SALEM, Ore. — The transportation staff at Salem-Keizer Public Schools earned some high-profile awards, among other accomplishments during the past year.
Director of Transportation Michael Shields was named Supervisor of the Year by the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association. Head Mechanic David Farley received the association’s Golden Wrench award, which recognizes an outstanding student transportation technician.
In other news, Salem-Keizer’s transportation, student services and technology departments collaborated to implement an electronic request for transportation, which Shields said resulted in improved processing time for special-needs students receiving transportation services.
“98.5 percent of requests are processed in less than five days,” Shields told SBF. He noted that the district also reduced processing time for summer school students and routes from one month to one week.
Among other changes, Salem-Keizer reduced accidents by over 25 percent, developed new bell times for the 2011-12 school year and renewed its ISO certification.
The transportation department also instituted a positive-acknowledgement award called "The Pickle."
“Individuals that provide extraordinary customer service receive a card that describes the behavior, a statement of thanks and a little plastic pickle,” Shields explained.