A message from the superintendent about transportation

Dear Florida Union Free School District families:

Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students.

The Florida UFSD Board of Education, myself, and the Student Bus Company have collaborated to evaluate the training and compliance protocols and safety measures required for bus drivers, to enhance our communication procedures, and to develop future initiatives to ensure safe transportation every day, with your feedback.

We’re not settling for basic compliance.

Our school bus teams undergo rigorous training and follow strict compliance protocols to ensure safe transportation every day.

Once a driver is hired, there are annual requirements to ensure safety measures, including:

  • Annual review of driving record.
  • Annual defensive driving observation on the road performed by an examiner.
  • Biannual Behind the Wheel Road Test administered by an examiner.
  • Biannual written test administered by an examiner.
  • Each driver must, within their first year of service, participate in a 30-hour course. covering an expansive range of safety-related material proceduralized by the state and administered by an examiner.
  • Each driver must attend refresher courses each year covering timely topics dictated by the state.

As we navigate through the first few weeks of school, like any district that can have its hiccups, we’re working to develop a system that will make the transportation of students smoother and safer.

There are minimum requirements set forth by New York State that we know the Student Bus Company is meeting, and we will spot-check the company to ensure they’re adhering to that. We want to make sure they’re exceeding those standards. This includes:

  • Continue to remind students about the importance of wearing seat belts while on buses.
  • Enhanced adult assistance for students getting on and off school buses at the elementary level to ensure safety.
  • Administrators and staff ride buses to gather feedback and insights, shaping future safety measures.
  • Rotating a bus monitor when needed.
  • Assign seating for elementary students to improve organization and safety during bus rides.
  • Launch a user-friendly app for families to access information on bus routes and receive updates on changes.

We want to streamline communication to one place if there is a transportation concern. For this reason, we created a transportation page on our website so we can provide updates, and an email, transportation@floridaufsd.org, where parents can directly send their concerns so we can address them.

The safe transportation of students is a collaborative effort that will continue to evolve. We encourage your feedback so that we can make this process even better.

Dr. Lisamarie Spindler