Category Archives: Transportation

Driving HISD school bus is a calling for 30-year veteran

Before Houston Independent School District students can grab school breakfast to fuel their learning or pull out books and laptops to begin class, one crucial thing must happen to start the day.

They must arrive at school safely. That’s where Norma Garcia comes in.

A veteran bus driver with more than 30 years of experience, Garcia first started in HISD 23 years ago. She currently drives routes that service High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and DeBakey High School for Health Professions.   Continue reading

HISD Transportation to host job fairs for 2018-19 bus drivers

The Houston Independent School District’s Transportation Services department is hosting four job fairs across the city to recruit and hire bus drivers to staff routes for the 2018-2019 school year.

The job fairs will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on four Saturdays in May and June:

  • May 12, 2018, Scarborough High School, 4141 Costa Rica Road
  • May 19, 2018, Hexser T. Holliday Food Services Support Center, 6801 Bennington St.
  • June 2, 2018, Westbury High School, 11911 Chimney Rock Road
  • June 9, 2018, Gregg Elementary School, 6701 Roxbury Road

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HISD interim superintendent, chief operating officer meet with transportation employees

HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby

Houston Independent School District Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan met with all HISD bus drivers and transportation staff on Friday to deliver a simple message of support: “I hear you.”

Lathan called the meeting so she could directly address employees and reinforce the important role they play in the success of students across the district.

“You truly are the first contact every child in this district has each day on his way to school,” Lathan said. “People think it’s just about the principals and teachers, but it’s about our bus drivers, our food service workers, our custodians. You are essential.”

The meeting marked the first time Lathan has met with the entire Transportation Services department. She was joined by HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby and Transportation Services General Manager Timothy Brown. Continue reading

HISD bus attendants celebrate literacy by reading to bus riders

Perched on the edge of a firm green seat, bus attendant Loretta Gallaviz picked up a book and began to read aloud.

“One morning, Annie could not find Taffy anywhere,” she read, as the bus on which she was riding made its way down the street. “She looked and looked, but Taffy was gone. Annie was very lonely.”

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HISD updates standardized school start times for the 2018-19 school year

The Houston Independent School District announces revisions to standardized start/dismissal times for the 2018-19 school year in order to improve our delivery of reliable and affordable transportation to our students.

The updated times include two notable changes:

  • PK-8 and K-8 schools will now be grouped with middle schools, rather than elementary schools to have a later start/dismissal time of 8:30 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
  • Ten minutes will be added to each day for high schools and 6-12 campuses to account for eight optional early release days for final exams. Their start/dismissal time will be 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Beginning next fall, the district will operate with the following standardized start/dismissal times: Continue reading

Transportation Services conducting review to provide better service to students 

HISD Transportation Services is conducting a review of its operations to identify ways to improve service for students who take the bus to and from school daily.

The review comes in response to challenges the department has faced this year, including staffing and bus shortages, an aging bus fleet and limited replacement budget, and the need to create new routes for students and schools displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

These issues have made it difficult for the department to run at an optimal level and have led to service delays and disruptions.  Continue reading

HISD to standardize school start times for the 2018-19 school year

HISD will implement standardized school start times for the 2018-19 school year to better deliver efficient, reliable, and affordable transportation to our students.

Currently, HISD manages 67 different school start times – the highest in the state – as it transports nearly 36,000 students on almost 1,200 different routes each day. Beginning next fall, the district will operate with two standardized start/dismissal times:

  • 7:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m. for elementary schools and K-8 campuses
  • 8:30 a.m.-3:50 p.m. for all secondary campuses (middle school, high school, and grade 6-12 campuses)

(Some specialty campuses may have alternate start/dismissal times that will be communicated directly from the campus.)

HISD gathered parent and principal input on the new start times through surveys conducted in October, and the results support the new start times, which were listed as Option 4 in the surveys. Of the 154 respondents to a survey of principals, 78, or 51%, chose Option 4. Of 17,138 respondents to a survey of parents, 7,932, or 46%, chose Option 4.

 

Standardizing school start times will bring efficiencies to the district’s bus routes and ensure that students arrive to campus and depart on time, resulting in fewer interruptions to teaching, learning, and family schedules. The new start times will also extend the life of the district’s bus fleet and reduce maintenance and fuel costs.

HISD bus driver receives meaningful message from student

School bus drivers are usually the last to get recognized for their hard work. This holiday season, transportation employee Vivian Ivory was not only recognized, but she was given a gift of thanks.

Ivory is a 26-year school bus driver who was placed on a new bus route after Hurricane Harvey to help transport students to Lanier Middle School. One student personally thanked Ivory for allowing her to continue her education and for providing a means for her to get to and from school.

KHOU (Channel 11) covered the story earlier this week. The full story and video can be found here: http://www.khou.com/news/eighth-grader-writes-touching-note-to-hisd-bus-driver/501182466]

Support staff honored at appreciation luncheons across district  

Superintendent Carranza stops by Transportation luncheon 

It’s the season of thanksgiving, and the aroma of hickory smoke wasn’t the only thing that filled the air at the Northwest Motor Pool facility at their fall luncheon on Nov. 16.

Thanks to Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby, Transportation employees were treated to lunch and given a heartfelt thanks for their hard work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Over the last two weeks, “thank you” luncheons have been held across the district for members of Team HISD who work in Facilities Services, Construction Services, Nutrition Services, the Police Department, and Transportation.

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Revised survey available from HISD Transportation on 2018-2019 standardized school start times

Editor’s note: The district has heard concerns about the initial survey that was presented earlier this week on standardized school start times, and in response has revised the survey to offer more choices and an opportunity to include comments. Questions are also added that will collect more information about the needs of those taking the survey.

HISD is considering standardizing school start times across grade levels starting in the 2018-19 school year, with the goal of increasing the efficiency of bus transportation, and is conducting a survey to collect parent feedback.

Across more than 280 campuses, HISD manages 67 different school start times – which is the highest number in the state. This poses challenges to delivering safe, reliable, and affordable transportation for students. Those challenges include: ineffective routes, increased cost of maintenance and repairs, and reduced availability for field trips and athletic events (an increased cost for campuses).

Take the revised parent survey now Continue reading