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 Ridgway School Walking School Bus Guidelines


HOW THE BUS WORKS

The Walking School Bus operates similarly to a real bus, in that it leaves from designated ‘Bus Stops’ at specific times and follows a specific route, in the mornings only.


One adult Driver is required for each trip and any additional adults can act as Conductor at the rear of the Bus. All children are expected to keep close to the Driver, in a group.


Depending on the number and age of children on the Bus, further Drivers may be required at the recommended adult:child ratio of 1:6 for the younger members of the route (years 1-2), and a ratio of 1:10 for all other members (years 3-8). Children in New Entrant or Year 1 are to be dropped off at their classroom.


Ideally if a child is part of the Walking School Bus, their parents will include themselves on the roster or be part of the organisation. Parents/caregivers will be expected to discuss expectations for behaviour and complete the consent form at the end of this document.


Drivers are provided with fluorescent yellow vests that clearly identify them as Walking School Bus helpers. These can be worn on Walking School Bus duty and help ‘others’ to identify the Bus. The routes must be adhered to at all times.


To join a Walking School Bus or for any queries you may have, please contact:

  • Kerry McCarty 027 454 5628, Route Co-ordinator for the Vogeltown Bus

  • Elizabeth Clement 021 807 666, Route Co-ordinator for the Kingston Bus.



PARENTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

If you’re a parent of a child on the Walking School Bus:

  • You need to have completed the Consent Form before your child may travel on the Bus. This will include emergency contact details, allergies (if any) and an indication of when your child will travel. This information will be on the route roster.

  • Talk to your child about road safety and how the Walking School Bus operates before permitting them to join the Walking School Bus.

  • Please emphasise to your child that they must listen to the Driver and obey their instructions – particularly with regard to stopping and crossing roads.

  • You are responsible for your own child’s safety until they join the Bus and you must hand over your child to the Driver. Both parties must take care when children join and leave the Bus.

  • Make sure your child is on time to collect the Bus as the Driver will not wait for late students. Discuss with your child alternative arrangements if they miss the Bus for any reason.

  • Please advise the rostered Driver before 8.00am if your child(ren) is scheduled to walk with the Bus but is unable to (due to sickness etc).

  • It is your responsibility to inform the Driver of any changes to your child’s regular use of the Bus. For permanent changes (roster or contact details) please confirm these with your Route Co-ordinator so that the roster can be updated.

  • The Bus operates rain or shine so make sure your child is equipped with an adequate raincoat for rainy days.


Eight simple rules

There are eight simple rules to keep children safe and happy on the Walking School Bus. Please take the time to go through these rules with your child(ren) before they walk on the Bus.

  1. Listen to the Walking School Bus Driver.

  2. Stop, look, and listen when crossing the road.

  3. Walk where the Driver can see you and keep in a group.

  4. Stay on the house side of the footpath (away from the kerb).

  5. Walk, do not run.

  6. Share the footpath with others.

  7. Be on time – the bus won’t wait for late children!

  8. If scooting you must wear a helmet.



CHILDRENS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

If you’re a child on the Walking School Bus:

  • Make sure you have a Walking School Bus Tag / hi-vis bag cover on your school bag. This identifies you as a member of the Walking School Bus.

  • Behave sensibly.

  • Be considerate of other Bus members.

  • Know what to do if you miss the Bus in the morning (talk to your parents about this)

  • Do not interfere with any public or private property en route.

  • Scooters are allowed on the Walking School Bus, if you scoot you must wear a helmet.

  • Bikes are not to be ridden on the Walking School Bus.

  • You must wear suitable footwear.

  • REMEMBER the eight simple rules when walking on the Walking School Bus:


  1. Listen to the Walking School Bus Driver.

  2. Stop, look, and listen when crossing the road.

  3. Walk where the Driver can see you and keep in a group.

  4. Stay on the house side of the footpath (away from the kerb).

  5. Walk, do not run.

  6. Share the footpath with others.

  7. Be on time – the bus won’t wait for late children!

  8. If scooting you must wear a helmet.



DRIVERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

If you’re a Driver on the Walking School Bus:

  • You must stay with the group on the authorised route. Parents are responsible for their own children’s safety until they join the Bus. Both parties must take care when children join and leave the Bus.

  • You are to drop off students in New Entrant or Year 1 to their classroom.

  • You are responsible for the children on the Walking School Bus. Please be aware of any allergies they may have and carry a supply of sticking plasters.

  • You can wear a fluorescent Walking School Bus vest so you can be clearly identified.


Crossing the road

When you are ready to cross the road, choose a safe place away from parked cars. When crossing, gather the children around you away from the kerb until you have decided it is safe to cross. It may be safer and quicker to cross them in a bunch, e.g. rows of four children. Walk across, looking and listening as you go. When you have crossed safely, reform your group and continue your journey.


Rainy days

In principle, the Bus operates rain or shine. It is expected that each child is equipped with an adequate raincoat for rainy days. However, if you’re rostered to drive on the occasion of torrential rain, you may decide to cancel. It is then your responsibility to ensure all parents are contacted. In this situation carpooling may be arranged (remember that until the age of 7 the law requires children to be in an approved child restraint).


Unavailability

As a Driver, if you’re unable to do your rostered duty it is your responsibility to find a replacement, as early as possible. In the event you are unable to find a replacement, cancel the Bus for the day and contact the rest of the Bus participants.


Management

R cards are available for you to help encourage positive behaviour and acknowledge when you see children on the bus show respect, responsibility, resourcefulness, and resilience.


If a child breaks one of the eight simple rules, or any other rule:

  • Remind the child of the rule, and asks them to comply.

  • If the bad behaviour continues, notify Sue Campbell or the Principal and they will take action if necessary.



Enjoy walking to school with others. And children, always remember to thank our Driver once you get to school.







Last updated October 2017


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