August 29, 2013 |

Get your children off to school safely

Following school bus rules ensures a safe trip

With summer quickly coming to an end, the start of school is right around the corner. Make sure your students arrive to school safely. The Granite Falls School District takes a number of precautions to assure safety, but they rely on parents help. Here are a few reminders.

• Teach your child safe walking routes.

• Teach your child to use the crosswalks and to obey all crossing guards.

• Review rules of never talking to strangers or getting close to a strange car.

• If your child walks or rides a bike, make sure an alternative route is known in case of an emergency.

Review bus safety rules with your children

• The bus driver is in charge of the bus. You must obey the bus driver and staff members assigned to the bus at all times. The bus driver has the authority to assign seats. Refrain from talking to the driver, unless necessary.

• Students may only ride their assigned bus unless pre-arranged. Students are not allowed to depart the bus at any stop other than their assigned bus stop without parent/guardian permission.

• Students must stay seated quietly in their seats, face forward and keep the aisle clear.

• Students must remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and the parking brake is applied.

• Students must load/unload the bus in an orderly manner, no pushing or shoving. Students will arrive at the bus stop five (5) minutes before bus arrival time.

• Students cross the street in front of the bus, when signaled by the bus driver. Never cross behind the school bus.

• Be courteous, no profane language will be allowed. Profanity directed at the bus driver will lead to suspension from the bus.

• Windows are not to be opened without the driver’s permission. Keep all body parts inside the bus.

• Items prohibited from the bus include: breakable containers, sharp items, weapons, firearms, flammables, skateboards, roller blades, boom boxes, large, bulky, items which cannot be held when placed on the floor between legs, all forms of animal life (except service animals).

• All items must be kept out of the aisle and emergency doorways.

• Passengers in school buses equipped with seats belts shall be required to wear the seat belt, properly adjusted, whenever the bus is in motion.

• Eating and drinking on the bus is prohibited, unless on a field trip and allowed by the bus driver.

• No smoking or ignition source of any kind on the bus.

• Parents of students identified as causing damage to buses shall be charged with the cost of the damage.

• Students shall follow emergency exit drill procedures as instructed by the driver.

• Students must make no distracting sounds or movement at highway rail grade crossings.

• Do not throw anything from the school bus. Do not litter on the bus. Trash containers are located at the front of the bus.

Safety tips for walking or biking to school

• Before school begins, walk the routes your children will walk or bike to school to point out potential dangers and safe havens if they need help.

• Teach your children to be wary of strangers and to report any suspicious contacts to a trusted adult or 911. It's never ok to accept a ride without parent's permission even from people who they know.

• Since there is safety in numbers, urge your children to walk or bike with a buddy.

• Insist that your children wear bike helmets and teach them the bicycle rules of the road.

• Make sure your child's bike is safe; check the brakes, reflectors, and chain guard or take it to a bike shop for a check up.

• Encourage your children to be highly visible by wearing bright, light- colored clothing.

• Put reflective tape on the back of backpacks, on helmets, or on bikes.

• Urge your children to walk against traffic and ride bikes with the traffic whenever possible.

• Teach your children to cross streets only at marked crosswalks and to watch for turning vehicles. They should make eye contact with drivers before stepping out and look both ways.

• It's not safe to wear headphones because you may be unable to hear approaching vehicles.

• Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult or older child.

• Teach children to never use “short cuts” that would take them into a wooded, dark area. Children should always use sidewalks.

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