School bus safety is a shared responsibility among parents, students, and the bus driver. Please review and reinforce these bus safety guidelines with your children regularly. When we all remember and follow these rules, riding the school bus can be a fun, safe, and pleasant experience.
2020-2021 Transportation Mitigation Strategies
To protect the health and safety of passengers when riding on a WDMCS school bus during the outbreak of COVID-19 the following strategies will be implemented for the 2020-2021 school year:
Passenger Health and Safety
- All passengers are required to wear a facial covering while getting on the bus, riding, and exiting the bus.
- Students not wearing face coverings will be handled in accordance with our transportation discipline policy which could result in suspension of riding privileges.
- Siblings or those living in the same home will be asked to sit together.
- When appropriate, students will enter the bus and begin seating near the back of the bus, filling the seats toward the front.
- When possible, students will exit the bus beginning with those seated closest to the
- Students will avoid congregating in the bus aisle.
- Drivers will sanitize “high-touch” surfaces between each run throughout the school day.
- All surfaces will be sanitized at least once per day.
- All buses will be deeply sanitized monthly using an antimicrobial surface protectant that protects for a month empowering the surface to continually keep germs from being passed from one person to another.
- No food or drink will be consumed while on the bus.
Driver Health and Safety
- Consistent with Iowa Department of Public Health guidance, drivers who have COVID-19 symptoms should not report to work to drive a school bus.
- Face shields will be provided to drivers. Face coverings will be required to use when loading and unloading students. Their use will be optional for drivers while the bus is in motion.
- Drivers will be provided gloves and hand sanitizer for their personal use.
- Special needs bus assistants will be provided facial coverings and gloves. Assistants will be required to use facial covering when students are present.
Safety Tips for Students
- Avoid loose-fitting clothes and clothes with long strings. This type of clothing is more likely to get caught on the door while entering or exiting the bus.
- Pack all school items in your backpack or bookbag so you won’t drop them when you get on or off the bus.
- Leave home early so you can arrive at the stop five minutes before your assigned stop time.
- Never run to catch the bus. If you miss the bus, go home or to a neighbor’s house.
- Walk on the sidewalk if possible. If not, walk single file and stay close to the edge of the road.
- If you must cross a street, stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
- When possible, parents should go to the bus stop with young children. Older children should walk in groups.
Waiting for the Bus
- Stay away from the DANGER ZONES AROUND THE BUS.
- Stand at least six feet (three giant steps) away from the road while waiting for the bus.
- Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
- Do not push, shove, or play running games at the bus stop.
Boarding the Bus
- If you cross the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop. Wait for the bus driver to signal you. Check for traffic before stepping out. Cross at least 10 feet (five giant steps) in front of the bus.
- NEVER walk between parked cars when entering the street.
- Enter the bus in single file and use the handrail.
- If you drop something, LEAVE IT! Tell the bus driver and wait for instructions. Never enter the danger zone to retrieve a dropped object.
- Students are required to show the bus driver their bus passes each time they board the bus.
- Go right to your seat and sit quietly.
Riding the Bus
- Obey the bus driver at all times.
- Remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Keep your feet out of the aisles and off the seats.
- Keep your head, hands, and belongings inside the bus at all times.
- Talk quietly and avoid loud noises that could distract the driver.
- Do not talk when the bus is approaching or crossing railroad tracks.
- Be considerate of others, and use appropriate language and behavior.
- Help keep the bus clean. Do not chew gum, eat, or drink on the bus.
- Do not smoke or light matches on the bus.
- Report any damage or concerns to the bus driver.
Getting Off the Bus
- All riders will be discharged only at their assigned stops.
- Go directly home.
- Allow anyone who needs to cross in front of the bus to get off first. This is called a “cross over.” These students are at the greatest risk and need the driver’s full attention.
- When unloading, take three giant steps away from the bus. If you can touch the bus, you are too close.
- If you must cross in front of the bus, walk 10 feet forward, stop, and wait for the driver to signal you to cross.
- Cross to the driver’s edge of the bus and stop.
- Before stepping out from the protection of the bus, look both ways for oncoming traffic.
- If the street is clear and all the vehicles are stopped, cross quickly.
- WARNING SIGNAL—two short horn blasts from the bus means danger! Return to the curbside of the bus and away from the traffic.
- Always cross in FRONT of the bus.
- Cross in a group. Do not scatter. This helps the bus driver keep track of all the riders.
- Never return to the danger zone around the bus once you have safely crossed.
It is the families responsibility to make sure their children get to the stop and follow bus rules while they are waiting for the bus.
- Emphasize that the bus should be considered an extension of the classroom. Riding the bus is a privilege that can be taken away if students do not obey the rules.
- The rules have been established to increase the safety of all students riding the bus. When the driver’s attention is distracted from the road, this increases the chances of an accident.
- Teach your children about school bus safety. Ask questions to determine their comprehension. Young children learn through repetition.
- If you meet your children at the bus stop, wait on the side where the child is discharged. Children eager to greet their parents may disregard their safety training. (Students are trained on the crossover and evacuation techniques twice each year.)
- Recognize the bus drivers for performing their jobs safely.
- Notify the Transportation Department when your child will not be riding the bus.