Thousands of hardworking school bus drivers across the state are going above and beyond their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic as essential school district employees. To recognize this important profession, Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed Feb. 21-27 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in the state of Minnesota.
The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association and Minnesota Association of Pupil Transportation first teamed up in 2017 to create School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in Minnesota to encourage school leaders, parents, and students to celebrate the often-overlooked profession. This year’s recognition has been expanded to a week-long, virtual event. Information celebrating Minnesota’s school bus drivers will be unveiled on dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week.
“Minnesota school bus drivers are going above and beyond their typical duties to serve students and communities during this unprecedented school year,” said MSBOA President Garrett Regan. “We are thankful that Governor Walz has declared February 21-27 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in Minnesota to help give school bus drivers the recognition they deserve.”
Minnesota school bus drivers have taken on new essential roles during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve their communities, such as delivering meals and distance learning supplies to families, providing Wi-Fi connections, and transporting the children of first responders and healthcare workers to and from daycare. School bus drivers have also followed new, rigorous health and safety protocols to transport students to and from school safely during the pandemic.
“Not only do Minnesota school bus drivers play a crucial role in our school systems, but they have a positive impact on students,” said MAPT President John Thomas. “The pandemic has reinforced how caring and dedicated school bus drivers are. Many drivers have participated in activities like birthday parades and graduation ceremonies, showing how much they care about the students they serve.”
School districts across Minnesota will celebrate School Bus Driver Appreciation Week in special ways, such as passing out student-made thank you cards and providing food and beverages to bus drivers. The I-35W bridge in Minneapolis will also be lit yellow in recognition of School Bus Driver Appreciation Week on the evening of Feb. 21 and into the morning of Feb. 22.