FORT LORAMIE – Each fall near the beginning of schoo, bus safety classes are taught to all students in grades K-3 at Fort Loramie Elementary School. The classes are taught by drivers’ education instructor and long-time bus driver Sue Kauffman. Each student is taught the rules of both the morning pick-up and the afternoon drop-off.
The class begins with learning where to stand for the morning pick-up, the zone of safety. The students learn the hand signals the bus driver will use, looking both ways if crossing the street, and how far to walk in front of the bus. The basic rule is that you must be able to see the driver’s eyes. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you.
If more than one student is at the stop, they should cross together with the older children looking out for the younger ones. Upon entering the bus, the students learn the importance of going to their assigned seat quickly. Kauffman stresses the need for the students to be seated with their voices low during the trip. Distractions to the driver can have terrible consequences. The student’s behavior is very important.
During the year, three types of bus evacuations will be practiced. The students will learn how to exit out the front of the bus, exit out the back of the bus, and doing both. These exercises are conducted during the school year and timed by an administrator. Students must become proficient at all three types of evacuations in order to exit the bus safely in an emergency.
The class then concludes with the students learning how to conduct the afternoon drop-off. The steps are leaving the bus making sure no loose items become caught at the door and proceeding quickly to the safety zone before the bus leaves. If the student must cross the street, he/she must proceed 10-15 feet in front of the bus and wait for the driver’s signal to cross. Again, the older students should look out for the younger ones. The students should also check both ways when clearing the bus before crossing and then proceed to their safety zone and stay there until the bus has left.
The goal of all school districts is the safe transportation of all their students. It is important that parents go over these rules, even with their older children, to help ensure that all the students enjoy another safe school year.
This article was submitted by Tom Wisener. Reach him at [email protected]