Whether school districts celebrated the annual National School Bus Safety Week by promoting school bus safety to parents and students or by recognizing school bus drivers, the goal of boosting the importance of the yellow school bus was heard.
Everything from school bus evacuation drills and handing out school bus shaped cookies to engaging local media outlets assisted in the celebration of School Bus Safety Week, which took place Oct. 19 – 23. This year’s theme was “Red Lights Mean Stop.”
For instance, the Indiana County Head Start Organization told School Transportation News that the transportation department passed out pictures of school buses for the children to color. The students also received crayons in case they didn’t have any. Pictures were then turned back into the school bus driver.
Katrina Morris, transportation director of West Shore Educational Service District in Michigan, reached out to her local newspaper, Mason County Press, which ran an article about when motorists need to stop for school buses.
Morris was quoted in the article as saying West Shore ESD sees on average 17 motorists a day run flashing red lights in Mason and Oceana Counties. Morris also shared a recording with School Transportation News, in which she was featured on the radio station discussing school bus safety.
Meanwhile, Shelby Eastern Schools in Indiana was on fall break last week. But that didn’t stop Transportation Director Katrina Falk from joining in on the fun. The district tagged School Transportation News on Facebook when posting two different safety videos, one of which coved school bus safety rules and the danger zone. The other focused on emergency evacuations.
Shelby Eastern couldn’t present its entire school bus safety program in person this year due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, but the district will still be completing its state-required emergency evacuations in the fall and spring, the Facebook post added.
Waco Independent School District in Texas also choose to use video as a way to communicate school bus safety. District officials interviewed one of contractor Student Transportation of America’s Goldstar Transit drivers to promote the school bus and the importance of driving safely around the yellow vehicles.
Goldstar Transit in Fort Bend, Texas, also celebrated throughout the week with a daily raffle Monday through Thursday and an internal poster contest that took place on Friday. Boxed lunches were also provided to school bus drivers. In addition to celebrating School Bus Safety Week, the company also recognized breast cancer awareness month.
At Alhambra Unified School District in Southern California, the transportation office staff put together lunch and goodie bags for all the school bus drivers, and they were passed out as the drivers drove by in their cars. The district near Los Angeles remains in virtual class mode, with transportation only provided for a handful of special needs students.
“We want to show them how much we appreciate them,” Kathy Sanchez, a school bus driver instructor for the district, said. “We had safety signs on both sides of the entry, which included idling, space cushion, and speed limit. Everyone enjoyed it.”
Regardless of how School Bus Safety Week was celebrated this year, the message of promoting a safe school bus environment for the children was well received.