Oct. 20 proclaimed School Transportation Appreciation Day in Kansas
Oct. 18-22 celebrated as 2021 National School Bus Safety Week
TOPEKA — School transportation employees play an important role in the safety of Kansas children – so to help honor their dedication and expertise, Gov. Laura Kelly designated Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, as School Transportation Appreciation Day.
In Kansas, there were 4,366 school bus drivers during the 2020-2021 school year who transported 188,848 students more than 23 million miles.
“School transportation employees play an important role in the safety of our students,” said Keith Dreiling, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s School Bus Safety Unit. “There is a critical shortage of school bus drivers, not only in Kansas, but across the nation. We just don’t have enough school bus drivers to fill the need. We are asking community members to consider driving a school bus if they can, and I want to encourage the state of Kansas to help celebrate the men and women who currently sit behind the wheel of our buses and dedicate their time and talent to keeping our students safe.”
School Transportation Appreciation Day falls within National School Bus Safety Week, which is Oct. 18-22. National School Bus Safety Week takes place the third full week of October each year. It is designated to promote school busy safety.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Be Safe – Know the Danger Zone,” and is derived from a 2020 national poster contest, according to the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). The national winning poster was drawn by Huyen Pham, a Northbrook Middle School student from Atlanta, Georgia.
Kansas also hosts a yearly school bus safety poster contest, Dreiling said, and any Kansas student can enter. This year’s theme is 1 Bus+1 Driver=A Big Impact on Education. Posters can be drawn anytime between now and March 1, 2022. Posters must be submitted to KSDE before March 15, 2022. First-place winners in each division will receive a plaque and a $50 check. Each winner’s teacher also will receive a $25 check for the purchase of classroom materials.
State winners will be notified after May 1 and will be recognized at the School Transportation Conference, which will take place June 1-3. The theme for this year’s conference is “Celebrating Red, White and YOU!” About 200 school transportation personnel attend the annual conference, and nationally recognized speakers are brought in for the event.
Posters that wins at the state level are entered into the national poster contest.
For rules and more information on this year’s Kansas bus safety poster contest, visit https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/School-Finance/School-Bus-Safety/School-Bus-Safety-Poster-Contest.