The Bus Buddies at Indianapolis Public Schools Louis B. Russell School 48 are teachers and staff that all volunteered when asked by Principal Liz Mcnamara to partner with one of the school’s buses for the year and serve as liaison, cheerleader and first point of contact for that bus and its students every day.
“Kids are coming in happy,” said Principal Mcnamara. The result of the program has been less complaining from students, fewer incidents on buses and a clearer report structure, with kids and drivers clearly knowing their point of contact.
Bus Buddies pop into buses at dismissal to check in on students and drivers. They can handle things more quickly than the past system of taking an issue to the principal, no matter what the issue might be. Title I Behavioral Interventionist Jennifer Love said, “I’ve seen less incidents and less severe incidents” since instituting the program.
And with buses color coded and the students and Bus Buddies coming up with clever team names like Orange Tigers, Mellow Yellow and Pink Panthers, fun competitions of who has the best bus behavior have begun, creating a positive environment and stronger sense of community on each bus.
What great service these teachers and staff are providing to our bus riders!
The Bus Buddies of Louis B. Russell are:
- Red Hot…On Fire to Learn—Wendell Wright
- Orange Tigers…We’re Great!—Jennifer Love and Kenyatta Carson
- Mellow Yellow—Staci McDonald
- White Lightening—Hanan Myers
- Rhoyalty (Purple)—Darcie Schmitt and Amanda Smeltzer
- The Great Gray—Mary Oliver
- Green Hulk—Heidi Stone
- Best Blue Bus—Tara Turner and Kathleen Potter
- Pink Panthers—Amy DeZeeuw
- George Smith—Monitor of teachers’ classes during bus meetings