Bus safety tips for students & parents
The school bus ride is very much a part of a student's learning experience and what happens on the bus ride sets the tone for her or her day.
Your child should feel confident about this experience and about himself/herself. There are several ways to help younger children become a safer riders:
- Each child must know how to cross safely in front of the bus.
As school starts in the fall, your child will learn and practice this procedure. It is very important that, you as parents emphasize the importance of crossing correctly (at the driver's signal) and also the necessity of finding a seat promptly and remaining seated throughout the trip.
- Always be at the bus stop ten minutes before the bus is due.
It is very important for you to be at the stop to help your children learn the safe way to cross and to see that children do not wander onto the street or damage anyone's lawn or garden. It is district policy that a parent, guardian, or responsible adult be present to embark and disembark kindergarten and first grade students from the bus. Drivers are instructed not to discharge kindergarten and first grade students until a responsible individual is there to receive them.
- Avoid the bus "danger zone" when exiting the bus and crossing the street. If your child must cross the street, it is suggested that you assist them. Never cross the street behind the bus. When you and your child cross in front of the bus, be sure to be a least 10 feet in front of the vehicle and always look to the driver for directions, and obey them, just as your child does.
- Clothing should be appropriate for both the weather and school activities. Clothing should be reasonably simple and sturdy. The bus steps are high and aisles get dirty (despite daily sweeping), especially in foul weather. In the interest of safety, avoid such clothes as full-length dresses, sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, and other such things, which may be lost or broken. Merely having to keep track of these can be upsetting to small children.
In bad weather, the simpler the gear the better. Umbrellas are difficult for youngsters to handle and can be dangerous. A hooded raincoat is the best choice or a raincoat and hat with simple closures. Any extra items such as hats or gloves should be labeled.
- Nothing should be brought on the bus that cannot be held with one hand or one arm. The other hand should be free to grasp the handrail or seat back. If several items are carried, they should be in a tote bag of plastic or canvas. This is also handy for storing hats and mittens during the day and for carrying shoes and books and for bringing home school papers and projects. A good rule to follow: if it won't fit in the tote bag, don't bring it to school. Any games or toys which are brought in the bag should be securely tied or fastened shut so that small parts won't scatter.
- Lost items, unless extremely valuable, are kept on the bus for several days and may be retrieved from the driver. Unclaimed items are brought to the school and kept in lost and found. If items remain unclaimed for a long period of time, they are donated to charity.
- All kindergartners should know their name and address, as well as phone number. For the first week or so it helps for children to carry this information, as well as their bus stop location, in their book bag as many small children are too shy to recite their name or address. This gives the driver some time to learn the student's name and address.