My First Ride
The first time riding a school bus can be both exciting and nerve-racking for parents and children. To help make the first bus ride less scary, the Calgary Catholic School District, Calgary Board of Education Southland Transportation and First Student offer the My First Ride Program. The program provides bus safety tips and tricks for parents, kindergarten students and all other first time bus riders.
My First Ride
In addition to reviewing the My First Ride program presentation and the video above (which was filmed before the pandemic), families are encouraged to take the time to prepare their child/children for their first school bus experience by going over the following tips:
- Create a routine
Routines will help create a sense of certainty and will provide guidance in terms of what to expect when riding on the school bus.
- Review bus stop rules
Review some of the basic safety rules that your child(ren) should be aware of.
- Visit the bus stop ahead of time
Before the first day of school, parents should walk with their child(ren) to the bus stop to familiarize them with the stop location. This way, when the child(ren) board and disembark the bus, they are confident about where their stop is.
- Getting on and off the bus
Make sure your child(ren) know where to get on and where to get off. Remind them to never get off at another stop. If your child is unsure where to get off, teach them that they must stay on the bus and tell the bus driver.
- Always meet at the bus stop
Kindergarten children are required to be accompanied by a parent/guardian at their stop in the morning, and must be met by a parent/guardian at their stop at the end of the day. This safety requirement ensures Kindergarten children get to their bus stop and home safely.
- On the bus behaviour
Go over some of the basic expected behaviour when sitting on the bus.
- Get to know other parents
Get to know other parents so that your child(ren) can get to know some familiar faces that can be trusted.
- Emergency contacts
Make sure your child(ren) always know who to contact in case of emergency. Put contact information in your child(ren)'s bag(s) and/or coat(s) so that the bus company or school district can call a parent or guardian if needed.
- Do something special
Make the first ride memorable by packing something special into your child(ren)'s bag(s). For example: sticker book, notebook, comic book, etc.