Brooke Johnson, North Mason graduate, mother of two and seasoned school bus driver greets her elementary-age bus riders each day with a smile. “She’s really nice,” says first-grader Isabella Levy. “I like riding her bus.” And when the snow flies and the roads get slick, Johnson’s steady smile can be reassuring to her young riders. “My route is not as hilly as some are,” she said. “But people are out checking the roads as early as 3:00 in the morning, so drivers know what to expect, and that really helps.” Buses begin leaving the North Mason bus garage at 5:15am each school day, some traveling 50 miles round-trip to the outward reaches of the Tahuya Peninsula.
The Transportation Department believes that “Everything we do comes down to the safety of the children. Safety is the number one priority.
With winter on its way, it’s a good time for parents to become familiar with the snow routes, now posted on the district’s web site. Go to www.nmsd.wednet.edu and click on “Support Services” then “Transportation.”
“When school does need to close or start late due to weather, district personnel make every effort to come to a final determination by 5:00 am”.. When schools are closed, all extra-curricular activities are cancelled.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED OR STARTING LATE
• Call the District Closure/Delay
Hotline to hear a recorded message announcing any school closures or delays at (360) 277-2390.
- Visit www.nmsd.wednet.edu.
- Go to the Public Schools Emergency Communications System at www.schoolreport.org. Sign up to receive email alerts.
- Listen to the radio or TV starting at 5:15 am. If there is no announcement, school will be in session as normal.
• If school starts two hours late, buses will pick up students two hours later than normal.
• Morning kindergarten, academic before-school programs, the Boys & Girls Club before-school program will be cancelled. Breakfast will NOT be served at school.
• Children should not be dropped off early as there will not be adult supervision.
Bus schedule timing is less predictable in snowy weather, so students should get to their stops early. Please check the snow routes schedule before it snows!
If bad weather during the day forces an early dismissal, it will be broadcasted on radio and TV.
Families are encouraged to have a plan covering what to do if children are dismissed early and parents aren’t home.
Things to consider are:
• What is the best route to and from home if your child cannot be delivered to the normal bus stop?
- Where can your child get help?
- Who will care for the child until you arrive?
• Is there someone your child can call to ease fears?
Parents can always call the North Mason Transportation Department at 277-2301 for questions or more information.
Our drivers take great pride in their driving skills and the buses that they drive. We have one of the safest fleets around with our great mechanics that keep our buses in top working order. The buses are state inspected annually during the summer with a surprise inspection some time during the winter. They have been recognized by Washington State Patrol and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction with a Certificate of Achievement of Outstanding Inspections for the past eighteen years. Everything we do comes down to the safety of the children. Safety is our number one priority.
North Mason Transportation has an outstanding training program. This program has a high success rate of almost 100% passing for the past twenty years. It takes four to six weeks to train 2 new drivers. Class consists of one week in class with all the book learning and three to five weeks behind the wheel, depending on how fast they pick up the driving skills. The drivers have additional training with in-services just before school starts and one during the school year. They must also maintain a clean driving record, update their first aid card every three years and a DOT physical every two years.