At the Board of Education Meeting on Monday, September 14, Joe Marcinowski, Transportation Supervisor for North Royalton City Schools, updated the board and community on the department for the 2015-2016 school year. His team includes five staff members and two mechanics, one which is a graduate of North Royalton. The department also has a total of 50 bus drivers, nine substitute bus drivers, two part- time mechanics and three van drivers. These numbers do not include the large number of staff from all of the schools who help students safely unload and load the buses during dismissal.
Recently, four new buses were purchased which brings the total number of buses to 65. The average age of our fleet is 10 years. Part of this is due to being able to work on the buses onsite in the bus garage. “We are able to perform much of the maintenance in-house which is a cost savings to the district, while other districts may not have the ability to do so,” said Marcinowski. The garage includes a portable lift and a place to store all of their equipment.
The department also shared that besides the safety of the buses they work hard to ensure the safety of the students. Each bus driver has a FBI/BCI background check, must complete 15 hours of classroom instruction, 40 hours driving a bus with an instructor and must ride with a veteran bus driver with students on board. In addition, veteran drivers must get recertified every six years which includes being retested, getting another background check and nine hours of classroom instruction. Annually all bus drivers have to undergo a physical and four hours of in-service training.
The state minimum transportation requirement for students in kindergarten through eighth grade is for those living more than two miles from school. North Royalton offers transportation to students in kindergarten through high school and all students are given a bus route regardless of proximity. The state also requires that transportation is provided to and from a student’s residency and that the bus stop should be no further than a half a mile from the student’s residency. However, North Royalton offers transportation to alternate pick-up and drop-off locations including after school care. Also, most bus stops are no further than a quarter mile from the student’s residency. “As you can see, North Royalton goes above and beyond the state requirements with the services we provide,” said Marcinowski.
“As a district, we strive for excellence in everything we do,” said Assistant Superintendent Jim Presot, “It is easy to see that our transportation department is going above and beyond the call of duty for our district.”