Watch for children, buses as school year begins - August 16, 2007

Record Number: 3276
Displayed from: Aug 16, 2007 , until: Sep 16, 2007

As students head back to school on Monday, Aug. 20, Fort Wayne Community Schools officials are asking everyone in the community to prepare and take extra caution. With more than 300 yellow buses on the roads and thousands of students walking to bus stops or to their neighborhood schools, drivers may want to leave a few minutes early when heading to work or school. Everyone is excited on the first day of school, and sometimes children don't pay attention as well as they should. We rely on the adults in the community to watch out for them as they head to work or school in the morning, as well as on their way home, Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. We want this year to get off to a good start, and we ask the community to join us in keeping our children safe. FWCS transportation officials are asking motorists to be observant and patient Monday and to remember that when the stop arm of the bus is out, it means ALL lanes of traffic are to come to a complete stop. Vehicles should not begin moving again until the stop arm is back in place and the bus has started to roll. The busiest times for buses on the road will be before and after school. School hours are: Elementary schools - 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. (Bunche - 8:10 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.) (Weisser Park - 7:45 a.m.-3:20 p.m.) Middle schools - 7:55 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. (Memorial Park - 7:40 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.) (Towles Intermediate - 8 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.) High schools - 8 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. Last year 25,527 students, or 78 percent of the district's enrollment, were transported to and from school by bus. During the 2006-07 school year, FWCS buses logged an nearly 3.6 million miles. Transportation officials ask parents to help ensure a safe ride for everyone by discussing the following safety procedures with their children: When riding the bus - * Observe the same conduct as in the classroom. * Be courteous, use no profane language. * Cooperate with the driver. * Stay in your seat. * Do not be destructive. * Keep head, hands and feet inside the bus. * Do not yell or scream on board the bus. * If child has a problem, inform the bus driver or school official. While waiting at the bus stop - * Do not horseplay or act in a way that could cause harm to others. * Do not play in the street. * Do not throw things. * Arrive at the bus stop no more than 5 minutes prior to scheduled bus arrival. * When the bus arrives, line up in an orderly fashion, away from the curb and do not push or cut in line. * Stay back from the bus until it stops, and the driver signals it's OK to get on. Staying safe when crossing the street... * Always obey all traffic rules. Never cross against the light. * Look left, right, then left again before you cross. * Cross in a crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk, cross at the corner. * If the crosswalk has a WALK and DON'T WALK sign, only cross when the sign says WALK. Parents can check out the FWCS School and Bus Status web page where they can click on the school their child attends and, if they know the bus number, be able to check if it is running on time or if it is delayed by 15 minutes or more. The page is updated continually during the time buses are on the road, as bus drivers radio into dispatch where the page is updated. The FWCS School and Bus Status link can be found on the district's web site at: www.fwcs.k12.in.us


With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.