Taking the kids home
St. Peter’s administrators ride with students to ensure safety
If you ask school administrators around the province what their job entails, it’s likely student safety would be a top answer.
John Drover, the principal of St. Peter’s Elementary in Upper Island Cove, considers it the most important part of the profession.
“Student safety is our number one priority,” Drover told The Compass in an email last week.
The owner of a local bus company believes Drover and his colleague recently went above and beyond what’s required of them on that front.
Drover and vice-principal David Osborne had to make some essential safety decisions over the past few weeks, after stormy weather conditions and power outages interrupted the school day. Those decisions had a big impact on the owner of CB Bus Lines, the company that operates the school buses for St. Peter’s.
Clarence Gosse, who has driven buses in the Trinity Con- ception region for three decades, was moved by the extra effort put forth by Drover and Osborne during a snowstorm two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, Feb. 24, it was especially stormy. Drover and Osborne decided to delay school closure until the weather cleared up.
“Decisions to delay bussing/school are not taken lightly,” Drover explained, noting they consider the forecast, road and highway conditions, and the opinions of bus drivers.
Gosse confirmed his drivers arrived at the school late. CB Bus Lines has three buses that service the school — one for Bryant’s Cove, one for Upper Island Cove and another for the Bishop’s Cove shore.
“Upper Island Cove and Bryant’s Cove can get very stormy,” Gosse said. “You often can’t see a hand in front of you.”
Getting home safe
Because of the blowing snow, the drivers told Gosse they could see the road, but would likely not be able to see all children get home safely. That is where Drover and Osborne came in.
“David Osborne and John Drover went on those buses and waited to see if the students got inside their doors,” he continued. “It’s one of the best things I’ve seen in 34 years.”
“From my point of view, and the bus drivers’, this just doesn’t happen.” Clarence Gosse
Gosse confirmed all the students got home safely, and credits the principal and vice-principal for their compassion and dedication in their positions.
“I’ve dealt with every school in the Conception Bay North area,” he said. “From my point of view, and the bus drivers’, this just doesn’t happen.” But Drover disagreed. “What David and myself did, all educators and administrators would do,” he said.
Impressed with safety
Gosse was also impressed with how Drover and Osborne handled a power outage last week. The power didn’t go out until students started to arrive. Students on the bus were taken back home.
“When the power went Wednesday morning, (Drover and Osborne) stayed around the school,” Gosse said. “They sent three teachers out to go out on the routes again to make sure some parent or guardian was there for the students.”
The administration also has a system in place where students that travel on the bus have assigned seating. Gosse considers assigned seats useful for identifying students involved in an incident on the bus and for protecting those that may not be getting along.
“If you have a problem, they do correct it,” he noted.
As a grandfather of two girls and father of one daughter, Gosse knows what it means to have children in school.
“As a grandparent and parent, I think it would be one of the best things the eastern school board should impose is safety regulations like these two men have demonstrated,” he said.
Although Drover doesn’t believe he did anything above or beyond the call of duty, his actions really resonated with Gosse.
“That’s how safety minded these gentlemen are,” he said. “I was amazed and I still am.”
A school bus drops off students at St. Peter’s Elementary in Upper Island Cove.