Passed with flying colors.
That’s how Janie Davenport, transportation director for the district, describes a recent audit conducted by Kentucky Department of Education Pupil Transportation examiners.
The five examiners visited the transportation department last month and checked the bus garage for cleanliness and order to ensure safety for employees.
They also inspected every bus in the fleet for cleanliness and to ensure they were in running order. In addition, the examiners put six buses on the lift and performed a Type A mechanical inspection, which checks the tires, brakes, and exhaust, among other things.
While on-site, examiners talked with three staff at the bus garage and asked about policies and procedures of the department.
They also reviewed drivers’ records, work orders, pre-trip sheets, bus safety documentation, and bus evacuation drill documentation.
Davenport is given less than 24 hours notice about inspections from KDE, and is not supposed to share word of the impending inspection.
Guy Griffin, compliance coordinator, says the audit is a way for the district to improve its practices.
KDE examiners spent all day at the bus garage completing their inspection.
John Wyatt, director of pupil transportation at KDE, complimented the district, saying that Davenport and her staff should be commended for their efforts and attention to detail in providing students safe and efficient transportation.
The only feedback that Wyatt and his team had for the transportation department was to consider adopting a board policy to designate a number of buses that should be purchased each year.
KDE recommends 6 to 8 percent of regular route buses be replaced each year.
They also recommended that a regular review of the policy manual be done every few years to ensure that it is appropriate and reflects current need.
There are about 100 staff members at the bus garage, including drivers, monitors, mechanics, and office staff.
“I think everyone jumps in and does an excellent job,” said Davenport. “It's all about them working together, and they work together well. They are always willing to help each other out.”
Griffin commented on the role safety plays among staff of the bus garage, and how much they work together to ensure the safety of students in their care.
“I am extremely proud that our team as pulled together, and I believe we operate in a safe and efficient way,” he said.
“We are like a well-oiled machine,” Davenport added. “It amazes me every day.”
Megan Smedley can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.