day, carrying nearly 30,000 students. Safety is at the top of the Department's priority list! Driver training and vehicle maintenance are key components of keeping buses-- and their student passengers-- safe on the road.
The Transportation Department has earned the prestigious National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal of Excellence, and in 2015 was one of the first school systems in the State to obtain this level of certification.
This recognition program is the National standard for outstanding transportation maintenance departments and companies; ASE is an independent non-profit organization that since 1972 has worked to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals.
To remain ASE certified, professionals must be retested every five years. Currently 90% of maintain ASE certification. Every CCSD school bus is inspected and undergoes maintenance at least once every 20 days by this staff of ASE-certified technicians. Each summer, State inspectors check every bus in the fleet to be sure they are ready to carry precious cargo for the coming school year.
CCSD’s school bus drivers are trained in advance of and throughout the school year to ensure each is prepared to best serve students and respond to emergencies. Drivers not only know best practices for operating their vehicle – which include inspecting it before and after every trip – but also learn first-aid, bus management and other tools for success. Students must follow the same code of conduct on school buses as they do in the classroom, and drivers study up to ensure adherence.
The State requires drivers complete 12 hours of instruction, six hours of driving without students, and six hours of driving with students; but CCSD exceeds the requirements by providing 50 hours of training.
Another sign of the upcoming start of school are annual bus inspections and training sessions led by State officials in July, which provide an additional layer of safety and knowledge for the Department.
In April Jim Georges, Executive Director of Transportation, completed education and testing to be Certified Director of Pupil Transportation (CDPT) through the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). He is 1 of 204 certified professionals recognized nationally by the NAPT.
In this year's pre-planning Transportation meeting, School Operations and Transportation staff went over new information and reminders for school bus drivers and maintenance staff in two sessions; drivers were treated to breakfast or lunch (depending on which training session they attended), sponsored by Credit Union of Georgia. Drivers with perfect attendance in 2020-21 were recognized by Mr. Georges: