Friday, December 16 started out as any other school day, but it would eventually become the longest school day in the history for Daniel Boone Elementary and Francis Howell Middle School students.
That afternoon weather conditions turned to freezing, foggy, misty and drizzling with temperatures dropping. The change caught everyone off guard, including school districts, meteorologists and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
By 3:45 p.m. that afternoon, while some parts of the district were in fairly good shape road conditions in other parts of the area were rapidly deteriorating. Upon hearing an empty bus on the way to Daniel Boone Elementary slid off the road and ended up on its side in a ditch, Daniel Boone Principal Kevin Armour made the decision to keep students at the school until they could be picked up by parents.
On Highway D, the treacherous roads had left four buses with Francis Howell Middle School students stranded, unable to move. Drivers called dispatch and Location Manager Steve Jones, Sr. at Location # 27021 in St. Charles, Missouri helped coordinate the evacuation of students on the stranded buses with Francis Howell Director of Transportation Jeremy Boetller.
While stranded on Highway D, Drivers Kenneth Barron, Jody Cooper and Robert Kitsmiller helped keep students warm and safe for hours while a plan was being coordinated by fire and EMT departments to rescue the students.
The school district was so grateful for the extraordinary efforts First Student and our drivers made to ensure the safety and well-being of the students, they recognized all three drivers at a recent school board meeting.
“I’m so incredible proud of my drivers,” said Steve. “They did exactly what we train them to do in our on-going safety training program.”