Teach your children to be safe on the school bus

Partners Post, October 2014

When you kiss your children goodbye each morning as they head out the door to school, you want to know that they will be safe throughout the day. For most children, the school day starts on the way to the bus stop.

National School Bus Safety Week is Oct. 20-24. To mark the occasion, here are a few tips from professionals who work in Pennsylvania schools. We want to help you make sure your children are alert and safe as they wait for and ride on the bus.

Teach and reinforce appropriate behavior. 
Sharon, teacher, Seneca Valley Education Association  

Getting everyone out the door on a busy morning is a challenge for most families, making preparation and advanced planning essential. Allow enough time to get ready for school, and make adjustments if you find the time is too rushed. Running to catch a bus is extremely dangerous and should be avoided, even if it means getting up a little earlier. Be sure your children take time to secure all school supplies in a backpack so that they do not drop loose items, trip, or otherwise find themselves distracted. Remind your children to make sure that all drawstrings and other loose objects are secure so that they don’t get caught on the handrail or the door.

Stay with your young student while at the bus stop. Urge them to sit, listen, and be respectful on the bus. 
Mishelle, high school English teacher, Ringgold Education Association  

Make sure students don’t stand on the road or near the curb stone; remind them that a bus is too high to see them at times. 
Josephine, science teacher, Northgate Education Association  

Never step off the curb before the bus is stopped with the stop sign out; look and double check before leaving the curb. 
Karen, elementary reading teacher, Erie Education Association  

Walk with your children directly to the bus stop and wait there with them for the bus. Teach your children to walk on sidewalks, and encourage them to walk with others to be more visible. If your neighborhood does not have sidewalks, be sure your children know to stay out of the road. Encourage them to practice safety measures such as looking both ways before crossing the street and exiting driveways. Remind your children to use caution when getting on or off the bus. Teach them to be aware, to cross streets with extreme care, and to wait until the bus has stopped all traffic before stepping onto the road. 

Teach children to stay seated when the bus is moving, to keep their hands inside bus windows, and to listen to the bus driver. 
Mark, custodian, Midd-West Education Support Professionals Association  

Follow the rules and directives of the driver. 
Linda, biology teacher, Indiana Area Education Association  

Teach your children to respect the bus driver and to follow safety instructions. Tell your children to pay attention to safety drills and to ask questions if they need more information. Remind children to remain seated during the entire bus ride and to talk quietly so they do not distract the driver.

Bus drivers are an important part of our home and school community. If you have a question about your child's safety, ask your driver. Your children's school bus drivers are there to help.



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