Durham prepares its drivers for new school year

August 25, 2008 11:29:02 AM PDT
Bus drivers geared up for another school year in Durham County.

Emily McClery said the school year should have never ended. "They should have been here two months ago," she said laughing.

She has her hands full because she's a bus driver and mom. Three of her children started school Monday.

One of them, Jamaica Dixon is excited. "You get to have fun and you don't have to do no homework on the 1st day of school," she exclaimed.

Her older sister isn't so sure. "I don't want to go to school, I don't want to get up."

Dixon and her sister joined 16,000 other children who rode the bus to school Monday morning. Their mother is one of 300 bus drivers who will drive an estimated 6 million miles this year.

Executive Director of Transportation Scott Denton met with bus drivers at Brogden Middle School to make sure everything ran smoothly. "If you are at a school, have a car pool line," he suggested. "You may have more riders."

Denton helps prepare drivers for more students in the coming days.

It's very important that you work with your bus driver and that your child knows the bus number and the bus stop. Parents should arrive 10 minutes early to the bus stop.

"[The] first objective is to get kids to school, to get kids who need a ride to school to make sure overcrowding issues, if there are any, are handled and once that is satisfied than we will look at efficiency initiatives," Denton said.

For now, officials are focusing on making it through the first day.

Early last year, Eyewitness News did stories on Jordan High School's traffic problems. The problems included pedestrian traffic.

There is a nearly completed expanded intersection at Hope Valley and Garrett roads. The school system sent out a survey form improvements.

In November 2007, voters approved the school bonds. Jordan will get $958,000 from the bond. Some is to fix part of the dangerous pedestrian paths.

Jordan High School has been consistently ranked one of the top five high school in the Triangle.


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