BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)— As schools across the Lowcountry prepare to open their doors, The Berkeley County School District says they’re working to make changes that will benefit the growing student population.
District officials say that they’ve hired a new transportation director, Keith Terry, to assess the current bus route and make them more efficient.
Terry says that they are trying to get more buses on the road so that students can get to school safely and on time.
The district has enough buses to accommodate the students, however, they lack bus drivers. The transportation director says that they are looking to hire more and are offering 6% raises to bus drivers.
“We want to reach out to the community so that we can take those buses that we have vacant and put community members behind the seat of the wheel. What better person to behind the wheel of a school bus than a member of the community that can relate, adapt, and provide our students safe and efficient transportation service”, Terry said.
District officials also say that they are making changes and improvements to safety and security in schools.
As last school year, this academic year there will be a school resource officer, SRO, in every middle and high school. Schools with a larger student population will have two SRO’s.
However, new this year, there will be increased monitoring of Elementary schools by local law enforcement and district Safety & Security personnel. This is possible due to the new hires within the Safety and Security department.
Both a Safety and Security Investigator and a Safety and Security Training Officer have been hired on staff at BCSD.
The Berkeley County School District has also purchased more “Stop the Bleed” emergency medical kits for each school. From now on, not only SRO’s will be trained to use the kits, but teachers and staff will as well.
“What if we do have an event where our EMS and First Responders may not be able to get inside the school or to the school quick enough, but now we have trained staff members and school resource officers on how to tend to those potential victims. At the end of the day, our main goal is to save as many lives as we can”, Tim Knight, BCSD Safety and Security Coordinator, said.
The Berkeley County School District is the fastest-growing county in South Carolina and district officials say they expect to serve more than 35,000 students this school year.