GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - In August thousands of District 51 students will head back to class. But just how will they get there?
School buses cover 2,200 square miles in Mesa County. So the bus might be the right choice for your child. "Generally it's one of the safest ways for a kid to get to school," says District 51 Spokesman Jeff Kirtland.
Kirtland says now is the time to start planning how your child will get to and from school. If your kid's going to take the bus there are some things to keep in mind. On the first day of school, students who will ride the bus will get a registration packet. They need to bring it home to their parents and return it the next day. "In addition there are some regulations and policies parents need to read and understand because riding the bus is a privilege and there are some responsibilities that go with that," says Kirtland.
Parents also have the opportunity to drive their kids to and from school. "Each school has a unique way in which they allow for that traffic flow for pickup and drop off," says Kirtland.
If you plan to let your kids walk to school, Safety Coordinator Tim Leon says it's important they know the route to take and that they follow the same one every day. Leon suggests walking it with your kids to get them familiar with it, "Also along the way be looking for areas that may not be safe. Walking next to shrubbery, vacant buildings. Also emphasize they shouldn't take short cuts. They want to stay in high traffic areas where they are visible to other people," says Leon.
Leon suggests kids walk as a group to school and encourages parents to talk about stranger danger and what to do if someone they don't know approaches them. "Some things they may want to teach their kids is to yell and scream and get the attention of others around them and try to get them involved to stop whatever is happening," he says.
If your child plans to bike to school make sure they are comfortable with their bike and have a helmet that fits properly. Leon also says to remind your children about the rules of the road. "Explain to them when they should ride on the sidewalk and when they shouldn't. Explain to them on the sidewalk pedestrians have right away and that they have to get off their bikes and walk them across the street," says Leon.
Kirtland and Leon says even if you don't have kids attending school you can still do your part to keep students safe by obeying school zones and keeping an eye for kids.
For more information about bus stops and schedules contact your child's school.