It’s back-to-school season. Parents are shopping for clothes and supplies and electronics. Teachers are updating their classrooms and working on lesson plans. And on Friday, transportation employees from Saline, Dexter, Manchester and Ann Arbor Greenhills spent eight hours preparing for the school year.
Tracey Mulcare is operations specialist in the transportation and building and grounds department for Saline Area Schools. According to Mulcare, about 58 bus drivers and monitors took part in Friday’s professional development program. The 30 or so employees from Saline Area Schools were paid to be there.
“The purpose is professional development of our drivers and transportation employees,” Mulcare said.
In the morning, the drivers listened to a presentation from Darlene Wood, a representative of the SET SEG, the Saline district’s insurer. After the presentation, the drivers played “Transportation Jeopardy,” with a focus on rules, regulation and risks.
Brian Rex, of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department, held a question and answer session with the drivers. He also explained the proper procedures when reporting passing violations.
Most of today’s school bus drivers use air brakes, Mulcare said. So part of the program included running through the pre-trip brake checks. Drivers also learned how to best adjust mirrors.
Firefighters from the Saline Area Fire Department were spent a couple of hours with the bus drivers, show them how to evacuate the bus, cut safety belts, use the fire extinguisher and emergency windows, light flares and more.