Bus Drivers Go the Extra Mile for Students

Bus Drivers Go the Extra Mile for Students
Posted on 10/20/2022

     Mountain View School District’s Transportation Department plays an essential role in the education of students, providing safe rides to and from school each day for the District’s bus riders. 

     The team of 11 bus drivers currently complete 10 bus routes each day, and are happy to provide the link from the bus stop to the classroom.   With the first pick-up at 7 a.m., the bus drivers help students get their day off to a good start by greeting them with a smile, lots of care and a positive attitude. 

     “The kids are the best part of my job,” said Calistra Ramos, bus driver.  “I really enjoy getting to know the students and developing relationships with them.  If we see one of our students is having a bad day, we can try to change it by talking with them and cheering them up.  It’s nice to be able to positively influence them.”

     For bus driver, Mark Contreras, watching the students grow up is his favorite part of the job.

     “I’ve been able to transport kids from when they start kindergarten all the way through to 8th grade and it’s really special watching them grow,” he said.  “I’ve been a bus driver in the district for a long time and I’ve been able to transport the children of students I drove years ago.”

     MVSD’s dedicated and experienced drivers are well trained in safety procedures and their number one priority is to safely transport their students.  They begin their day at the transportation yard in the early morning and conduct their pre-trip bus inspections.  The drivers are well schooled both in the classroom and behind the wheel, adhering to strict licensing and credential requirements.  Additionally, they are CPR certified and have participated in Knowledge Saves Lives training, learning life saving techniques involving a bus lockdown, an active shooter, defensive attack training, emergency medical assistance, and defensive bus maneuvering.

     “Student safety is our number one priority,” said Erik Meza, Interim Transportation Supervisor.  “Our drivers did a great job with the Knowledge Saves Lives training and it was very beneficial.  While we hope we never have to put these skills to use, being proactive and prepared in the event they are needed is crucial to ensuring the safety of our students. This situational training helps our drivers build confidence for various critical scenarios that can arise,” he added.

     Additional safety measures in the department include the use of Zonar Smart Fleet Technology, an electronic system that ensures accurate pre and post trip inspection compliance and safety, and records the mechanical condition of the buses. Continuing COVID-19 safety measures, each bus is equipped with an air filtration system and daily fogging of the buses takes place.

     Along with their daily routes to the school sites, the drivers also transport students on field trips as well as parents and families to district meetings and events.  They also deliver mail throughout the district each day.

     “Field Trips are a lot of fun,” said Felicita Garcia, bus driver.  “We get to go into the amusement parks and other venues and watching the kids have fun and experience things for first time is great.”

     Garcia is a former MVSD student and in her first year as a bus driver in the district she drove the same bus route that she took to school as a kid.  Her colleague, Marina Martin Del Campo is also a former student and now her grandchildren are attending MVSD schools.

     Along with the many rewards of being a school bus driver, the drivers face many challenges including traffic which can impede their routes and other motorists not being mindful of the vehicle laws pertaining to school buses.  Despite the challenges the drivers look forward to seeing their bus riders every day.

     “It’s so rewarding when the students board the bus and show us their school work,” said Lucia Contreras.  “They are so proud and excited to share it with us. Being able to support the students and encourage them to work hard and do well is the best,” she said.

     MVSD is one of a few school districts in Southern California to have all-electric, zero-emission school buses, all acquired through grants, in its fleet. The District remains committed to green energy and providing safe, clean and sustainable transportation for students.

      The week of October 17-21 is National School Bus Safety Week.  Nationwide, more than 25 million children ride the school bus every school day and National School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for students, parents, teachers, and the community to keep school bus safety in the forefront.  This year’s theme is 1 Bus + 1 Driver = a BIG Impact on Education and MVSD couldn’t agree more!  The District thanks its tremendous school bus drivers for keeping students safe each and every day, and for being such an important part of their school day.  










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