MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade County’s school bus fleet was put to the test Monday, a week before thousands of students return for the new school year.
Starting at 8 a.m., 1,170 buses did a dry run of what would be their route during the school year.
It’s a massive operation, considering they will be transporting nearly 55,000 Miami-Dade County school children daily via 975 routes.
“It is important to do this and drive around before the school year because, that way, the drivers know the address, the area of where they’re going to pick up that child,” said bus driver Max Diaz.
Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was front and center amid preps for the new school year.
“This is one of many steps that we take to reawaken the sleeping giant that is Miami-County Public Schools,” said Carvalho.
That sleeping giant is the country’s fourth-largest school district with 365,000 students.
The superintendent also took to social media, reassuring and reminding parents of what is being done to help their students start their year as smoothly as possible.
Carvalho urged parents to speak to their children about restraint and respect while riding the bus.
The superintendent also said the bus routes are up on the Dadeschools Mobile app. Parents using the app can find out what their children will be eating, their class schedule, grades and get school information, among other things. The app is available for iPhones and Android phones.
This year, the school district is taking additional steps to provide increased safety through technology.
“We’ve added about 460 additional GPS devices on our buses and taking the total to about a thousand,” said Carvalho.
He said that’ll enable them to track the buses and kids at all times.
Superintendent Carvalho said he’s excited that the students will be returning this year to more learning devices and digital content than ever before, but most importantly they’ll return to excited, talented, and inspirational teachers.
Click here to get the latest back to school information.