Aug. 4, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bus safety key as students head back to school this month

 TOPEKA — As students head back to school in August, there will be an influx of bright yellow school buses on the roads. This is a great reminder that it is important to keep children safe while traveling to and from the bus stop and while getting on and off the bus.

“School buses remain the safest way to transport students to and from school, but keeping our kids safe when getting on and off the bus is everyone’s responsibility,” said Keith Dreiling, state director of the School Bus Safety Unit. “Parents must review safety tips with their kids, bus drivers must follow protocol and the motoring public must stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights and stop arms.”

Yellow flashing lights on a school bus indicate the bus is preparing to stop, and red flashing lights signify vehicles must come to a complete stop on both sides of the street so children can safely cross to the bus.

In April 2016, 2,163 Kansas school bus drivers reported in a single day nearly 1,000 instances of motorists illegally passing a school bus. Motorists, students and their parents must remain vigilant, particularly before and after school when children are walking to bus stops or boarding and exiting buses.

There are 480,000 school buses on the road across the United States that provide public transportation for 26 million students every day. In Kansas 4,246 school bus drivers transported 227,778 students more than 69 million miles during the 2014-2015 school year, Dreiling said.

Parents are encouraged to speak with their children about school bus safety. The following tips can help facilitate the conversation:

•          Stay alert. Don’t listen to music, text or play games on a mobile device while walking to the stop.

•          Follow traffic signals and laws. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Never run into the street or cross between parked cars.

•          Leave early. Be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Early arrival prevents children from running across a street to catch the bus as it pulls away from      the stop.

•          Stand back. When the bus approaches, stand at least five big steps away from the curb, and line up away from the street. Avoid the driver’s blind spot.

•          Stand still. Wait until the bus completely stops, the door opens and the driver says it is okay before entering the bus. Do the same for exiting the bus. Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps don't get caught in handrails or doors.

•          Never walk behind the bus. Children should walk where the driver can see the child and the child can see the driver. Walk at least 10 big steps in front of the bus.

•          Watch for motorists. Even though motorists are required to stop when a bus is making pickups or drop-offs, make sure children look both ways before crossing the street.

Let’s work together this school year to keep our children safe.

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Lincoln USD 298 to review facility challenges (Press Release 8-1-16)

Lincoln – August 1, 2016 – The Lincoln USD 298 Board of Education decided at its regular July meeting to form a committee to examine its growing list of building deficiencies and challenges. 

“It is important that we take stock of what we have and create a solid plan to address the problems,” said School Board President Monty Breneman. “We have a great school district, with great staff who work hard to maintain the buildings. But the buildings are aging and we are playing catch-up far too often.”

Breneman pointed to a few concerns that prompted the decision to form the committee.

“I would like to put tornado shelters on the list, since neither of the schools has an adequate storm shelter.” Breneman said. “And the roof at the high school has been leaking for a few years. That has to go somewhere near the top of the list.”

But Breneman said he did not want to direct the committee toward specific concerns and issues. Instead, he wants committee members to gather input from a variety of sources, including the board, teachers, staff, and community. With that information, he said the district would have a solid list of concerns so that the board can evaluate how best to address them.

Superintendent Kathy Robertson said the board would likely use its regular September meeting to have more in-depth discussion, as well as identifying potential committee members.

“I think the board really wants to get input from a number of different sources,” Robertson said. “We know we have some challenges ahead of us, and we all want to make sure we spend time collecting feedback before formalizing any plans.”

Robertson said that any USD 298 patrons who have an interest in being a part of this committee or future discussions are welcome to contact her at the district office, or via e-mail at robertson@usd298.com.

Contact:

Kathy Robertson
robertson@usd298.com
133 E Lincoln Ave
Lincoln, KS 67455-0289
785.384.0130