Bus Safety

Safety rules for bus riders

To make sure you have a safe bus ride, we must all work together and follow a few rules. (More specific guidelines are provided in the Student/Parent Handbook.)

  • Have your bus pass with you. (Attach it to your backpack with the fastener provided.)
  • Stand back away from the street as you wait for your bus.
  • When the bus arrives, stay back on the sidewalk until the driver opens the door.
  • When you get on the bus, hold the handrail.
  • Find your seat quickly and sit right down.
  • Sit down, facing forward, for the whole ride.
  • Don’t stick anything out the windows.
  • Keep the walkway clear so other bus riders don’t trip when they get on the bus.
  • Be calm and quiet so your bus driver can concentrate.
  • Please keep the bus neat and clean. No eating or drinking while you are on the bus.
  • Check around your seat when you get ready to leave to make sure you have your backpack and other things.
  • Don’t stand up until the bus is stopped.
  • If you need to cross the street, stay several steps in front of the bus so that you can see the driver’s eyes. When the driver tells you it’s safe to cross, he or she will give you a signal. Carefully walk across the street.
  • If you have a problem while you’re on the bus, tell the bus driver. It’s best to wait until the bus is stopped, if you can.
  • Students are only allowed to ride their own bus. Students cannot ride a different bus to go to a friend’s house.

Helpful information for bus riders

Wear Your Bus Pass
Hawthorn students receive cards called bus passes. They include information about which school you attend, who your teacher is, and what bus you ride. These passes should be attached to your backpack. (Sometimes during the first few weeks of school, elementary students are asked that these passes be pinned to your shirt. If they want you to do this, they will let you know on the first days of school.) Bus passes are usually handed out during the “Get Acquainted Days” just before school starts. If you don’t receive a pass, check with your school office on the first days of school.

Remember Your Bus Route
Each student has their own bus route. A letter telling you your route and bus stop will be mailed to your house in mid- to late-August. Each bus has a sign in the window showing the bus route. Watch for this sign, because different buses for different schools may come to your bus stop.

Go to Your Bus Stop a Little Early
The bus route sheet tells you about what time the bus should be at your stop. At the beginning of the year, it’s a good idea to be at the stop 15 minutes before your bus time. That’s because during the first few weeks everyone is getting used to riding the bus. The bus may get to your stop earlier or later than you expect. Once the school year is well underway, please still try to be at your stop 5 to 10 minutes before your expected time, just to be sure.

Weather, Traffic and Other Things Can Make a Difference
Sometimes the buses run at different times. If there is bad weather, lots of traffic, or kids who aren’t riding a bus on a certain day, that will change what time the bus gets to your stop. After the first few weeks of school, though, your route should be running smoothly. On a clear weather day, if your bus is later than 10 minutes after the usual time, your parents should call your school office for information.

Be Patient at the End of the Day
At the end of the day when school is dismissed, Hawthorn schools are very careful about checking and rechecking bus passes and making sure all students are on the correct bus. Buses may not leave the school bus parking lot until 10 to 15 minutes or more past the dismissal bell. This is especially true during the first few weeks of school. Once students become more comfortable with the end-of-day procedure, things move more quickly. (Parents, please keep this timing in mind as you wait for your child at the end of the day. Also, for safety reasons, morning Kindergarteners being dropped off mid-day will not be left at a bus stop unless a parent or authorized adult is there. If no adult is present, the student will be brought back to the school.)