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A town where a school bus is more than a bus

from The New York Times

For the bulk of her career, Lavonda Thompson, a 48-year old bus driver and school custodian in Hartsville, S.C., never questioned either her role or the larger system she was serving. "My job was to drive the bus and clean the buildings," she said. "The child's job was to act respectful and follow directions." Today, however, Thompson and her fellow drivers understand they are uniquely positioned to play important roles in children's experience of school, beyond getting them there and back home safely. As the literal transition guides between home and school life — and the first and last adults with whom children interact before and after school each day — bus drivers can help recognize how children are faring emotionally, respond to behavior problems in thoughtful ways and set a welcoming tone for the day. more


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