Student Safety

YOU Can Make a Difference

There is nothing that is more important to us than making sure your student is safe. For that reason, we do everything we can to make sure that their ride to and from school is as safe as possible.

Safety Tips for Parents

1. Awareness counts - Talk to your students about the importance of being aware of their surroundings. This includes teaching them not to use handheld electronic devices or even reading books while walking.

2. Bus schedules -The bus companies try to pick students up and drop them off using the same bus at the same location, but this isn't always possible. Make sure you know the schedule. Also, please be aware that bus schedules can change, so it is important to check the Parent Portal and check your voicemail, especially during the first couple weeks of school.

3. Wear Bright Clothing - Because they are smaller than adults, children can also be harder to see while motorists are driving. This is especially true when students walk between cars to cross streets. Having bright or reflective clothing may just give the driver that extra second they need to react to your student crossing the road in an unexpected location or at an unexpected time.

4. Designate a route to the bus stop(s) - In addition to teaching your student the route, taking the time to walk to the stop with your student will allow you to model good behaviors, such as walking on designated walkways and crossing using crosswalks and crossing guards.

5. Emergency contacts are important - In addition to making sure your child knows his or her full name, it is critical that your children know the name and phone number of an emergency contact.

Safety Tips for Drivers
1. Defeat Distractions! - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's rules and pointers for pedestrians and drivers state that "the most important safety tip to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities is to pay attention." Distracted drivers are a major danger to students. We all know about the dangers of texting, but anything that takes your eyes off the road is a threat. If your car is equipped with voice commands, use them. If not, do whatever you can to maximize the time your eyes are on the road - pull over to a safe place to put an address in the GPS, use radio presets, and set your phone to not receive calls or texts while driving.

2. Drive Slowly Around Children - Children are not just small adults. Because they do not have the life experience that adults do, children younger than nine years old are not as adept at predicting the actions adults will take. For that reason, driving slowly when you see students is critical in giving you and them time to react.

School zone speed limits are posted for a reason. If you are not sure whether or not school is in session, slow down anyway. Driving at a slower speed will improve your ability to react to unexpected events and just may save the life of a child. Also, pedestrians struck by automobiles at a speed of 25 mph or less are far more likely to survive an impact.

3. Drive Defensively - We all learned the importance of defensive driving in our driver's education class. However, as we become comfortable behind the wheel it can be easy to forget the importance of this skill. Kids at bus stops and around schools can be unpredictable. Weather, time of day, and snow banks can all have a negative effect on the visibility of students. As a driver, stay sharp and do your best to be ready for anything you come across on the road.

4. Obey All Traffic Laws
 - Laws are in place to protect us and others. The laws related to school bus signals and pedestrians are especially important in protecting the lives of children in our community.

School Bus Signals
The easiest way to remember your responsibility is if you think of school buses as mobile traffic lights. Here are some keys to help you understand the responsibility of drivers when driving behind a school bus.
- Lights should be observed by both directions of traffic, except on divided highways
- When you see amber lights, be cautious and prepare to stop
- Activated red lights or an activated stop arm require drivers to stop at least 20 feet behind the bus

Yield to Pedestrians
Pedestrians and bicycles have the same rights to use the roadways and drivers. Remember to slow down in school zones when children are present. It is also important to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Last, when passing cyclists, it is state law that you give them at least three feet of space.

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