A group of HISD bus drivers were full of joy and excitement during an event held Friday that celebrated their role in having the best attendance during STARR testing week.
HISD’s Transportation department hosted a friendly contest among its drivers, titled “Best Terminal Attendance STAAR Testing Week.” This is the first year HISD’s Transportation department coordinated the contest.
“We had a competition at all four of our locations to try to boost the driver attendance so we can make sure we get the students to and from (school) on time,” said Tesha Foster, HISD’s Senior Manager for Transportation Terminal and Safety. “The result of that is a pizza party we’re having to celebrate them coming to work and making sure that they understand how important their role is in the students’ success by getting students on time to the campus.”
In the end, all four terminals had extremely high attendance percentages during the STAAR Testing Week. Central Terminal stood out at the top with the highest percentage and received a plaque of appreciation. Foster said the drivers were engaged and understood how important their role was during testing week.
“It was good to see them come together,” Foster added. “It was kind of competitive, but it ended up being a great success for the department as a whole.”
HISD bus driver Barbara Arceneaux, who refers to her riders as her “babies,” said she was excited and enjoyed the contest.
“This was really fun for the kids, motivating them to come to school to get ready for the STAAR test,” Arceneaux said.
“What we were trying to do was try to get all drivers to come to work and understand the importance of testing,” HISD’s Training Support Manager for Transportation Services Byron Williams said. “So what we did was challenged them.”
Williams says he loved the results of the contest with only a little over a month left of school. He believes the department will host the challenge again during next year’s STAAR Week.
“If we can build this momentum, we’ll have a great end of the school year. And that’s the goal,” Williams said.