Best Practices for Kindergarten Transportation Safety
The following are examples of Best Practices that can be put in place to support the safe transportation and return of Kindergarten students to their parents or guardians.
Kindergarten students have a coloured tag on their bag indicating their stop location. The tag also includes the school name, route number and the bus operator’s phone number. The Kindergarten tag helps the driver ensure the JK and SK students are getting off at the appropriate location.
When making a Kindergarten tag please use the Kindergarten Tag Template so that we maintain consistency with font type and size.
Colour coding of the bus
Schools with multiple buses have colour coded kindergarten tags that correspond to a particular bus route (e.g. Route 099 is Blue). The colour will ensure that kindergarten students board the correct bus at the school. The visual aid will help the school staff and bus driver.
In addition to the coloured kindergarten tags, coloured cones may be used to help identify the location of the bus in the line-up at the school in the afternoon. This will ensure that kindergarten students board the right bus or congregate together with other students on the same bus before the bus arrives at school in the afternoon.
Kindergarten students should always sit at the front of the bus, close to the driver. A seating plan should be constructed in a coordinated manner between the school staff and bus driver. The seating plan should be organized by stop, which will help the driver associate Kindergartens with their specific stop.
Kindergarten students can be loaded on the bus before the older students. This facilitates the seat selection to ensure the seating plan is followed.
Bus Patrollers can assist the bus driver in ensuring the Kindergarten students get off at the appropriate stop. The bus patroller program is run in the 3rd week of September and is extremely important in keeping the students on the bus safe. Notifications for this program are sent to each school in late August.
A “Bus Buddy” is a Kindergarten student who is paired up with an older student who is getting off at the same stop or the stop after the Kindergarten student. The older student can help their “Bus Buddy” exit the bus if their parent or responsible adult is waiting at the door (or stop them from exiting if that person is not present).
Offloading at the bus stop
The Kindergarten students are the last to get off the bus at every stop. Parents are required to approach the door to receive their Kindergarten student after the older students have been let off. The driver will ensure that Kindergarten students are met by a parent, caregiver or appropriately aged sibling. Kindergarten students should be reminded that if they do not see their parent, caregiver or appropriately aged sibling, that they should re-enter the bus and tell the bus driver.
The school is encouraged to train Kindergarten students to recognize their seating arrangement, stop order, bus buddy, bus colour or coloured cone.
STSWR, in cooperation with the Police Services, Fire Department and St. John’s Ambulance, provides formal training to the school patrollers in September of every year.