Word on the Fleet: a report from the WVCSD Transportation Dept.


Word on the Fleet: a report from the WVCSD Transportation Dept.

April 27, 2022


A regular report from the WVCSD Transportation Department

FLEET FUN FACT: Did you know…

The average full-size school bus has a capacity equivalent to that of 36 cars. In fact, thanks to their service carrying students safely to and from school, bus fleets are responsible for keeping more than 17 million cars out of traffic annually in America! 

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MEET THE FLEET: Highlighting the district employees who keep things rolling.

Meet Ms. Jelena Radulov, who is not only the WVCSD bus dispatcher, but a bus driver as well. Ms. Radulov, born and raised in Serbia before moving to New York City, has been with the district for just under a year, and has been in the public school transportation field for seven years.  

What brought you to the Warwick Valley community?
My husband of 22 years and our two daughters moved up to Orange County from Queens to provide a better environment for our girls – better schools, better everything. We actually live in Monroe. We used to come upstate on the weekends for vacations, to get out of the city and to go camping. Now, we live right behind Sterling Forest, so we wake up and it’s beautiful – the birds singing, the mountains. Since we moved here, it’s like we’re on vacation every day.

What led you to become the WVCSD bus dispatcher?
In the city, I worked in school offices. When we moved to Monroe, I started off as a bus driver, then moved into the role of head bus driver, and then dispatcher. Last year, I noticed there was an opening here in the Warwick Valley district that I was interested in, so I applied and was offered a position. It’s been a great place to work!

What is your favorite part of the job?
First of all, I just love driving a bus – it’s big, and it’s loud, and it’s awesome! I enjoy being the dispatcher, but if I had to be on the bus all day long, I don’t think I’d mind. Of course, I also love having the kids on the bus. Usually, by about the third time I cover their route they know me, and I really enjoy getting to interact with them.

What does the typical day of a dispatcher look like?
It involves a lot of computer work and phone calls, and some driving. I handle all of the routing for the fleet. I field phone calls daily from district parents, from the schools, from drivers. If one of our drivers runs into any issues, they come to me and we address and fix them. The busiest times of day are when the fleet is on its routes and when we need to be ready for elementary dismissal – we have to be ready for anything. I also do a lot of non-dispatching work around the department, not just driving, but things like helping out with payroll and other duties.

What are some challenges you face as a dispatcher that may surprise people?
There are lots of times when we have to be ready to react fast to unforeseen issues. For example, we have to be ready to reroute due to road closures. Road closures due to weather may not surprise people, but we also have to adjust for things like parades. This year’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade was a good example of that. People are also surprised to learn that you cannot become a school bus dispatcher unless you are a driver first! In the city, I had to become a head bus driver and drive for a couple of years before I could take the dispatcher test. In Orange County, the process also includes taking and passing the Civil Service test. 

When you’re not driving the bus, what’s your favorite local scenic drive?
My family likes to visit Milford, so when we go we like to take the route through Warwick because of all the farmland. I also love driving along Cascade Road. It’s a quiet road that starts off of Route 17A in Warwick and winds through the woods. At the end, right at the top of the road, there’s a big waterfall you can glance over and see.  

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FLEET FAQ: We answer some frequently asked questions received by the WVCSD Transportation Department.

Q. My family is new to the district. When will my student receive their bus assignment?
A. After a new student is registered with the district, it will take three to five days for them to be assigned to and placed on a bus. Read more about the Transportation Department here.



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