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Welcome back: Buses ready to hit the road

Editorial

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006

Although it may not feel like we’ve even had one, our brief Alaska summer is rapidly nearing its end.

Nobody knows this better than our area’s schoolchildren, most of whom are looking forward to the first day of school with the usual mix of excitement and dread.

The Clarion’s annual Back to School section was included in last Sunday’s edition, packed full of helpful knowledge on the who, what, where, when and even whys of getting back in the swing of its routine. The section contains much of the information parents and kids need to know heading into the fall.

Included in the section is information on bus routes. This is no easy task to put together, on our end and especially on the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s end. Families don’t always stay in one place and kids change schools — or get their licenses.

If you missed it the first time, the Clarion has the bus schedules on our Web site — www.peninsulaclarion.com.

There have been some route changes from last year, and some routes may change between the printing of our Back to School section and the start of school.

The best way to find your answers is to call the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District office at 714-8834.

To help kids stay safe, the district offers the following advice:

·To ensure children don’t miss their scheduled pick-up time, they should be be at the stop 10 minutes before pick-up time. School buses run on ACS time.

· Remember we share our neighborhoods with moose and other wildlife. Take steps to ensure children are safe. Many parents opt to either walk or drive their children to the bus stop and wait there with them until the bus arrives.

·Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.

·Children waiting at a bus stop should have a working flashlight. The light makes them clearly visible to the bus driver and other motorists. Reflective tape on jackets, boots or backpacks also makes them more visible.

·Make sure your child knows their bus number, the location of their stop and that they have a telephone number to contact their parents.

·If a hard snow occurs or the roads are icy, KSRM radio stations will be notified if the buses are running more than 10 minutes late. You will be informed if the bus is running late and when you can expect it to arrive. The buses will hit the road Tuesday — same day as the primary election — so beware of extra traffic.

With school starting up, this also is a good time to remind motorists to pay close attention to the road in the coming weeks. Children soon will be walking to school and standing at bus stops, meaning drivers must be extra vigilant and careful. School speed zones may not get much attention during the summer, but once school starts, motorists need to make sure to slow down in areas where children might be present.

Also, keep an eye out for school buses and always yield to flashing lights. Passing a school bus with its lights flashing is dangerous and illegal, and is one of those things you simply should never even consider. No appointment is so important as to risk the life of a child.

Keeping an eye out for our children is the responsibility of the entire community. By remembering that kids are more likely to be near the roadway, we can help ensure that the youth of our community have a safe and productive school year.



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