Four Ways to Make Parents Comfortable With School Bus Transportation
published on May 28, 2019 by Sonia Mastros
First days of school are often hard on the children, but it seems like it's becoming common for that first day to be hard on the parents as well. In this age of "helicopter parenting" it can be difficult for parents to wave goodbye to their children as they board the bus for the first time. Some parents may even resist using school bus transportation systems, specifically because they don't want to let anyone else drive their child.
Your bus routes will run a lot more smoothly if you can help parents become more comfortable with the idea of bus rides. Here are a few tips on how to ease parents' fears.
Four Ways to Help Parents Be Positive About School Bus Transportation
1. Make Plenty of Facts and Statistics Available
School buses are incredibly safe for children, safer than any other form of transportation by orders of magnitude. A child is in more danger in a car, than on a bus! Additionally, buses reduce pollution in a city, as well as helping parents save money on gasoline.
Put these sorts of facts and statistics on your school web page, social media, etc., to help allay any fears.
2. Hold a Bus Driver Meet & Greet
It's completely understandable that a parent would be hesitant to let a stranger drive their children - so introduce them to their drivers! An open house or meet & greet a few days before the start of the new semester is a great way for parents to meet their children's bus drivers and eliminate any "stranger danger" fears.
You could also use this as an opportunity to show off your bus fleet and its safety features.
3. Put Together Info Packages on Preparing Students for Bus Rides
This one is a little sneaky. By creating materials for parents to go over with their children, covering important aspects of bus safety and ridership, you'll also be helping parents get accustomed to the idea of buses, too! A well-made parent/child activity package focused on being a good bus rider can help both get over their fears.
4. Get All Relevant Information to Parents as Early as Possible
Don't wait until the last minute to announce your routes. Do it early (software routing systems can help here) so that parents have as much advance notification as possible. This also gives them plenty of time to contact the district with any questions or concerns they might have, or with any special instructions for handling their child.
Does your district have any particularly effective methods for encouraging "helicopter moms" to embrace bus ridership? Please share them in the comments below!