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By Cody Bromley, Starmont
Every year around the end of August, area newspapers, radios, and television stations remind drivers to be aware of school-age children as they make their way to school, whether the children are walking or riding a bus.
Because Starmont Community School District is located outside the three communities it serves – Arlington, Lamont, Strawberry Point – many students have to ride the bus to school. With all these passengers, it is important for drivers of other vehicles to be watchful of bus traffic.
It is also important for the students to know the bus expectations and do their part to keep the bus a safe place.
Starmont bus drivers and school officials work hard to help student riders understand the expectations of safety on a bus.
At Starmont, the safety issue is first addressed by the transportation director. The main rules are developed by the State of Iowa, then the transportation department determines additional rules for student safety that fit the Starmont student rider.
These rules are given to each bus driver.
Each bus driver is prepped on how to deal with many incidents. Although many situations never occur, it always pays to be ready. Some bus drivers even go as far as to hand out the rules to each student who rides the bus. Student safety is the number one priority.
But the real question is how to appropriately deliver this information to student riders. The elementary begins the year with an assembly that teaches and emphasizes the importance of bus safety. Teaching bus expectations also part of the the middle school. Students receive lessons during designated teaching times.
“The teachers go over the handbook with the students and the handbook has information on the bus expectations,” said Sue Burrack, Starmont curriculum director.
With both groups, the lessons occur periodically during the school year to remind students of the bus expectations. The school also puts a section in the handbook for appropriate bus behavior/expectations for students and parents to reference.
“We do the best we can to keep the kids safe, because student safety is a number one priority at Starmont,” Burrack said.