Kindergarten Bus Safety

  • Some of you have a new kindergartner attending school for the first time and some are old pros. No matter what, we want your child to be safe on the bus. It is very helpful to go over these tips with your children because positive safety reinforcement by the parent is a powerful tool.  

    Barnstable Public Schools endeavors to provide safe, efficient, and economical school bus transportation. All parents are advised to walk to and from the bus stop with their child(ren). State Guidelines are met and often exceeded. School bus safety curriculum and bus evacuation procedures are presented to the pupils several times each year.  

    Barnstable Public Schools requires that all bus riders must have a valid bus pass. Once your child is registered at the school, you will receive a bus pass application packet. Kindergartners have different colored bus passes in order to be easily recognized by school staff that they are kindergarten students.  

    Please provide the school staff with your proper street address. If you intend to have your child picked up or dropped off at an address other than your own; alternate stops, if approved, must be within the school's district and there must be room on the bus. Alternate stops are periodically approved if it is for licensed daycare or split custody situations. Students cannot ride a bus to visit a friend.  

    To ensure children’s safety, parents must take an active role in promoting safe riding and walking habits.  

School Bus Safety

  • To be safe when they travel to and from school, follow these simple safety rules.

    At The Bus Stop: 

    • Always walk to the bus stop. Never run.
    • Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
    • Always go to the bus stop about five to ten minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
    • While at the bus stop, wait in a safe place away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting.
    • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell your parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.
    • Wait for the bus to arrive, watch for red flashing lights and the stop sign to be extended, and cross only when all traffic has stopped. Look left, right, and left again before crossing.


    On The Bus:

    • Go directly to a seat. Remain seated and facing forward for the entire ride.
    • Talk quietly (so the driver will not be distracted).
    • If you need to talk to the bus driver: wait for the bus to stop, raise your hand, and call the driver's name.
    • Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Never play with the emergency exits.
    • Keep the aisles clear at all times.
    • If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.

    Exit The Bus:

    • When getting off the bus make sure you walk (not run) five more steps away from the door. This is the best place to be around a bus. Stay away from the bus wheels and watch out for moving cars!
    • Once you get off the bus, go straight home so an adult will know where you are.
    • Only get on and off the bus at your designated stop.
    • If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and they may begin moving the bus. Also, if you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. NEVER attempt to pick it up without talking to the bus driver.

Guideline to Protecting Your Child at School Bus Stops

  • The best protection for a child at a school bus stop is a vigilant parent. In today's world of dual working parent families, a parent waiting at the bus stop with a child is not always possible. 

    According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Each year in the United States, between 1.3 and 1.8 million children are reported missing. These children may be kidnapped, lost, or runaways. Some children are taken by a non-custodial parent, still, others disappear with few clues as to the reason.

    NCMEC points out that, in many cases, an abductor is not a stranger to the child. So, while the warning to "stay away from strangers" is good advice, it provides very limited protection. Children are more often abducted or exploited by people who have some type of familiarity with them, but who may not be known to the parents. NCMEC explains that the term "stranger" misleads children into believing that they should only be aware of individuals who have an unusual or slovenly appearance. Instead, it is more appropriate to teach children to watch out for certain situations or actions, rather than certain kinds of individuals. 

    Protecting Your Child At School Bus Stops 

    • Work with other parents to have children walk to bus stops and wait in groups. Use the "buddy system" whenever possible. 
    • Create a Safe Walking Plan with your child using the safest and most direct path to the school bus stop. 
    • Establish "Safe Houses" along the route to the bus stop that your child can go to if approached while walking to the bus stop. 
    • Keep an updated color photograph of your child in a packet along with medical and dental records and your child's fingerprints. 
    • Avoid clothing and toys with your child's name on them.

    Teach Children to: 

    • Notify your parent before leaving for the bus stop.
    • Never go into a house unless your parent has given permission to use the house as a "Safe House". 
    • Tell your parent if you feel scared, uncomfortable or confused about waiting for the school bus.
    • Tell the school bus driver, immediately, if you are approached while waiting at the bus stop.
    • Tell the school Principal or designated school staff, immediately, if you are approached while waiting at the bus stop.
    • NOISE is your best defense – yell, scream, shout, and scatter books and belongings if you are approached and being forced into a car.
    • Move safely away from any vehicle that pulls up to the bus stop.
    • Never accept a ride to school if you are waiting at the bus stop.
    • Follow the Safe Walking Plan and never use shortcuts through empty parks, lots, alleys, fields, etc.
    • Run home or to a designated safe house if you are close to home and approached while walking to or at the bus stop.  
    • Write a license plate number in the dirt if nothing else is available and only when you are safely away from danger.

    Bus Drivers are always looking out for student’s safety and are aware of their surroundings. If they see something suspicious, they report it to their office immediately and the police are called, as warranted. Bus drivers are mandated to take the National School Bus Watch training course, which includes looking for suspicious activities and always be on the lookout.