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By Echo Menges
The Knox County R-1 School District started a new school bus safety training program for students last week.
According to KCR-1 Superintendent Andy Turgeon, all students in the district will receive the training annually going forward.
“We’ve set up four stations the students will circulate through. Station one is loading safety, where to be standing and how to get on the bus from either side of the street. Station two is unloading safety, and how to get off of the school bus. Station three is about how to safely evacuate from a bus. Station four is bus behavior and how to be good citizens.”
Knox County Elementary School students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade participated in the first school bus training session on Friday afternoon, August 26, at the end of their first week back to school.
Turgeon and a host of staff trainers, bus driver Rhonda Cardwell, high school and middle school assistant principal Keith Gudehus, and elementary school assistant principal Jeff Ackman, manned four buses spread across the elementary school parking lot.
Each bus was strategically placed so students could easily load and unload while having plenty of room to simulate safely crossing streets to get on and off buses. Students were also shown how to safely wait for buses on busy streets and highways, where to stand, why it’s important to follow cues from bus drivers, the importance of never walking behind a bus, and staying visible to drivers at all times.
Great emphasis was placed on following directions from bus drivers.
Classes rotated between the four stations loading and unloading each time. The four bus station-to-station system provided a much higher level of training. Each student loaded or unloaded roughly ten times practicing different scenarios.
In case of an emergency, students were also able to practice unloading from the rear emergency exit.
Students were encouraged to ask questions as trainers worked to engage them in understanding why many of the district bus guidelines were designed to protect them from injury, and how to respond in an emergency situation.
A short video showing the bus training is available on our website, edinasentinel.com.