DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools is kicking off the new school year with it’s teachers and a new fleet of 100 buses.
Now that both the teacher’s union and the school board have come to a deal, avoiding a teacher strike, Superintendent Rhonda Corr says she’s confident this new school year will be DPS’s “best year yet”. She says part of that reason is because of new resources. Over time, some parents have raised concerned over the safety of DPS buses. So, this year the district is spending more than $2 million dollars to replace them.
“We do have these equipped,” bus driver Wanda Gaskin said. “For the preschoolers.”
Integrated car seats are one of many new safety features included in DPS’s new fleet of 115 buses. Gaskin gave us a tour of her new bus, which is now mounted with 4 new security cameras.
“We have one that shows the outside,” Gaskin said. “At the door which is good for the driver, the parents.”
Each camera serving as an extra set of eyes. Gaskin is in her 28th year of driving kids to and from school and says she’s never felt more confident going into a new school year.
“If a kid comes and says such and such did so and so to me or touch me inappropriately,” Gaskin said. “We can look at these cameras and we have a button also in the front that we can mark the tape so they can go back and see what we marked.”
The buses also come with tented windows to keep the bus cool and a GPS tracking system, allowing parents to keep tabs on their kids through the district’s mobile app. DPS has experience dealing with transportation issues. Last year, some parents reported kids getting dropped off, and not getting dropped off at all. Gaskin is confident the new buses will eliminate many of those issues.
“It should be a much better year,” Gaskin said. “As far as safety. As far as traveling. As far as the ride for the children.”
With the first day of school days away, Superintendent Rhonda Corr says she’s happy to have her teacher’s back in the classroom.
“I heard from a couple teachers they were out yesterday,” Coor said. “In their classrooms getting ready. Everyone is excited about being back to school and we’re so glad that we could be there to support them.”
DPS’s first day of school is this Tuesday. The same day Dayton School Board members will meet to vote on the teacher’s contract. We’ll be at the meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and be sure to let you know what happens.