District offers parents school bus tips

SUWANEE -- "The wheels on the bus go round and round."

And with the big, yellow autos on the road, officials with Gwinnett County Public Schools aim to keep it a safe experience for local children.

The district released some tips for parents to keep in mind before they put their child on the bus during the 2012-13 school year.

For starters, parents should make sure they get their child to the bus stop early.

On the first several days of school, officials recommend that parents have students at the bus stop about 15 minutes before their scheduled bus arrival. It's a measure that aims to ensure the safety of students, especially the younger ones who are new bus riders.

In a news release, officials with the district asked that parents review bus stop safety with their children, including the following back-to-school safety recommendations:

-- Parents should find the location of their child's bus stop the day before their first ride. This will help the student to become familiar with the location.

-- Parents should drive their child around the area near the bus stop, ensuring familiarity with the route and recognition of where to get off the bus. Parents also should point out landmarks that are easily recognized to help the student know which stop is theirs.

-- Parents should make sure their children understand that if they are uncertain about a stop they should not get off the bus.

-- Parents should aim to set the child's routine from the very first morning. If a family has decided a student will ride the school bus for the school year, a parent should have them ride the bus that first morning and not drive them to school. Following a routine from the start helps the student and the driver become familiar with each other and the bus route.

-- Parents need to plan with a group of other parents and adults to have an adult supervisor present each morning and afternoon at the bus stop. When a student recognizes the adult supervisor on duty during the afternoon route, it gives them a sense of reassurance that they have gotten to the correct stop.

Numbers to know

-- If child doesn't get off the bus: 770 338-4800.

-- Regarding special education transportation questions and services: 770 513-6881.

-- For pickup and delivery questions during the school year, parents should call the school their child attends.

Facts about Gwinnett County Public Schools Transportation

-- Transports more than 122,500 students twice a day

-- Operates 1,834 school buses

-- Runs 7,534 routes per day

-- Makes 47,267 stops twice per day

-- Drives over 130,800 miles per day (30 round trips to Los Angeles every day)

-- According to the Transportation Research Board, the school bus is 13 times safer than any other form of transportation.