The yellow school bus is a familiar sight on local roads and parkways this time of year; however, many of our students must travel outside of their local neighborhoods to attend the Phoenix Center. As a result, there are many stressors for both parents and children associated with riding the school bus. Below are some simple solutions that can help you and your child maintain a safe bus routine.
Get to Know the Bus Staff
Transportation personnel are trusted by parents to deliver their children to and from school in a physically and emotionally safe environment. In order to trust the bus driver and the aides it is essential to get to know them. Don’t hesitate to board the bus with your child to introduce yourself and to meet the bus staff.
Inform the Bus Staff About Your Child
Children with special needs benefit from a little extra support and understanding while learning how to successfully ride the bus. When the bus staff understands your child and their needs, the environment on the bus will be more conducive for safety. Furthermore, children with special needs may become fearful and/or confused while riding on the bus. The manifestation of this fear and confusion sometimes results in disruptive and challenging behavior. Be sure to inform the bus staff about the behavior management techniques that are used with your child to mange their behavior in a safe manner.
Investigate the Bus Company
As a parent you can check out the bus before putting your child on the bus to go to school. School bus report cards are now available through the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. By searching your child’s bus number and company name or company address you can find out the date of the last inspection. In addition, if a bus did not pass inspection you can find out why. Visit the link below to check the safety of your child’s bus! http://njvir.appsolgrp.com:8010/SchoolBusInspection/pages/inspection/companySearch.jsf
Prepare in Advance
Having a routine will help mornings run more smoothly, your child will be less flustered, more confident and less likely to miss the school bus when it arrives at your door. Create a 5-10 minute buffer to ensure that your child is prepared and not rushing to get out the door. If necessary, this extra time can be used to write a quick note in the Daily Communicator about your child’s morning.
Create a Clear Spot at the Curb
Providing defined access to and from the bus is important. Create a path that is clutter free and direct. If possible, clear a spot on the curb, which is free of trees, cars and garbage cans. By creating a defined space you will be adding to your child’s safety!
State of New Jersey – Motor Vehicle Commission – School Bus Information
School Bus Reporting System
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