FORSYTH COUNTY — There will be tears, smiles, hugs — and traffic — today as the 2013-14 school year wraps up for the Forsyth County system. And while the excitement levels are high, officials are urging caution.
“We’d ask that parents wait to celebrate until after the bus has left,” said Garry Puetz, the system’s transportation director. “We develop lots of safety routines with students because we want to make sure we’re protecting them.”
While summer break means less traffic, drivers still need to be cautious in their neighborhoods, parks and near schools.
“We absolutely want to remind people that they need to continue to drive defensively,” Puetz said. “Instead of looking for yellow school buses and kids at stops, they need to be looking for kids in neighborhoods having fun.”
Puetz added that he has begun planning routes for next school year, which starts Aug. 7, when about 1,800 new students are expected to enter the system.
That growth is something outgoing Superintendent Buster Evans won’t have to worry about. With his retirement June 1, today will be an emotional one as he bids farewell to many.
“It’s really going to be strange,” he said. “The sweet part of it is I’ve had a great year … and a great seven years in Forsyth and it will be wonderful to wrap up a year where we’ve had lots of positive things take place.
“I will have some emotions of sadness ... but it’s been a fantastic career and experience.”
Evans said the last day of school is typically a little crazy, but he encouraged families to use school buses or stick to a “routine that is working for you.”
“We will have increased presence of both administrative people as well as law enforcement,” he said. “But be patient.”