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Katonah-Lewisboro School District's school buses transport up to 3,500 students twice a day over fifty-four square miles of the district. They bring students to Katonah-Lewisboro’s five schools and to thirty-six private/parochial schools, as well as on many field trips and to athletic events in places including Boston, New Jersey and New York City.
Each year during National School Bus Safety Week, the third week of October, KLSD’s bus drivers visit classrooms to teach about bus safety through a program called “Classroom on Wheels.”
They review the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s top safety tips for children, which include putting all belongings in a backpack so students’ hands are free, and reminding children to look right before stepping off of the bus.
Nora Mavrommatis, Transportation Supervisor for KLSD, adds her own caution. “Nothing should be dangling from students' clothing or backpacks such as key chains, strings, or accessories which could get caught on the bus handrail or door.”
KLSD's Transportation Department starts the day early, even when the sun is shining.
"The dispatcher arrives at 5:30 a.m." said Nora Mavrommatis, Transportation Supervisor for KLSD. "Drivers leave for their middle school run about 6:15 a.m."
But when the weather is iffy, Mavrommatis wakes up at 2:00 a.m.
"When the forecast is snow or ice, I’m on the roads by 2:30 a.m.,” said Mavrommatis. “I drive for about two hours—making sure to check out the trickiest roads in Katonah-Lewisboro--including Saw Mill River Road, Todd Road, Chapel Road, Kitchawan Road, Canaan Circle, Honey Hollow, and Saddle Ridge Road.”
“I speak to Joe Posadas, Lewisboro’s Deputy Highway Superintendent—he’s also the Assistant Varsity Ice Hockey Coach at JJHS,” said Mavrommatis. “I call my counterparts in the transportation departments of North Salem, Somers, Croton, Brewster, and report what’s happening to Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools.”
Superintendent Selesnick confers with other district superintendents and decides by 4:30 a.m. if KLSD will have a snow day, delayed opening, or regular day.
“Once we have a decision, I contact the radio stations, and the District Office notifies parents by email, text, and social media,” said Mavrommatis.
The KLSD Transportation Department organizes an annual food drive called Stuff the Bus. It delivered 1,432.5 pounds of cooking oil, flour, dried beans and more to the Community Center of Northern Westchester last holiday season!
This district initiative is driven by Terry Clark, a KLSD bus driver who has been acknowledged as Employee of the Month for her exemplary attendance, safety record, and positive bus atmosphere. “It’s good to do good for others,” she said.