Three thousand students, spread out over 69 square miles. Joplin school bus drivers will start a big job in just three weeks, traveling 750 thousand miles in the next year. But keeping kids safe is job number one.
Staff is already training and learning about changes to state requirements. And students and parents may want to do a quick refresher on everything from reporting bullies to rider etiquette.
“Statistics show the school bus is the safest travel, trip, vehicle to get school,” says Mike Bevis with the Joplin School District.
And making sure the bus is safe in traffic is a top priority. But it's also important to make sure it's a safe environment inside the bus. That could be responding to a school bus bully.
"The school bus is school property the same rules that apply at school, apply here,” says Mike Bevis.
So if a child has been bullied or sees another student targeted, they should tell the driver.
"He takes care of the problem initially - take reports, does investigations, does paperwork takes that to the principal and myself,” says Mike Bevis.
There are at least three cameras on every Joplin school bus to keep an eye on the kids. And each student is responsible for how they act on the bus.
"The more the students stay in line, the safer the drive for the students,” says Mike Bevis.
And even near the bus - keeping an eye on traffic and making sure the bus driver and other drivers can see the student at all times.
"We preach a ten foot safety zone around a bus at any time, so stay ten big steps away,” says Bevis.
The school district has a 25 point list of transportation regulations they'll send to parents. You can also take a look at it online through the link we’ve provided here.