Transportation gears up for new school year
CASTLE ROCK – Transportation Fleet Manager Lance Yoxsimer says he gets a bit of an adrenaline rush when he sees the first DCSD busses head out for school every year.
The Transportation Department takes its role in educating Douglas County students seriously, so when the summer ends they’re excited to hit the road and to greet students.
“We are so honored to be part of that bigger picture. This is what we live for. This is what we do,” Yoxsimer said.
“It makes me proud [to watch the busses depart on the first day of school],” added Director of Transportation Paul Balon. “We play such an important part in the education of our students.”
During the school year DCSD busses carry an average of 13,000 students to and from school every day on 242 routes. This year they’ve even begun serving four of the District’s charter schools.
“Sometimes, we need to be reminded of both the scope and scale to which we do things; just the sheer size of our organization,” Yoxsimer said.
There are 402 employees in the Transportation, including bus drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, and even transportation education assistants that ensure the needs of Special Education students are met.
On Friday August 2, the entire department gathered at Castle View High School for the annual Bus Fest, a chance to celebrate the new school year. A recurring message during the event is the crucial role Transportation plays in the Douglas County School District.
Yoxsimer says his team works to remind staff members that many students begin and end their school day on the District’s bright yellow busses. A bus driver can help to ensure a student feels safe, supported and ready for learning when they get to the classroom.
“We are trying to reinforce that message that education truly starts when you open those bus doors. Many times the education doesn’t end until they get off that bus,” Yoxsimer said.
The keynote speaker, branding expert Lida Citroën, reiterated the message, encouraging every staff member to remember the key role they play and to take action if they see room for improvement.
The day also serves as an opportunity to participate in professional development. It is one of two mandatory in-service days, when the department provides classes that meet the Colorado Department of Education’s requirements for training, as well as preparing staff members for the challenges they’ll face during the year.
“We try to capture popular topics,” Yoxsimer said. “We have a lot going on right now with student allergies and EpiPens, for instance.”
There were also classes about supporting disabled students, healthy living and even changes in payroll.
“It’s really difficult for us, once the year starts, to really get the time and the opportunity to get a lot of our staff exposed to these enrichment opportunities,” Yoxsimer said.
Bus Fest is also a bit like a family reunion.
“For a lot of our drivers, this is the opportunity to reconnect with old friends or maybe operators that have moved to different locations throughout the years.”
The event provides plenty of opportunities for catching up with friends and colleagues who are usually crisscrossing the District during the school year.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category: