OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Public school children across our area head back to class a week from today. While teachers are getting rooms ready, bus drivers in Oshkosh are practicing their routes.
Students approach a school bus during a practice run before public schools open in Oshkosh (WBAY photo)
Peter Lohry is just one of dozens of Kobussen school bus drivers participating in practice day for the Oshkosh Area School District. Drivers were up early to hit their routes, the same ones they'll take next Tuesday, on the first day of school.
According to Dan Kobussen, from Kobussen Buses, "We do practice runs in just about every district, the one thing Oshkosh does a little differently, is that they do it actually on time, so they do it as a practice day."
According to the drivers, today's practice run is a good opportunity for them to understand their routes and the obstacles they may face when heading out during the morning and afternoon rush.
Peter Lohry adds, "That way the drivers get to know their routes ahead of time to cut down on the delays."
The practice day is also good for the 3,000 Oshkosh area kids who ride on the 80 routes Kobussen drives for the district. It allows kids to make sure they're in the right place at the right time to catch the bus.
"Even more is for the opportunity for parents, children to meet their bus driver and just take away some of those first day of school jitterbugs that sometimes happens," says Dr Vickie Cartwright, superintendent of Oshkosh Area schools.
As much as the practice run is for drivers, parents, and students it was also an opportunity to educate the public. Dan Kobussen adds, "School buses are going to be on the road, pay attention. If you ever see a school bus, just stay away from it - particularly if you see red lights on. If you see red lights on, know that there's students around that bus."
And remember, when the stop sign goes out and the lights are flashing, drivers in all directions, must stop to let kids get on and off the bus without any incident.