If your child rides a school bus each day, there are several things that you can do to help him/her avoid dangers. If he/she walks to the bus stop, your child should follow our walking to school guidelines. The following provides recommendations for both parents and students to ensure safe bus passage.
Parents should review the following tips to make sure that their child has a safe bus ride to and from school every day.
- Find out where your child’s pickup and drop-off site is and have him/her there about five minutes before the pickup time.
- Keep the school informed when your child will not be on the bus.
- Make sure your child has his/her schoolwork, backpack, etc., ready before the bus arrives.
- If there are several children at the bus stop, you might be able to take turns with other parents waiting with the children in the morning.
- Bus drivers are to drop children off only at their pickup spot. Do not ask the bus driver to drop your child somewhere else.
- While waiting at the bus stop, your child should stay at least six feet from the street curb.
- Teach your child to not run alongside the bus while it is moving, and to never run after the bus if it leaves the stop without him/her.
- Instruct your child to be very careful when getting on and off the school bus; to cross only in front of the bus; and to look left, right, and then left again for traffic when crossing the street.
- Most accidents occur when the bus driver cannot see a child. Your child must stay out of the bus danger zone: six feet on both sides of the bus and 10 feet in front of the bus. Instruct your child to never walk behind a school bus and to never stop to pick up anything in the bus Danger Zone. He or she must wait until the bus has left before the item is picked up.
- Children can be injured if their clothing gets caught on the bus handrail or in the door. Jacket or sweatshirt drawstrings, backpack straps, scarves, or other loose clothing can be especially dangerous. Make sure your child understands the importance of dressing safely.
- Instruct your child to tell the bus driver, an administrator, counselor, or teacher if any student has a weapon or has been speaking or behaving erratically on the bus.
Children should behave properly while riding the bus, and in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct of the Chicago Public Schools. For everyone’s safety, children are expected to obey the following rules:
- Respect property at the bus stop.
- Sit in the seat assigned by the driver or school staff.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Stay in your seat at all times and, to avoid falling, get up only after the bus has come to a complete stop.
- Do not open windows without the driver’s permission. Windows must never be opened more than three inches.
- Always listen to the directions of the driver, especially in emergency situations.
- Do not talk to the driver unless absolutely necessary.
- Always be quiet on the bus when it stops at railroad crossings.
- Do not ask to be dropped off anywhere other than the regular bus stop.
- Keep the aisles clear at all times and help keep the bus clean.
- Never throw anything out of the bus window.
- Always keep your head, hands, and arms inside the bus.
- Do not touch the emergency doors or the fire extinguishers.
In case of an emergency on the bus, your child should know what to do. The following are the most important general rules:
- Stay calm.
- Listen to the directions of the bus driver.
- If told to get off the bus, leave quickly and safely.
- Whenever possible, leave the bus from the front door.
- Use the rear emergency door only when it is safer to do so.
- Move at least 100 feet away from the bus to a safe location.
- Stay with your group and do not cross the street unless directed to do so.
- Check to see if the student assigned to sit next to you got off the bus. If he/she is missing, inform the bus driver.
- If you are hurt, tell the bus driver, police, or paramedics as soon as possible.
For more information, contact School Safety and Security at (773) 553-3030.