Each day over 6000 students are transported to 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 2 high schools, and 1 alternative learning school in our district. In addition, students are transported to other sites such as the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville and other programs.
Our school bus fleet is made up of 103 total buses, 83 regular buses and 17 special need buses. We have 68 regular routes and 10 of those make two runs each. We have 13 special need routes and 13 of these are staffed with a bus assistant. We also run 6 extra routes during the day for Challenge and Pre-school. We service grades Pre-school and Pre-K - 12th grade. The fleet travels in excess of 4700 miles per day. Along with our daily runs, the transportation department makes over 1000 extracurricular trips per year for athletics events, academic events, competitions, and school field trips.
The Transportation Department's staff consists of a Transportation Coordinator, an Administrative Assistant, a Shop Foreman, 5 Mechanics, 81 regular school bus drivers, 4 full-time substitute drivers, several part-time substitute drivers, 13 bus assistants who assist the driver on our special needs and pre-school buses, and 5 regular bus monitors.
Each driver must complete a state mandated training program before being a school bus driver. They must also receive additional annual training to keep their certification. To help ensure a safer ride for the students of Dickson County Schools, each driver and assistant is screened prior to employment. The screening includes a TBI background check, pre-employment drug testing and a DOT physical. After employment, our drivers are called randomly every month for a drug and alcohol test and must pass their DOT physical yearly. Our Transportation management staff also attends conferences and receives annual training to keep abreast of the changes in school transportation and Tennessee state guidelines.
The Transportation Department has a full service repair and maintenance shop. Drivers are trained and are required by law to check, log and report daily anything that may be a safety concern. These concerns are brought to our Shop Foreman and repaired immediately.
In the interest of safety, a two-way radio system and video camera program are on every bus to assist the drivers in the area of student management.