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School Buses Ready to Roll for 2021-22 School Year
School Buses Ready to Roll for 2021-22 School Year
Posted on 08/20/2021
Every day, Buncombe buses will travel more than 30,000 miles transporting students safely to and from school.By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Yellow buses roared to life Wednesday at the BCS Transportation facility. After attending a morning course to keep their skills sharp, bus drivers retrieved their assigned buses and delivered them to schools across Buncombe County, ready for the August 23 start of the school year. Every day, Buncombe buses will travel more than 30,000 miles transporting students safely to and from school.

“We’ve made sure our buses are inspected, cleaned, and ready to roll from front to back,” said Transportation Director David Rhoney. “Our drivers are ready, and we’re excited that we’re back to full capacity on our school buses. And obviously we’re wearing masks for safety.”

During the morning training, drivers reviewed protocols for passenger stops, railroad crossings, COVID-19, and more. They also met with school nurses and Student Services staff to learn how to identify different needs students may have. Because they are the first and last school staff to see students each day, bus drivers play an important role in helping students to feel welcome and safe.

“It was all review, but we really wanted to drive home that safety aspect,” Rhoney added.

C.D. Owen Middle driver Vince Groce has driven a bus for over 15 years.

“I love the kids,” said Groce. “I keep the same route every year, and I really enjoy them.”

“I enjoy just knowing that I’m part of getting kids to and from school,” added Cynthia Watkins, in her fifth year of driving for North Buncombe High. “I’m looking forward to some normalcy, and we’re ready to get back on track.”

Rhoney explained that there are still routes available for bus drivers county wide. The training for new staff begins with virtual courses available every other week. To get started and learn how to apply, Rhoney recommended calling the Transportation Dept. office at 828-232-4240, or calling a BCS neighborhood school directly.

“I’m excited that it’s going to look more normal than this time last year,” Rhoney said. “Getting kids to school is what we do.”

Related Story: 2021 Bus Driver of the Year: Ms. Katherine Goforth

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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