By Fish Tung, Communications Office
While schools are celebrating National School Bus Safety Week in the United States, TAS also wants to seize this opportunity to highlight the dedication and hard work of our bus monitors and the Transportation Office.
Every morning, our bus monitors have to arrive at the school at 5:30 and get ready before the first departure from TAS at 5:50 AM. They are always ready to go regardless of the rainy summer days or on cold and dark winter mornings.
The TAS Transportation Office has always been service-oriented and focused on serving the needs of our community. We have approximately 965 students who currently take the school buses, 30 % of whom are one-way ticket holders while the other 70 % of students take round-trips.
There are 42 TAS bus monitors (4 of whom are substitutes) in the line of duty every day helping to organize and receive students from 35 bus runs in the morning and 48 bus runs after school. Usually, most of the bus monitors have to wake up very early to arrive in time for the morning shift.
There are three additional times of shifts at 2:50 PM, 3:45 PM, and before the late bus at 5:30 PM. The last shift, which they call the activity bus, is the thoughtful service provided for our middle school and upper school students so that they can go home safely after a long day of after-school activities.
This is a job with long working hours and can be stressful at times, but more importantly, it plays a crucial role in keeping our students safe.
National School Bus Safety Week is an important time to reinforce bus safety and express gratitude and recognition to the bus drivers and bus staff for their committed hard work.
At TAS, our busing program is able to run smoothly and steadily because of our group of diligent and caring TAS bus monitors, the Transportation Secretary, Ms. Sandy Lee, and the Transportation Supervisor, Mr. William Wang.
Wang said, "There are three major priorities that we value the most and keep in mind: safety, punctuality, and readiness in the case of any emergencies."
The Transportation Office is always thinking of new and meaningful ways for their team to engage in professional development so that they are up to date on their routes and well equipped to execute contingency plans in any situation. Bus monitors go through extensive pre-job training as well as regular training so that they are familiar with the bus stops, landmarks, and people on their route.
Before the outbreak of the pandemic, those fun and interesting PD days activities include trips to Yang-Ming Mountain or the campus of National Taiwan University, a city tour of downtown Taipei, or even going to a concert together.
Sandy Lee, our Transportation Secretary who has worked at TAS for 15 years, says that a big part of her job is to find out and arrange the best bus routes and pick up/ drop off points for all the students.
"I really like to interact with people and help them in any kind of way I can," said Lee. "That's why I love my job because I have chances to help students and parents to figure out the best and safest way to come to school and get home. I also can work closely with our bus monitors and solve the problems together."
As the key group of people of keeping students safe and the ones that students interact with every day, our bus monitors are known for their professionalism and warmth. They recognize each of the students who belong to the routes they are in charge of and remember each student's name.
One of our bus monitors, Grace Hsiao, said that our students love the late activity bus time, they would play guitar and sing together sometimes, or share about their school's lives with her.
"It's like a journey of healing, the time I spent with the students and being a company when the student needs me, it actually helped me been through the most difficult time in my life, the students bring a lot of joy for me," said Hsaio.
To these smiling adults who greet our students each morning and who are the last to say goodbye before they get home, thank you for your hard work. We are so lucky to have you in TAS.