Feb. 18, 2013.
Over the last several weeks, we have experienced a typical Avery County winter. The cold temperatures and snow have forced us to close schools for nine days. At this time, four of the days are already scheduled within our calendar and the remaining five days will be made-up on May 20 to May 24. Any additional missed days, up to five, will be added to the end of the school year, May 26 to May 31. To view this updated calendar along with the approved 2013-2014 calendar visit www.averyschools.net.
February has been designated as “Love the Bus Month” by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). “The school bus is the safest way for students to travel to and from school,” NCDPI Transportation Services Chief Derek Graham said. “The bus is ‘built like a tank’ and offers unmatched protection to school bus riders.” In North Carolina, over 700,000 public school students ride in 14,000 yellow buses each day. NCDPI School Support Division Director Ben Matthews said the benefits of school bus transportation are not limited to safety. “As more students take the school bus to school, the environmental impacts are significant. Traffic congestion and pollution can be reduced around schools, not to mention the fuel savings for family cars.”
The Love the Bus program is not only a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the many school bus drivers who safely transport children on 480,000 buses, but also to provide opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation.
Bus drivers perform one of the most important jobs within any school district. In Avery County, they are called upon to deliver our most precious cargo, our students, to and from school over some very treacherous roads. We are very blessed in Avery County to have some of the finest bus drivers anywhere. Our drivers are well-trained, dedicated and committed employees who do all they possibly can to keep our students safe. Our drivers rise as early as 5:30 am and many of them don’t return from their afternoon route until after 6 pm. Avery County, operates 31 buses, travels over 2,500 miles per day, uses over 250 gallons of fuel and transports over 1,170 students. As you can see, it takes a lot of work and effort to run this size fleet of buses as efficiently and effective as we do.
I want to personally thank each bus driver and mechanic, as well as Ms. Linda King, Cost Clerk assistant and Transportation Director, Mr. Brian King for their diligent effort to ensure that transportation for our students is the best available. I want to say a special thank you to Mr. Jack Jones, one of our bus mechanics, for his commitment to the Avery County Schools and for his Christian example. Jack will be retiring at the end of February, and he will be greatly missed. We wish Jack the very best! Will you join me as I thank this team for their commitment and service to Avery County Schools?