Summer is a busy time in transportation offices. School details are firmed up, students are identified, runs are built and assigned to routes, drivers are hired, certified, trained and assigned, parents and schools are notified, and the million details that somehow need to be done get done on time.

This summer I had the distinct pleasure of working in several transportation offices as all of the above was occurring. It has been five years since my days in the Buffalo offices and the chance to relive and continue with that excited buzz was a wonderful feeling. It is a time of phones ringing, of clerks sorting through student data, of drivers stopping in to get their paperwork in order, of directors answering never ending questions, of buses getting fixed up and ready to go, and of prep meetings being scheduled and conducted. The annual countdown to school opening is a time filled with preparation, anticipation, commitment and determination.

But all good things must end. The busy summer is over. School has started all around the country.

Many school districts start in August. School districts in my area of the Northeast generally start just after Labor Day. Charter schools are expanding the concept of the traditional 180 day school year with even earlier starts.

Binders and new sneakers have been bought. Kids have answered the inevitable questions from well-meaning relatives on their feelings about summer being over and school starting again. The AAA has conducted its annual “School’s Open, Drive Carefully” campaign and media coverage of the start of the new school year is extensive.

Even though we just described an incredibly intense period of activity, the actual start of the new school year is the time when we really settle down and get to work. When we start to do those critical day to day things that do so much to support our children’s education. When a well planned bus ride, with a professional bus driver, who shows up on time, at a well chosen bus stop, and keeps the not overly crowded bus under control on their efficiently laid out path to their on time arrival at school makes the perfect start to a child’s day. The reality of that vision is really why we can say Happy New Year.

Here is wishing you a safe and efficient transportation program for the 2014/15 school year as the wheels on your buses go ‘round and ‘round.

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