Next week, on October 17-21, IDEA Public Schools along with the Texas Department of Public Safety and local police departments will join forces to recognize National School Bus Safety Week.
National School Bus Safety Week serves as a reminder for students, parents, teachers, and the community to keep school bus safety in the forefront. Here are tips to keep our children safe at the bus stop.
At IDEA Public Schools, students are transported approximately 469 routes each day including 383 regular routes, 28 Pre-K routes, and 58 special education routes transporting almost 24,000 riders. In total, IDEA’s transportation department drives more than 2 million miles annually across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio.
This national campaign is focused on reminding motorists that they need to use caution around school buses and come to a stop when the bus is displaying its red flashing lights. According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) recent school bus survey, “79,859 school bus drivers reported that 51,593 vehicles passed their school buses illegally on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year.” Texas laws require motorists to stop clear of the school bus until the bus driver cancels the red lights.
IDEA Public Schools transportation department offers the following tips to children while getting on and off the bus:
- Get to the bus stop in plenty of time.
- Wait at your driver’s designated place of safety.
- Take 10 giant steps away from the bus when unloading.
- Always follow the driver’s directions for how to cross the street.
- Be alert to traffic and look both ways.
- If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus.
Along with these safety tips, IDEA Public Schools has updated transportation protocols. Drivers sanitize the bus daily after each route and ensure that our students are sanitizing their hands as they board the bus each time.
IDEA Public Schools now utilizes a new parent app called Stopfinder, an easy to use, all-in-one app that allows parents to have the most accurate information about student’s bus schedule at anytime from anywhere. In addition to displaying student’s transportation information. Families can also create GeoAlerts for their child, which will notify them when the bus has arrived in/departed from any location on a student’s route, including their assigned bus stop and school.
“At IDEA, the safety of our students is our top priority, and providing the best tools and skills for our transportation is a part of that,” said Carlos Castaneda, Vice President of Transportation at IDEA Public Schools. “Implementing and making good usage of our technology and training platforms is essential for our students’ safety. As we continue to implement safety at each school, we also hope the community does as well by practicing safe driving, especially when following state laws with school buses.”
Last school year, IDEA school buses drove a little over 2 million miles throughout our regions. For more information on IDEA Public Schools and our transportation department, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org/
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