Your student transportation services and school bus contractors play a critical role in keeping your students safe as they travel to and from their place of education. From negotiating tight turns to learn new routes to driving in harsh weather conditions, situations where a driver’s skill and temper are tested come into play each and every day. Worry not about your driver’s competency, though; the extensive training that goes into getting one’s class B CDL ensures it, for one. Written tests and road tests abound. When newly licensed drivers hit the roads with precious cargo in tow, they have all the knowledge they need to perform their duties safely and efficiently and are ready to take charge and employ that knowledge.
While the drivers whom you hire train hard and keep their skills sharp to continue to play their crucial role in student safety, everyone who rides the bus must practice safe-conduct in order to ensure a safe ride. Drivers most likely have experience dealing with rowdy or disruptive passengers; this is especially true when you work with Northstar Bus Lines, as many of our employees are former school workers themselves and know quite a bit about managing children. However, the fewer distractions a driver must deal with, the better, as the road on its own is unpredictable enough. Furthermore, disruptive behavior on the part of students not only can distract the driver, but it also can prove quite distressing for quieter, more rule-oriented students. These students deserve a peaceful ride home as much as anyone else, and disallowing this can negatively impact their school, extracurricular, and home lives. Finally, disruptive behavior makes it harder for drivers to notice instances of bullying or if a student is otherwise in distress. When that driver is busy trying to tune out the screeches and bangs of louder students, they can fail to notice everything that goes on on their bus. A person can only process so much sensory information at once.
Because disruptive behavior compromises bus safety and their fellow students’ wellbeing, it’s important for you, as an administrator, to make sure your students know how to conduct themselves on the bus. Northstar Bus Lines, as a provider of group transportation services, is here to walk you through the basics.
School Bus Conduct and Classroom Conduct Should be Similar
Your staff couldn’t teach if students were out of their chairs and yelling, could they? They would need to halt the class and expend all of their effort to calm students down. Bus rides are similar; when an environment gets to be too loud or a student too disruptive, the driver sometimes must pull over and deliver a reprimand. In contrast, in both situations, if students are relaxed and orderly, the ride or class can go on as normal. Students riding the bus should conduct themselves similarly to the way they ideally would in a well-run classroom.
● Students should respect their buses | In our youths, we’ve all sat on a poorly maintained bus—one with holes in the upholstery, gum wrappers scattered about, and tissues crammed between the seat and the wall. Leaving one’s trash around wouldn’t fly in the classroom, so why would it ever be acceptable on the bus? Teach your students that they must hold themselves to the same cleanliness standards on the bus as they would in the classroom. Doing so creates a sanitary and safer ride for everyone.
● Students should use their “inside voices” | Chatting with a friend, or even playing quiet games, is perfectly acceptable. After all, doing so helps students to relax and decompress after a long school day. It’s when voices rise to yell, or volumes on electronic devices soar that both drivers and quieter students become disturbed. Students should understand that volume levels on the bus should never rise above those that would be permissible in a classroom that was in between activities.
● Students should be taught that not everyone sees the world the same way they do | While it might be a blast for a child to jump around the seats with their friend, the headphone-wearing, the mousier kid across from them might not see it that way. Likewise, the driver might not appreciate how difficult the behavior makes it to perform their job safely. Teach children to actively search for others’ perspectives, and you’ll not only come away with better bus conduct—you’ll come away with more compassionate and empathetic individuals.
Contact Northstar Bus Lines for Top-Notch School Bus Services
We’re a devoted and passionate Maple Grove team that is committed to providing great service by maintaining a positive bus atmosphere. We’re here to play a relaxing role in your district’s day-to-day operations—both for you (with our reliable service) and for your students (with our well-managed buses). If you’re interested in doing business with the best, give us a call now at 763-425-2542.