The school bus system is an incredible resource for parents everywhere who are trying to give their children the best education possible. They’re a safe, convenient, and cost-effective (does it get any cheaper than free?!) option for kids whose parents are unable to consistently get them to school on their own.
As a parent, it’s your job to teach your child how to ride the bus safely and respectfully. Review these best school bus practices and etiquette rules with your children to ensure everybody has a positive experience going to and from school!
At the Bus Stop:
Cross the street carefully.
Teach your child to look both ways before crossing the street, and practice with them before they start taking the bus on their own. Tell them to respect the crossing guard, for their own safety and the safety of those around them.
Make sure your child gets to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. This way, they won’t hold up the driver or any other students by making them wait. Also, kids rushing to catch the bus are more likely to get hurt trying not to miss it.
Keep to the sidewalk.
It’s important that your child knows they need to stay on the sidewalk as they wait for the bus. They shouldn’t play in the street or stray too far. Also let them know they should not board the bus until it has come to a complete stop.
On the Bus:
Listen to the bus driver.
The most important rule to stress for your child is to listen to the bus driver whenever they take the school bus. Instruct them to be courteous and follow the driver’s rules, so they can stay focused and drive safely.
Stay in your seat.
Standing up or moving while the bus is in motion is a good way for kids to get hurt. Tell your child to stay in their seat, facing forward while the bus is moving. This way, they won’t trip, fall, or accidentally injure somebody else after a sudden stop.
Respect the bus and the other students on it.
Riding the school bus is a good way to teach your child about respect. Explain that they need to stay on good behavior, refrain from yelling or touching anybody, and help keep the bus a pleasant place for everyone. Teach them to keep aisles clear and not leave their trash behind.
Exiting the Bus:
Pay attention to your stop.
Familiarize your child with their bus stop and its surroundings before they ride the school bus for the first time. Help them learn to recognize when their stop is coming up on their route. You’ll also need to ensure they understand that they won’t be able to get off anywhere else.
Don’t cross behind the bus.
Your child (or anybody for that matter) should never walk behind the bus, as that puts them dangerously out of the driver’s view. Teach them when they exit the bus to go far enough in front of the vehicle that the driver can see them. Tell them to make eye contact with the driver and wait for their signal to cross.
If you drop something, don’t pick it up.
If your child drops their lunchbox or folder getting off the bus, their first instinct will be to grab it. Be sure to caution them against this, so they don’t risk getting hurt because the bus driver can’t see them. Let them know that if they drop something, they need to inform the driver before making any moves.
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