Over a span of a couple weeks, we conducted school bus safety training with our students.
The secondary students will board buses en masse. Drivers will instruct them about emergency exits, two-way radio use, and other safety points. They will then have the opportunity to practice evacuating from the rear of the bus as demonstrated by these drivers.
Secondary students must then take and pass a school bus safety test. We repeat the drill in the spring as a reminder to the students.
The elementary training is a little more hands-on-style training.
Our elementary students first have classroom instruction. The instructor shows a very brief video and discusses school bus safety with the students.
Bus Safety Basics for Elementary Students in our District.
Each class of students later boards a bus to hear the same school bus safety message they heard first in the classroom. We use the same visual aids as the ones in the video. Before returning to school, the students practice evacuating through the rear emergency exit. After evacuating, they line up and practice crossing in front of the bus, watching the “driver” for the thumbs-up signal.
Elementary students in Minnesota must take and pass a school bus safety exam as well.
Our most important message to students is “Thumbs Up for Safety”. It’s never okay to approach the bus or cross the road until the driver signals. If the driver doesn’t signal, students are instructed to wait. “If the driver is too busy or distracted by something inside the bus to give the signal”, we tell them, “he or she is too distracted to be watching traffic. WAIT!”
Some of our drivers are now teaching their students to return the thumbs-up signal. I like that idea. It makes these little people partners in their own safe transportation.