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Safety comes first for new bus drivers

Kent ISD Eighteen new bus drivers recently received hands-on training in safety measures, from ensuring the proper distance of visibility from the bus to extinguishing fires and setting up flares.

Coming from around the state and Kent County, the new drivers participated in the session as part of a required 18-hour training course on the Kent ISD campus. They also completed a 100-question test to pass the course. 

“The ultimate goal is to make sure the kids are protected,” said Burr Smith, bus driver training contractor. There’s a big demand for bus drivers in Michigan, with many openings in Kent County districts. The shortage has already caused service disruptions for some, including Lowell Area Schools, which postponed six bus routes during the first week of school due to a lack of substitute drivers. Dean Transportation, which provides transportation services to many districts in Michigan, has offered sign-on bonuses for new drivers.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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