Make each trip a safe one. Together we can keep our children safe as they travel to and from school.
If your child walks to school:
- Discuss the safest route to and from school.
- Teach children to stop at the curb or edge of the road before crossing the street.
- Look and listen for traffic to the left, then to the right and then to the left again before crossing the street.
- When crossing, children should walk, not run, and should keep scanning for turning vehicles while crossing. Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Never go between parked cars to cross the street.
If your child rides a bike to school:
- Discuss the safest route to and from school.
- Ensure your child wears a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
- Teach children to stop for traffic lights and stop signs, and also to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks.
- When cycling with friends, ride in single file instead of riding next to one another and perhaps extending out into traffic.
- Obey all traffic lights and signs.
- Avoid all trick and double riding, such as a second child riding on the handlebars.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Instruct children to not wear earphones while riding. Listening to music muffles the traffic sounds that help them ride safely.
- If objects need to be carried, they should be placed in a backpack or a basket, allowing both hands to remain on the handlebars at all times. The backpack should not be so heavy that it affects the balance of the rider.
If your child takes the bus:
- Encourage children to leave home early enough to avoid running to catch the bus.
- Teach children to wait for the bus on the sidewalk, not in the street.
- Teach children to stay out of the bus driver’s blind spots, where they would be hidden from view and more vulnerable.
- Tell your children to be sure they can see the bus driver’s face before beginning to cross, and to avoid walking behind the bus or close to its wheels or side.
- The safest way for children to cross the street after getting off the bus is to walk at least 10 steps away from the bus (on the sidewalk) before crossing.
- Explain to children that if they drop anything under or in front of the bus, they should tell the bus driver and not reach for it on their own.
If you drive your children to school:
- Follow the speed limit. Remember, the speed limit is 20 MPH in a school zone, and no passing is allowed.
- Be alert for children in the school zone.
- Do not double-park, stop in crosswalks, or interfere with school buses in the bus loading area of a school.
Pick Up and Drop Off
Morning Drop Off
The first few days of any school year can be chaotic, and mornings of any school day can be exceedingly busy. Parents may drive their children to school, children may walk to school, buses will be arriving to bring children to school. School staff often oversee the arrival of students to ensure that everyone is following the rules to make the mornings smooth and orderly.
- Buses usually arrive at the same time.
- There are designated bus loops at most schools where buses line up and drop off children. During the loading or unloading of passengers at the designated school bus loading area at the school, the school shall restrict the loading area to school buses, passengers and school employees assisting in the loading or unloading of passengers.
- Our schools have rules to keep students safe.
- Most schools have a designated car line set aside specifically for parents to drop their children off.
- Parents should not park their vehicle and leave their vehicle unattended in the car line.
At the end of the school day, the school’s focus is getting children onto buses, into cars, walking/riding safely off campus or to their parents/ guardians.
- Bus riders will wait in one area, while parents who pick up students will wait in another area.
- Teachers and staff may assist children in getting to the right vehicles.
- Some schools have a sign system so that parents know which line of cars to follow to get to the location of where their child is waiting.
- Once students are in the car, make sure their seatbelts are fastened immediately. Injuries can occur even from slow-moving crashes and fender benders, particularly for young children.
- Teach students to be responsible pedestrians and discourage horseplay and other dangerous behaviors near the pick up area.
Parking Lot Safety
When teachers, students, staff and parents follow arrival/dismissal expectations, we all work together to keep everyone safe. School parking lots can be incredibly busy places in the morning when children arrive and in the afternoon during dismissal. Safety is a primary concern of the school staff, but it requires everyone’s participation.
Many parents drop off and pick up students by driving or carpooling, and these safety tips can help with safe arrival and dismissal.
- Stay in designated pick up areas as directed by school personnel.
- Yield to pedestrians, crossing guards, and buses, and be aware that children who are walking home may not look both ways before venturing in or across a roadway.
- Speed on school campus is to be kept at a minimum and drivers must operate their vehicles with due care and caution at all times.
- Be sure to drive the proper direction through parking lots and nearby streets.
- When waiting for students to be released, pull all the way forward on the curb to allow other cars ample room and minimize driving around.
Most important, parents should be patient, respectful, and courteous to other drivers while they pick their students up from school. Anger and frustration can lead to careless, unsafe behavior, and being a positive role model can help students learn safe procedures.
For High School Students
Student parking lots can be incredibly busy in the morning and after dismissal. Safety is a primary concern of the school staff, but it requires everyone’s participation in order to ensure a safe and orderly process. Most important, students should be patient, respectful and courteous to other drivers while driving onto campus.
The student lot is reserved for students who have legally registered automobiles, automobile insurance, drivers’ license, and who obtain a parking permit through the established process. Parking permits can be obtained from the school’s bookstore.
These safety tips can help with a safe arrival and dismissal:
- Parking is not permitted in the fire lanes, disabled person’s parking stalls (unless student has a valid disabled person’s parking permit), or in open and unmarked areas, including fence lines.
- Speed on school campus is to be kept at or below 10 mph and drivers must operate their vehicles with due care and caution at all times.
- Drivers must come to a complete stop at all stop signs on campus.
- All drivers will follow the direction of school staff, campus security, and/or police directing traffic.
- While walking to and from your car, students should always check both ways prior to crossing any lane of traffic, whether you’re in a crosswalk or not.
- Check adjacent parking spots when pulling into a spot.
- Reverse slowly and check surroundings when backing up your vehicle. Watch for other students walking, bicycling or any distracted pedestrians.