Hamilton Southeastern bus drivers prepare for new school year

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — In some parts of central Indiana school buses are already back on the roads and many more will be over the next few weeks. 

Bus drivers in the Hamilton Southeastern school district are refreshing their skills before the new year. 

“Today is just kind of an obstacle course,” said Beth Thornton, a bus driver trainer for Hamilton Southeastern Schools about what the drivers were doing during training. 

“It encourages mirror usage and it encourages driving slowly and checking everything before you go ahead and do it.”

To do it — drive a bus for HSE — a person needs a Commercial Driver’s License. Then the district’s trainers work with the drivers. 

“Starts with some classroom work to familiarize yourself with the pre-trip and those things you need to know before getting on the school bus,” said Zach McKinney, Director of Transportation for Hamilton Southeastern Schools.

“In our district you’re going to face different traffic conditions, roundabouts, narrow tight turns inside neighborhoods, landscaping. So, we take them through different areas, more rural areas and some of our tighter neighborhoods,” said McKinney. 

The training doesn’t end once drivers get the job. Every three years, the bus drivers on staff go through a training session. 

“Way to get them refreshed and ready to go to get them prepared for when school starts,” said McKinney. 

Drivers do all of this to prepare for when they’ll have kids filling the seats on the bus. 

“If you have that in your mind every day, when you get in your bus and you remember that you’re driving other people’s children and just try to remember that you would want your children driven the best way possible so you need to do it for other people as well,” said Thornton.