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School Bus Safety - Making that First Day Special

Thousands of children will be starting school for the first time this year.

Here are some things parents can do to make the transition to school a smooth, safe and enjoyable experience for both them and their children.

  • When dropping your children off at school, reassure them that you will be back to pick them up at a certain time and meet them at a designated spot.
  • Provide a backpack for your children's belongings and notices that will come home from school. Remember to check the backpack nightly for correspondence.
  • Help your child to practice saying his or her first and last name, address and telephone number.
  • Try to provide school clothes that your child can put on and take off without assistance. Ensure that he or she can also go to the washroom on their own.
  • Label jackets, shoes and backpacks to reduce the risk of losing items.
  • After school, ask specific questions about the day such as "What was the book that your teacher read to you about?" and "Who did you play with?"
  • Talk about school as an enjoyable place to be, making it a positive experience.
  • Ensure that your child has a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast. This will help them with their learning.
  • If your children are walking to school on their own, practice the route they will take beforehand.
Helping First Time Bus Riders

In September, approximately 29,000 students in ECS through grade 12 will board a bus to school for their first day of classes. Some of these students will be riding the bus for the first time ever.

Parents and guardians can help these students to prepare for this experience by:

  • Acquiring a charter bus route map for the area prior to the first day of school. Schools have maps available beginning August 26.
  • Driving the route and showing their children where to get on and off the bus. Point out a landmark to help remind children where they get off.
  • Ensuring that their children are wearing a tag hidden inside their coats, during the first days of school especially, with their name, home phone number, home address, bus route and bus stop number.
  • Taking their children to the bus stop on the first few days of school. Meeting children at the bus stop after school is encouraged also.
  • Having their children ride the bus as soon as possible at the start of school. This will help them to become familiar with their route and the bus stop.
  • Reminding their children to talk with the bus driver if they are confused about where to get off the bus. Children should not get off the bus if they are confused. If they stay on the bus, the driver and bus company can communicate with the school to determine where the child lives.
Reminder to Motorists

Here are some reminders to keep everyone SAFE in and around school buses.

  • Obey the stop arm and the school bus flashing red lights. DO NOT PASS THE SCHOOL BUS.
  • When you see flashing amber lights, you may pass the school bus slowly and with caution.
  • Show caution in school zones-watch speed for conditions and avoid fast braking.
  • Do not park in the bus stop/loading zone or immediately behind a school bus.
  • Avoid parking across the road from the school bus stop/loading zone as this encourages students to cross between school buses.
For more information on school bus safety, contact Southland Transportation at 287-1335.

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