Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) Transportation Department was recently honored by the state for its focus on and commitment to safety. State School Superintendent Richard Woods presented GCPS Transportation with a Green Ribbon for School Safety Award at the annual Georgia Association of Pupil Transportation meeting.
In announcing Gwinnett as a Green Award Winner in Division 8 (districts with a full-time student enrollment above 20,000), the state highlighted Gwinnett’s training program, its use of puppets to deliver school bus safety training to students with special needs, and its recruitment efforts.
Don Moore, executive director of GCPS Transportation, says the honor is confirmation that GCPS is one of the best student transportation organizations in the nation. “A number of years ago the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute reported Gwinnett as one of the top five providers in the United States. This recent recognition confirms that we continue to do the right things for the students of Gwinnett County,” Moore shared. “Our training consists of more than 120 hours that occurs before a driver can transport a student. In addition, after their initial training, our drivers receive continuous education each month and they also are required to pass an Annual Driver Proficiency Test.” Other safety precautions in place call for drivers to participate in annual physicals and random drug tests to ensure they are fit for duty. Mr. Moore feels a key to providing safe and efficient transportation services for students is the district’s attention to detail. He explains, “The key is doing the little things right each and every time you do them.”
The state honorees were selected in eight divisions based on enrollment size. In all, 16 winning districts (Blue Ribbon and Green Ribbon Awards) were selected by a panel of judges, based on an application which evaluated a number of factors that impact bus safety. Those factors included but are not limited to: completing safety training, evacuation drills, and other safety initiatives with students; evaluation of accidents and internal practices to prevent accidents; and innovative initiatives used to inspire safe practices, hire and retain drivers, and enhance student safety.
“This recognition would not be possible without our great drivers and monitors who are dedicated to the safety of our students. From our drivers’ pre-trip inspections and the work bus monitors do to properly secure wheel chairs to the focus on making sure students are safe as they load and unload the bus, we know that our Transportation team makes a difference in the lives of Gwinnett children every day,” Moore added.