Woodbridge School District explains decision to keep schools open
Following a three-bus crash in Bridgeville on Thursday, some parents took their concerns to social media asking why schools were opened in the first place.
According to school officials, decisions on whether or not to close or delay are made after gathering information from forecasts and state agencies. They say Thursday’s road and weather conditions indicated there was no need to delay or close.
School officials were reportedly confident in their bus drivers’ skills to handle, what they say, was a normal winter day. According to John Marinucci, director of administrative services at the Woodbridge School District, a school bus is actually one of the safest forms of transportation.
“School bus transportation remains the safest form of Transportation that we know today. It’s safer than personal vehicles. It’s safer than airline travel, it is the safest form of travel when you look at the statistics.” Says Marinucci.
According to the American School Bus Council, students are 50 times more likely to arrive to school alive if they take the bus compared to driving themselves or with friends.
Apparently, that prestigious title does not come easy. Marinucci says everything, from the structure of the bus to the driver behind wheel, plays a role. During training, drivers undergo a number of tests including a written and driving test administered by the state, along with 12 hours of in-class training.
“That training teaches them everything from weather operations to controlling the vehicle to controlling the students.” Explains Marinucci.
Marinucci says this type of training is state-wide. While crashes such as the one from Thursday night in Bridgeville are unpredictable, it’s not always preventable during the winter season. But the school district is thankful there were no major injuries.