Gateway Gazette

Foothills School Division: Facts on Transportation

Transportation Director Virginia McLeod provided Trustees with an overview of the department’s work including some fascinating facts:

  • Service 20 schools on 69 routes, transporting more than 3,700 students — almost half of FSD’s student population.
  • FSD buses travel approximately 11,900 kilometres every school day, and more than 2.1 million kilometres per year – NOT including field trips!
  • The department provides transportation for an average of 50-60 school field trips per month – a figure which can climb as high as 100+ trips during the peak spring months.
  • Department technicians Dennis Budzak, Paul Philpot and Hugh Stewart are responsible for 82 school buses, which all run on diesel fuel. They perform regular maintenance on the fleet as well as Alberta Transportation-mandated, semi-annual Commercial Vehicle Inspections on FSD’s buses plus 24 Canadian Rockies Public School buses.
  • Employs 69 regular school bus drivers plus four spare drivers. They all hold a Class 2 driver’s license with a School Bus Endorsement and are certified in emergency first aid and CPR. Well-trained and highly qualified, all FSD drivers receive ongoing professional development, re-training and evaluation. As Virginia said, it takes a special kind of person to drive a school bus, equating their job on the road to teaching 50-60 students with your back to them!
  • FSD bus drivers are always ready to lend a hand in emergency situations such as the June 2013 flood, when they helped evacuate High River residents to safety.
  • Transportation Services staff are available to conduct school bus safety presentations for students, as well as “first ride” programs to introduce Junior Kindergarten students to the school bus culture prior to their kindergarten year. Schools can arrange these presentations through their school safety officers.
  • Edulog Specialist Debby Hertz manages the department’s logistics program. Every FSD student is logged in the program, whether they are transported or not, so the logistics software also plays a critical role in the boundary mapping process.
  • Administrative Assistant Sandy Dielissen handles everything from dispatch, billing and payroll to booking field trips.

Thanks to everyone in Transportation Services for your commitment to safely transporting FSD students to and from school every day in all sorts of weather conditions! Best wishes also to those who will be participating in this year’s Provincial School Bus Roadeo on June 6th at École Secondaire Highwood High School.

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