Riding the school bus is an exciting experience, especially for young, first-time riders. As the new school year begins, take a moment to review bus stop safety with your student and follow these tips:
Find the location of your child’s bus stop. (Check with the school on meet-the-teacher day). Before school starts, walk with your child to the stop. Show your child where to wait, a safe distance from the roadway. Remind your child that the bus stop is not the place to run and play.
Drive your child around the area near the bus stop, ensuring familiarity with the route and recognition of where to get off the bus. Point out landmarks that are easily recognized so your child will know which stop is theirs. (Note: On afternoon routes, students are not let off a bus on cul-de-sac streets until the bus has completely turned around and is on its way out of the cul-de-sac.)
Make sure your child understands that if she is uncertain about a stop, she should not get off the bus and should tell the driver she isn’t sure. The school bus driver will take the student back to the school and contact the parents. This is particularly important for younger students (grades K-2) who are more likely to follow the crowd off the bus.
Set your child’s routine from the very first morning. If you have decided your student will ride the school bus for the school year, go ahead and let your child ride the bus that first morning rather than driving him to school. Following the routine from the first day helps the student and the driver become familiar with each other and the bus route.
Plan with a group of other parents and adults to have an adult present each morning and afternoon at the bus stop. When students recognize the adult "on duty" during the afternoon route, it gives them a sense of reassurance that they have gotten to the correct stop.
Bus rules keep kids safe at the bus stop, during loading and unloading, and on the bus. Learn more with these FAQs for riders of regular education buses and this guide for riders with special needs. And share this GCPS TV video featuring bus safety tips and instructions with your student before the school year begins.