Back to school: How districts are getting their school bus drive - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Back to school: How districts are getting their school bus drivers ready

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Kennewick, WA - The start of the 2016-2017 school year is just two weeks away and during these final weeks, over 125 school bus drivers with the Kennewick School District are getting familiar with the district's routes. 

This year, the district is adding two new schools to their roster, which in turn changes the bus routes that have been in place for years.  With the new change, KSD's Transportation Department has been working for months make sure they are ready for the upcoming school year.

"It's always a push this last couple weeks, to get everything done and ready to go. The cargo is very precious and we have to ensure that the buses are in tip-top mechanical shape ,the drivers are ready for the next year, trained and available to do the job," said Ethan Schwebke, Transportation Manager at KSD.

Drivers must spend at least 30 hours inside a classroom learning about bus safety, go on ride-alongs in school buses with trainers, and get their commercial drivers license before they can get behind the wheel.

"To be a positive influence on students, because sometimes you are the first person they see or the last person they see when you are picking up and dropping them off, and just having your bus be a safe and inviting place for students," said Gabriella Hinojosa who is training to become a bus driver with the district.

KSD bus drivers transport around five-thousand kids to and from school every day during the school year.

For more information on the new school bus routes for KSD, click here.