Transportation Department announces summer programs and preparations for new school year

Kearney Public Schools received a $434,484 Mental Health Awareness Training Grant from the US...
Kearney Public Schools received a $434,484 Mental Health Awareness Training Grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Center for Mental Health Services.(press release)
Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 9:24 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - When you tell people that you work for Kearney Public Schools, often their first comment is ‘That’s great, you get the summers off!’   That is often not the case.   The KPS administration office works year-round, as do many KPS school secretaries, administrators, facilities crews, diner staff, and others. The Kearney Public Schools Transportation Department is busy preparing for its upcoming initiatives for the summer and the 23-24 school year. The KPS Director of Transportation, Dr. Jason Sutton, stated that the department remains committed to providing safe and efficient transportation services to the students and families in our community.

Migrant Program Transportation:

As part of our commitment to supporting the migrant program, the Transportation Department will be offering two daily routes to and from Kenwood and Bright Futures. These routes will operate at 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM, providing convenient transportation options for participants.

Special Education Summer School Transportation:

We are pleased to provide transportation for the Special Education Summer School program. Five daily routes will be available from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM to ensure students can easily attend and benefit from these essential educational services.

KCLC Summer Activity Trips:

Approximately 80 summer activity trips organized by the Kearney Community Learning Center (KCLC) will be supported by our transportation services. “The summer travel experiences bring learning to life and make summer school more fun for students,” said Sutton. “We are proud to assist in making these experiences accessible.”

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities:

Our department will also prepare vans and SUVs to facilitate transportation for KPS athletics and extracurricular activities. Sutton said that by providing reliable vehicles, transportation aims to support the success and participation of KPS students in various activities outside the classroom.

Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance:

“Ensuring our fleet is safe for student and staff transportation remains a top priority,” stated Jason Mundorf, KPS Superintendent. “Over the summer, routine inspections, maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted on approximately 75 vehicles and trailers.  It is imperative that our transportation department has an excellent safety record.  This proactive approach ensures that our transportation remains reliable and in excellent condition.”

Professional Development and Personnel:

Full-time employees will attend the Nebraska Transportation Conference in Kearney, further enhancing their skills and knowledge. To prepare for the upcoming school year, professional development materials will be prepared for back-to-school meetings. Sutton added, “We are excited to welcome new full-time employees and provide them with comprehensive training.  We will also continue our efforts to recruit and hire additional drivers and bus professionals, with the goal of having a paraprofessional riding on every bus route.”

Registration Process for the 23-24 School Year:

KPS is committed to streamlining the registration process for the upcoming school year. The transportation department will review and organize student applications to determine eligibility for ridership. Our dedicated team will create approximately 40 daily routes using our routing software, SmartTag, and input the data into our student information system, Infinite Campus, ensuring effective communication in the event of emergencies involving school buses. Students are assigned to their respective routes based on where they live and the type of services they receive.  After the routes are created and students assigned, the department creates bus passes and communicates bus stop information to approximately 300 KPS families.

Families can register and find additional information on our website.