Beyond the Bus - The IMPACT of Transportation at KCS
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.Psalm 121:8
Children love the classic family road trip, eagerly anticipating the time together well in advance. Family stories of a classic family road trip are shared for generations. School road trips can offer the same shared experience with more students on a school bus.
In 2001, I started my teaching career at Surrey Christian School. Early in this journey, I acquired my class 4 and could drive sports teams in 15-passenger vans and smaller school buses. A couple of years later, while working at Calgary Christian School, I acquired my class 2 and began driving teams in large yellow buses. I even drove a few morning bus routes for the school. I have been the Christian School bus driver across Western Canada for twenty years. In these trips, I have learned that the humble school bus plays a vital role in school culture. Beyond transportation, school buses become a conduit for shared experiences that create lifelong and unforgettable memories.
Sports Teams and Music Trips
Most of my time driving a school bus has been for the team I have coached or the trips I have organized. The karaoke, the dance parties (from their seats, of course), the devotional time, and the time spent connecting with new and old friends on the bus are all as memorable as the games themselves (often more). The camaraderie forged on school buses during team or school activities is awesome. Our students get to travel together. The pre-game pep talks, the post-game celebrations of perseverance, and the shared enthusiasm don't just become a part of our school's cultural DNA; they create memories that transcend the court, field, and concert hall. I have driven a yellow bus in a snowstorm from Fort McMurray and watched our athletes enjoy winning the most sportsmanlike team. I drove from Regina to Kelowna on a white bus on a frigid winter day, hearing the kids pray and encourage one another throughout. I have driven the roads of Belize Central America, singing praise and worship songs while our students travel to and from serving others. I have also driven countless buses over the Coquihalla while the entire bus belts out the new Taylor or Olivia songs. Honestly, I remember the bus rides more than the wins and losses. I can't recall a play from the two provincial championship teams I coached, but I remember the bus ride home. I build student connections by being their driver.
I strongly advocate for experiential learning, and owning school buses makes the adventures beyond the classroom possible. Whether exploring a museum, learning about local plants in nature, or travelling to a big band concert, our buses provide a safe and easy way of travel. On the bus, the students engage in discussion, form friendships, and anticipate the adventure ahead. The shared stories of new-found knowledge on the return trip enrich the school's culture with a shared sense of discovery.
Kelowna Christian School seeks to make an impact in local and global service, profoundly impacting the Kelowna community. Local service and volunteer opportunities often involve school buses. Whether serving with Hands and Service, cleaning up a park, or seeking other local outreach opportunities, the bus provides a time to prepare, pray together, and reflect. On the bus, students often discuss the impact they hope to make and build a sense of purpose and empathy. Students can reflect on how they gave back and positively impacted our community for Christ.
Bus Routes and Shuttle Busses
We currently have a task force of parents and administration examining future bus routes and a shuttle bus for Kelowna Christian School.
As we seek to be a place that serves the entire Central Okanagan, bus routes have become an increasing need. Bus routes don't just allow us to extend our footprint in the Okanagan; they connect our students from varying grades, different neighbourhoods, and diverse church backgrounds. Students on bus routes will share stories and develop friendships with students from different grades and campuses at Kelowna Christian School. Bus routes also provide safe transportation to and from school for working parents.
The potential to shuttle students between our campuses is a win for parents and school culture. For school families, the efficiency of a shuttle bus alleviates the logistic burden of coordinating multiple dropoffs and pickups at our three campuses; it offers convenience and peace of mind while allowing parents to further connect with one another at a single campus. A shuttle bus can alleviate the pace and stress of managing complex family transportation logistics.
Advancing our Bus Opportunities
Bussing is an integral part of acting out the mission, vision, bold goal, and vivid description of Kelowna Christian School, and we have a group of parents, administrators, and board seeking ways to continue to make this happen. Recently, our two activity buses did not pass the Department of Transportation inspection, and we have moved to leasing buses in the short term. We know the great value of buses for who we are at KCS, and we hope families will consider supporting KCS with this integral need. A significant part of our current capital campaign is to raise funds for school transportation, allowing us to further our school-wide goals.
School buses are all over Kelowna, and the classic yellow bus is more than just a way to get to school. School buses help mould Kelowna Christian School's culture and further our close-knit community. From spirited sports events and enriching field trips to impactful service opportunities and booming school concerts, school buses are a place where friendships are formed, connections blossom, and shared experiences are taught and reflected upon. The camaraderie, the singing, the prayer time, and the reflection can be the heartbeat of Kelowna Christian School culture. Much like the traditional family road trip, the shared experience on the buses at Kelowna Christian School creates memories that the kids will remember throughout their lifetimes.
WHERE THE BUS TAKES US
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