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BRSD Dedication to Bus Service and Safety

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BRSD Dedication to Bus Service and Safety

Battle River School Division (BRSD) Transportation team worked diligently, making a series of changes to its bus routes to accommodate rides for a higher volume of students in preparation of the 2023-24 school year. Aligning with its vision of Every Student, Every Day, a Success, these enhancements were designed to ensure equality, creating a more efficient and supportive experience for both students and families. Additionally, to highlight the role of transportation during Bus Safety Week in October, BRSD promoted safety awareness and education for staff, students, parents, and the public.

BRSD’s ridership was significantly impacted when the government reduced the distance for eligible bus students. A necessary review and update of BRSD’s bus routes was launched because the organization would be accommodating 700 more riders. To address this issue while continuing to provide efficient service, Kristi Edwards, Director of Transportation, and her team at BRSD Transportation redesigned the City of Camrose transportation system and added additional routes in our rural communities.

“We added an extra route in Camrose, and introduced in-town transportation options for eligible rural students in Daysland, Sedgewick, Killam, Tofield, Bashaw, and Viking,” said Edwards. “We have also added additional rural bus routes to Forestburg, Round Hill, and Camrose Rural, ensuring quicker and more convenient travel.”

BRSD safely transports over 3,600 students with 84 buses across the division each school day. This is a collective endeavor involving mechanics, drivers, supervisors, and our dedicated transportation department.

Although BRSD acknowledges that alterations to pick up and drop off times can have a significant impact on families while adjusting to these changes, BRSD Superintendent, Rhae-Ann Holoien is proud of the team’s effort and resulting success.

“The changes implemented have successfully improved overall efficiency—and we have over 700 additional riders,” said Holoien, superintendent of schools.

Ensuring the safety of its bus riders is a priority for BRSD, and with newly implemented changes, increased ridership, and the timing of Bus Safety week, from October 15 to 21, BRSD shared information with the public about keeping our riders safe. During October, BRSD Transportation teams took the opportunity to visit schools to educate students about bus safety practices.

“We emphasize the importance of bus safety to ensure that students are well-prepared in the event of any unexpected circumstances,” said Edwards. “The vigilance and preparedness of everyone is invaluable in this regard.”

Bus safety extends beyond the classroom and bus supervision while students are riding to and from school. It is critical that all players—staff, students, parents, and the public—are aware of safety risks and dangers around busing. BRSD Transportation is taking measures to review evacuation procedures with students, focusing on bus danger zones.

It is important to recognize that rules for buses vary between the City of Camrose and rural locations. In Camrose, buses cannot use extended signs or flashing lights. Even when bus lights are not flashing, children are likely nearby the bus and a child could run out unexpectedly.

It is crucial to drive with caution and be mindful of children and danger zones when approaching school buses. Buses can create significant blind spots for drivers and pedestrians.

Holoien is thankful to the community and our students and staff for participation in bus safety measures, and proud of the teams at BRSD for the creative thought put into revamping BRSD’s transportation system to meet increased needs.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for your hard work, dedication, and the care you demonstrate in supervising our students,” said Holoien. “Your commitment and unwavering support for bus safety is a testament to the high standards we uphold at BRSD. Together, we can ensure that our students have safe and positive experiences on their daily bus rides.”

BRSD strives toward a positive experience for its students and is hopeful that families and students have been enjoying the 2023-24 school year.

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