It’s Georgia Bus Driver Appreciation Day: Three Honks for Our Teachers on Wheels!

APS honors our beloved transportation team – bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and support squad – all charged with safely transporting our precious students to school, field trips, athletic events and co-curricular activities

Honk if you love our bus drivers today!

Every school day, nearly 400 buses Atlanta Public Schools take to the streets to transport more than 30,000 students over 21,000 miles to school. At the helm are our bus drivers and monitors. After a child’s parents or care givers, they are often the very first adults our students see at the start of each school day … and sometimes the last as they return home.

Their interaction with our students can often set the tone for the day and whether they are truly ready to learn. They are more than transportation professionals … they are our Teachers on Wheels! And I cannot thank them enough for keeping Students and Safety First and doing their part in our mission to graduate every child ready for college and career.

Today is Georgia Bus Driver Appreciation Day, which also kicks off National School Bus Safety Week. But I love our transportation team – bus drivers, monitors, mechanics and support squad – so much that I consider every day as Bus Driver Appreciation Day! Safety is so essential that every week MUST be School Bus Safety Week.

Research studies from the Brookings Institute and others tell us that there are great benefits associated with students riding the bus – including the following:

  • Students who ride the bus have fewer absences.
  • Students are 50 times more likely to arrive at school safely on a school bus than if they drive themselves or ride with friends.
  • Students who ride the bus are more confident and have higher self-esteem and social skills.
  • Students who take the bus are contributing to cleaner air by doing their part to reduce pollution.
  • And students who take the bus are benefiting the community! Fewer cars means less Atlanta traffic, lower emissions, and safer roads!

Who makes this possible for APS students each day? Teachers on wheels! Our bus operators and monitors, mechanics and transportation support personnel!

That’s why we support them with specialized training, including social emotional learning techniques that focus on the ability to set goals, overcome obstacles and develop healthy relationships. Earlier this summer, we celebrated our APS Elite Bus Drivers – drivers who have perfect attendance and remain accident-free. Check out this amazing video!

If you are not able to thank a bus driver, monitor or anyone else from our transportation department today or this week, there is one thing everyone can do to show their appreciation: Drive safely. Drive slower and safer, especially around the vehicles carrying our most precious cargo.

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