Anson County Schools’ bus garage won an award for having the lowest bus inspection rating in the Central Region of North Carolina for the school year by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Transportation Services.
Corey Ross, transportation administrator for Anson County Schools, said that there really are no qualifications for the award, and that inspections are required by the state each year.
“Each year, schools buses go through the rigorous inspection by the state, in which random buses are selected, along with mechanics assigned to those buses,” Ross said. “The buses and mechanics are evaluated during this process. Every school system is inspected using the same guidelines and format.”
The state is broken up into three regions; Eastern, Central and Western.
Ross said that one inspector is assigned to each region, and Anson County is in the Central Region.
“Anson County received the lowest rating in the Central Region this year with a score of 7,” Ross said. “The lower the score, the better, and this is the best score Anson County has ever received.”
The award is displayed at the bus garage on a banner that reads: “Lowest Bus Inspection Rating in Central Region of North Carolina for school year 2016-17 by NCDPI Transportation Services.”
Ross said that the bus garage has several responsibilities, including being the fueling hub for all school vehicles.
“We create routes for the buses to run at each school, we maintain every bus through safety inspections and service every bus, respond to all mechanical problems with buses and emergency situations involving a bus, maintain accurate inventory records with the state, and make sure we run every route each day with a driver,” Ross said. “We also maintain, update, and submit bus data and student ridership data to the state and schools, maintain and service all school vehicles and driver education vehicles, coordinate the Driver’s Education Program for students and parents.”
Ross said that they provide training opportunities for all of mechanics and front office staff, travel roads during inclement weather and emergency situations to make sure roadways are safe for buses, staff, and student travel, and maintain the control center with communications between buses and schools via two way radios.
“I am very proud of this fantastic accomplishment that has been earned by the ACS Transportation Department,” said Superintendent Michael Freeman. “We will be recognizing them at a board meeting. This type of recognition shows how important it is for the transportation staff to work as a team — the actions of the transportation department team ensure safe and professional services for Anson County students as they are transported daily.”
Ross said that Anson County has been on the rise for the past three years with inspection ratings, and they want to “continue getting better at what we do.”
“Our main focus is about the safety of the children, the buses, and the drivers,” Ross said. “Now that we are at the top, we want to stay there. By doing this, it reassures our parents and children that our mechanics and drivers are providing the best transportation services for our school system.”
The bus garage has five mechanics, three office staffers, and approximately 100 regular and substitute bus drivers.
Ross said that the award is a tremendous honor for the staff and school system. He also said that the award not only showcases the mechanics and front office staff in the transportation department, but more importantly the drivers.
“The drivers each and every day do pre- and post-trip inspections on the buses, and contact us when needed for repairs that come up unexpectedly,” Ross said. “They come to work every day and complete what amounts to be the most important job in the school system, transporting our children to and from school safely. I cannot begin to thank everyone enough for their vital roles each of them played for this accomplishment and recognition.”
Reach Natalie Davis at 704-994-5471.