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Transportation
It is our mission to provide safe and timely transportation to and from school for all eligible McDowell County students as consistently and efficiently as possible.  Efficiency is a high priority for the Transportation program because our efficiency rating is the basis for our state funding. Safety is paramount however, and McDowell County's 65 School Buses transport an average of 2,879 students over 4,156 miles each day.

School bus drivers must be at least 18 years of age and successfully complete 3 days of class work and 3 days of road work with bus driver training specialists from the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain their commercial drivers license.  Anyone interested in driving a school bus for McDowell County Schools or having questions pertaining to school transportation may call Will Thomas, Transportation Director at 652-7610.
Announcements
My child needs to get off the bus at a friend's house this afternoon. How does he/she get approval for this?

Make sure you send a written note to the office at your child's school.  It's important that you be specific as to where your child needs to get off that afternoon, along with the date and your signature on the paper.  The principal or designated person will review your request and forward any bus stop changes to the bus driver.  NOTE - The school principal or designated person reserves the right to deny any and all requests that are not in writing from the student's parent or guardian.

Will the bus leave the stop without my child if he/she is not waiting at the assigned bus stop location?
Yes.  Your child must be waiting at the assigned bus stop for at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival, regardless of weather conditions.
When does my child need to be waiting at his/her morning stop?
Contact your child's school.  They will give you an approximate time for the morning passenger stop.  Make sure your child is at the assigned passenger stop at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
What happens if my child does not follow the bus rules?

Consequences for improper behavior depend upon the infraction.  The consequences may vary from student/driver/principal conference, a change in seating assignment, or suspension of bus riding privilege.  Riding the school bus is a privilege.  Should that privilege be abused, it may be revoked for a specified period of time or permanently.

The following acts are examples of improper behavior that interfere with the orderly operation of school buses and are prohibited:

  • delaying the bus schedule
  • consumption of food or drinks;
  • fighting;
  • using tobacco products;
  • using profanity;
  • refusing to obey instructions;
  • tampering with or damage to the bus;
  • refusing to meet the bus at designated stops;
  • unauthorized leaving of the bus;
  • distracting the driver's attention while the bus is in operation;
  • failing to observe established safety rules and regulations;
  • committing offensive actions towards others both inside and outside the bus;
  • violating any other expected standard of behavior while on the bus.

The discipline of school bus children is handled on an individual basis at the school level.  Any questions concerning the discipline of school bus passengers should be directed to the principal at your child's school. 

Director of Transportation
Will Thomas
Click on name to see details.

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