How Minnesota celebrates School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

On Feb. 22, the state of Minnesota celebrated its annual school bus driver appreciation day for the seventh year in a row.

The day is special, says Bethany Bertram, president of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association.

The annual event is “a large-scale day of appreciation with many events led by school districts and bus organizations throughout Minnesota,” says Bertram, President of Trobec’s Bus Service, who also serves on the United Motorcoach Association Board of Directors. 

The occasion honors Minnesota school bus drivers who safely transport more than 682,000 Minnesota students each day, regardless of staff shortages and bad weather.

Storm delayed some celebrations

Because of school closures forced by a snowstorm, many Minneapolis Metro districts and other districts across the state pushed back their celebrations. Instead, many districts relied on e-learning for classes and suspended their Bus Driver Appreciation Day events. 

Driver Appreciation Day
Minnesota honored school bus drivers in many ways. (Trobec’s Bus Service)

One of those districts was Intermediate District 287 in Plymouth, which received 18-20 inches of snow in two days with high winds causing drifts. Amy Tiedens, the district’s transportation manager, said a celebration was held Tuesday, when treats and thank you notes from the students were handed out to the bus and van drivers.

Benjamin Bus Inc., in Dakota County, generally puts together gift bags for each driver and supplies treats. Many elementary schools such as Spring Creek and Greenvale gave pictures by students to drivers or handed out snacks and drinks, said Val Mertesdorf, the transportation liaison for Northfield Public Schools #659.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation created a list of ways to show appreciation for their drivers. Some of these are taking photos on School Bus Driver Appreciation Day and sharing them on social media; encouraging students to create thank-you cards, large signs, artwork, or other displays for their bus drivers; and providing food and beverages for drivers.

Minnesota School Bus Operators Association and the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation, which first teamed up in 2017 to create School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, came together again this year for the event. It is intended to spark public appreciation for school bus drivers, to help the public realize the drivers’ value, and to promote driving buses as a desirable career path.

Reprinted with permission from School Transportation News. Read the original post.

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