Transportation departments for county schools have many responsibilities

| August 19, 2021

Brenda Gilmore has been a River View bus driver since 1994. She is pictured here on the new bus she will transport students on this school year. River View has 22 bus routes and one van route that cover 376 miles every day. The buses make 1,300 stops each day. (Josie Sellers0

When many people think of school transportation supervisors, they think all that person does is plan bus routes and supervise the bus drivers.

In reality, the transportation supervisors at each of the county schools have a variety of responsibilities and work hard all year to make sure students’ needs are met and the ride to school is a safe one.
Joel Moore is starting his fourth year as the director of operations and transportation at River View Local Schools. This is his 24th year working in education.
“My responsibilities include assigning all of the students to the buses and assigning buses to routes,” Moore said. “I do the hiring and am the on-bus instructor (training drivers). Renee Anderson is our transportation manager and organizes all of our athletic and field-trip activities, which averages over 500 trips a year.”
River View has 22 bus routes and one van route that covers 376 miles every day. The buses make 1,300 stops each day.
Moore’s advice to parents would be to make sure children know and will obey hand signals given by the drivers. Children need to stay in their designated safety area at all times.
“For motorists, yellow lights mean the bus is getting ready to stop,” he said. “Red lights on a bus means that the bus controls the road and all traffic is to stop. I get a lot of personal satisfaction working behind the scenes of one of the most important jobs a person can have – educating our children. What we do every day matters.”
River View is looking for bus drivers, and candidates can reach Moore by calling 740-824-3521. Parents also can contact him with questions.
Ridgewood Local School District’s transportation supervisor is starting his 20th year in this job. Doug Patterson said he does everything but the kitchen and education for the district, including supervising grounds, maintenance, mechanics and custodians.

Coshocton Elementary School student Kenton Wilson is so excited for school to start that he went to visit the buses. (Submitted)

“Ridgewood has 12 routes each day and covers about 152 square miles,” Patterson said. “We pick up about 650 students each day. Lots of parents bring their students to school.”

About 25,000 miles a school year are driven for extra activities such as sports and field trips. “The buses average 6-8 miles per gallon for gas,” Patterson said.
Patterson said young children are not permitted to get off of the bus if a responsible person is not waiting for them. “Our drivers are great. They keep the child on the bus and radio the school to contact parents. The parents can then meet the bus on the route or the bus will go back by the stop when the route is finished,” he said.
Parents can call their child’s school if they know they will be late getting to the bus stop. “Our drivers do a great job,” Patterson said. “They care about the kids. It’s not just a job to them.”
After reminding people school starts Aug. 23 and to be on the lookout for stopping buses and kids, Patterson said parents are always welcome to call him with questions or concerns at 740-545-6354.
Coshocton City Schools’ transportation supervisor is Jennifer Andrews, starting her ninth year in the position and her 15th year as the food service director.
“Our buses travel about 300 miles a day,” Andrews said. “We have seven high school routes and six elementary routes that consist of double runs. They have two different groups of kids in two routes, so rather than have 12 buses and drivers, we have six buses and 12 runs.”
Andrews said parents need to help their children understand the importance of being in the place of safety designated by their driver for pickup and drop-off. “Students need to stay out of the danger zone,” she said of the area 10 feet around the entire bus, “sit quietly in their seats and don’t be a distraction for the driver.”
Andrews said the drivers make her job so much easier. “I have a great group,” she said. “The aides who ride the buses are a great asset to the drivers, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the building secretaries and staff on bus duty at the elementary.”
Andrews said anyone with concerns or questions can call her at 740-623-5804.

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