Frequently Asked Questions about the Walking School Bus What if my child wants to participate, but I am not able to walk with the kids? That’s okay. Other neighborhood parents and Volunteers In Education (VIE) members have volunteered to participate so we can assure your child will walk with a group of kids having one or more adults. Does my child have to walk both to and from school to participate? No. We realize that students have schedules that include day care, after-school programs, lessons and appointments. Children can participate in the WSB whenever it fits their schedules. We have designed the program to allow for flexibility. What if the weather is bad? The Walking School Bus runs rain or shine! Students are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and pack an umbrella for unexpected weather and outer clothing appropriate for the season. Be sure to check the morning news for school cancellations in the winter. The WSB will not run on late start days or when school is delayed due to snow. What if I don’t feel comfortable letting my child walk with another adult? Volunteers register with VIE and are usually other parents. You may choose to withdraw your child at any time if you are not comfortable with any situation, or better yet, volunteer to be a ‘driver’ or get involved to meet other volunteers. Teach your child personal safety rules. Report any unusual activity to the school office. I’m interested in having my child participate, but I don’t want to be confined by a rigid schedule. No problem. As stated earlier, the program is flexible! Changes can be made as needed. Send your child on the bus on the days you choose. When coming home with the WSB we encourage you to make plans in advance with your child to minimize last minute changes and communications. However, if there is an emergency at the last minute, please contact the school office before the end of the day to instruct your child of the change in plans. Can I walk with my child if I am not a volunteer? Of course you are welcome to walk along or meet your child at the bus stop. If you would like to walk with the group on a regular basis, we ask that you register at school as a volunteer. I’m interested in “driving.” How do I sign up? Contact the Walking School Bus Coordinator _____________________at __________________. A driver data base will be kept which includes the driver’s name, address and phone number, the days and times the volunteers are available to walk, and the routes for which each volunteer is interested in leading. How do I “drive” the Walking School Bus? Their will be a short orientation to the responsibilities of the Walking School Bus which will include a route map, schedule, safety rules, reporting disciplinary issues and an orientation to school equipment such as walkie-talkies. My child wants to participate; whom do I contact? Call the Walking School Bus coordinator: ____________________at__________________. Rules of the Road for the Walking School Bus Behavior Expectations for Walkers: 1. Listen to the adult ‘bus driver’. The driver Review safety rules with your child: is in charge. 2. Be on time – the bus doesn’t wait! Do not go inside other people’s houses. 3. Obey all traffic rules and signs. Young children should be accompanied 4. Cross the street with the crossing guards or by adults or older children when crossing the driver. the street. 5. Stay with the group and Talk about pedestrian safety rules as a follow your driver. family. 6. Walk on the sidewalk. Follow the same rules you want your 7. Be respectful of other walkers. child to follow. Be a good role model. 8. Respect neighborhood property. Teach children to stop, look and listen 9. Walk responsibly to and from the before stepping out into the street. designated stop. Remind your children to wear light 10. Never accept a ride from a stranger colored clothing or reflectors when without permission from a parent. walking at dusk or dawn. 11. For safety reasons, wheels are not allowed on the Walking School Bus (bikes, scooters, wheelies, skateboards, etc). Weather and the Walking School Bus The Walking School Bus runs rain or shine! Don’t avoid walking when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Walking is the best way to keep warm outdoors – just be sure to dress properly: Winter Keep hands and head covered to prevent heat loss. Wear warm waterproof boots in cold weather. Wear a coat that is waterproof and deflects the wind. In extreme cold, keep your skin covered – wear a scarf over your face and mouth. Layers of clothing, wool, insulated jackets will help retain the heat Change wet clothing – tuck an extra pair of socks and mittens in your backpack Spring and fall: Wear rain boots in wet weather. Carry an umbrella when the forecast predicts rain. Warm weather: Apply sunscreen Wear a hat to give protection from the sun Drink lots of water throughout the day and carry a bottle of water on your walk to and from school.