The school bus as key to well-rounded education

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on August 13, 2014
This photo, from Laurie Smith of Richfield Springs (N.Y.) Central School, was awarded an Honorable Mention in our 2014 Photo Contest. It shows the value of the yellow school bus in student access to extracurricular activities.

This photo, from Laurie Smith of Richfield Springs (N.Y.) Central School, was awarded an Honorable Mention in our 2014 Photo Contest. It shows the value of the yellow school bus in student access to extracurricular activities.

As you may have seen, we recently published the winners and standouts of our 2014 Photo Contest. We had some very impressive and unique entries, including one we awarded with an honorable mention, from Laurie Smith, the Students Against Drunk Driving/Project Prom co-advisor for Richfield Springs (N.Y.) Central School.

The photo, shown here, captures students on their way to their junior prom, courtesy of a “yellow limo” from the school. Once the school started holding its prom at an off-campus location, students were required to ride school buses as a safety precaution.

The photo spurred a discussion among us here at SBF about the value for students of extracurricular school transportation for activities ranging from academic and athletic competitions to field trips to school dances and other social events. In fact, we are planning a story on the topic in an upcoming issue.

As for me, I was lucky enough in my high school years to have access to a school bus that ran late hours to accommodate after-school and weekend rehearsals and sometimes even competitions and performances so I could be involved in theater and music programs. Participating in those extracurricular activities taught me as much about work ethic, teamwork, responsibility and constantly trying to improve, as any of my classes. For many students who can’t even get to school for classes without the benefit of a school bus service, extracurricular transportation is particularly critical to their ability to get a better-rounded education by giving them access to these events.

We are curious to know not only about what types of trips your school districts are providing in addition to running routes to and from classes, but also about any budgetary issues that may have arisen as school funds have declined, and how your district has coped with them so that the kids still get to participate in the annual trip to the state capitol, or weekly play rehearsals, sports team practice, weekend football games, marching band and speech team tournaments, etc.

Do you have any interesting instances or anecdotes of extracurricular transportation to share for our story? If so, please share in the comments below. 

Related Topics: activity/field trips, multifunction school activity bus (MFSAB)

Nicole Schlosser Managing Editor
Comments ( 3 )
  • See all comments
  • K. Matteson

     | about 3 years ago

    We used to run to "late buses" for each of our 3 high schools. In PA we have to provide transportation to private schools with 10 miles of our borders. A private school parent wanted a "late bus" for their child after their private school sports practices. They made a big deal about it, as we would have had to provide it for them because we did it for our district students. Result: All "late bus" service canceled. It would have open a "can of worms", and then every private school would have request a "late bus" As far as field trips, we bill the schools for them. We have an in district rate & an out of district rate. However, sports does not get charged, and it comes out of transportation's budget. We do over three thousand sports & field trips a year!

More Stories
In a video from Wichita Public Schools, a First Student training manager explains what it takes to become a school bus driver as the local operation looks to bring new recruits on board.

Dealing With Driver Shortage Is Still a Big Deal

There are other commercial driving jobs that pay more than driving a school bus, but they don’t involve transporting students. The opportunity to contribute to children’s education and safety could spark interest in the job.    


Great Ideas Abound on the Bus

Great ideas come in many forms. What all of these innovations have in common is that they promote the role of school buses in student achievement.


Air-Conditioning Platform

The E-Control platform is designed to provide centralized control of all the thermal management components aboard a bus.


School Bus Driver Teaches Students to Fish

Gary Kelmer of New Jersey invites students he transports to a local pond on spring break to teach them how to fish and get them to spend time outdoors. He has offered the activity for over 20 years.


VIDEO: School Bus Danger Zone Awareness

This dramatization from Georgia, based on a true story, teaches students about safely boarding and exiting the school bus — including what to do if they drop something.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!