Walking School Bus

Download Consent Form

The St Francis Wolf Walking School Bus is a fun, safe and healthy way for everyone to begin and end the school day.

It runs everyday rain or shine, morning and night.

All children need to have a raincoat in their bags each day. (No umbrellas)

In the afternoon if the weather is extreme the drivers will make the decision after discussion with the co-ordinator to cancel the bus by 2:00pm.

Please ring the school office to check if the bus has been cancelled. (846 4696)

All children will remain at school until they are collected and if not collected by 3.30pm will be placed in After School Care.

The Wolf leaves Walker Rd every morning by 8:20am (please wait with your children at the stop if there are not any drivers present).

In the afternoon the Wolf WSB leaves school at 3:15pm and goes down Pt. Chevalier Road to Walker Rd.

Every year St. Francis School celebrates Walk to School week in term 1 we also have other special Walk to School Days throughout the year that celebrate the Religious Seasons and special events at our school.

The Walking School Bus is a fantastic way to get moving and catch-up with friends. We are always looking for more drivers so please feel free to come along and help out.

 

 

The walking school bus (WSB) is run by parents who are rostered as “drivers”. The WSB runs every weekday morning and afternoon. The aim is to have each parent walking with the WSB one morning and/or afternoon per week (2-3 parents per trip). On the other trips during that week, your child walks with other rostered parents. It would be great if you could consider being a driver, for your children’s benefit, as well as your own! Being a driver has many positive spin offs and many work places are positive about negotiating a different start time to accommodate walking bus drivers.

Information for parents and drivers

Route and times

Please see enclosed map and timetable. This route has been carefully planned and must be adhered to at all times. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please inform the coordinator.

Morning schedule: The St Francis WSB begins at Walker Rd (near the corner of  Walker Rd and Point Chevalier Rd). A driver will be at the bus stop at 8-20 am and the bus departs at 8.25am, arriving at school at 8.45am.

Afternoon schedule: The children and drivers gather on the lower playground by the church. If it is raining, the WSB gathers under the shelter outside room2. The bus leaves at 3.10pm and arrives at Target St at 3.30pm.

Obstructions If any part of the pathway cannot be used due to a temporary blockage eg roadworks, the driver will need to divert accordingly. If there are persistent problems with a route these should be reported to the Auckland City Council ph 379 2020.

 

Weather

The walking bus should take place whatever the weather – rain or shine! However, if the weather is very bad, the drivers can elect to cancel the bus after discussion with the co-ordinator.

If you are the driver on a wet day, you must go ahead if you have not heard from the other driver or discussed it with the coordinator.

The reason the WSB generally needs to go regardless of the weather is because its success depends in its reliability. It is a barrier to people routinely using the bus if they know they will have to ring and check ahead on a wet day.

 

General Information

The Walking School Bus system is well supported by Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and more general information is available on www.travelwise.org.nz

 

Parents’ Responsibilities

Parents are required to complete a consent form before a child is allowed to travel on the bus. This form includes contact details and an indication of when the child will use the bus. This information will be on the drivers roster.

It is the parent’s responsibility to inform the driver of any change to their child’s regular travel pattern. For permanent changes, please contact the Route Coordinator so that the register can be updated.

Parents should ensure that their children understand how the bus operates and impress upon them the need to behave sensibly and obey any instructions given by the conductor or driver – particularly about stopping and crossing.

Parents are responsible for their children’s safety to and from the designated bus stops. Drivers and conductors must stay with the group on the authorised route. Both parties must take care when children join and leave the bus.

It is essential that parents dropping children at bus stops do NOT do U turns, or turns in driveways, near the bus stops as this endangers children’s safety due to visibility issues.

Parents must discuss with their child alternative procedures if they miss the bus for any reason.

If your child is having a friend over to play, then their parents must write and sign a note giving their child permission to walk on the bus. If adult to child ratios are exceeded you may be asked to come and walk with the bus.

 

Children’s Responsibilities

If for any reason a child misses the bus in the morning, they walk smartly up and join it if it is still visible; otherwise they must return home.

Children must behave sensibly and follow instructions.

If for any reason a child is left behind after school, they must go to the duty teacher or the office staff and inform them.

The drivers do not keep a record of who might walk each day, so there is no “roll” taken to check who is on the bus. It is the parents’ responsibility to get the children to the bus stop on time in the morning, and the children’s responsibility to “catch” the bus in the afternoon.

Children are issued with a St Francis Wolf WSB Bag tag and Trip Ticket that identifies them as members of the WSB. The 50 trip ticket system is part of an incentive scheme and incentives are awarded after specific distances.

 

Drivers’ Role

There should always be two adults present on the bus – one as driver at the front of the bus, and one at the back. This may vary for buses with less than eight children.

Drivers must adhere to the designated route and are required to wear their hi-viz yellow sashes or vests in order to be identified and clearly visible.

Drivers need to speak directly to children who are not following instructions to make sure that they understand exactly what they need to do differently. Any issues regarding compliance should be directed to the Principal.

Drivers are given a new roster at the beginning of each term, and a new roster will be issued if changes occur during the term.

WAB drivers generally are recognised for their service at least one time in the year!

New drivers undergo instruction with the WSB coordinator or other designated person.

A draft letter is available from Travelwise if people want an introductory letter to discuss a variation in work schedule to accommodate a rostered WSB walk. –Ask your bus co ordinator or go to www.travelwise.org.nz.

In the event of an incident/accident the driver needs to take the following steps:

1. Make sure drivers and children are safe.

2. Attend to the injured person – first aid or call ambulance.

3. Complete the journey with the children.

4. If an injury occurred, then inform the appropriate person depending on the injury – advise the parent, caregiver, principal or available school staff. In the afternoon, the child may need to report directly to the parent/caregiver if they walk home from a bus stop.

 

Walking Safety – other points

Parents are responsible for their children’s safety to and from the designated bus stops.

Parents should speak to their children about road safety before allowing them to join the WSB, but it is a good idea for the drivers to give newcomers to the walking bus a brief reminder about acceptable behaviour.

One driver walks at the front leading the group. The second driver is at the rear to ensure that there are no stragglers. No child should walk ahead of the front driver or behind the rear driver.

If a third driver is available (usually in the morning), that person will step out to the middle of the road and check that the way is clear, before signalling to the group to cross, and stay there until the group has crossed safely. That driver can then move to the front of the group again for the next intersection crossing.

It is recommended to move smaller children to the front, or to buddy them with older children.

The children must walk sensibly along the pavement away from the kerb, allowing other pedestrians to pass.

Remember that drivers are not empowered to stop traffic in order to cross. If any vehicle stops to allow the group to cross it is vital that you check that other traffic is aware of what is happening and has stopped before you step onto the road. There is always the danger of other vehicles overtaking a stationery vehicle.

Montrose Street must be crossed at the kiwi crossing. Make sure that the whole group is assembled before starting to cross. In the afternoon, there is a designated staff member on duty to assist, who then also supervises the children who need to cross at the Pt Chevalier Rd crossing.

 

Please contact the Principal or WSB coordinator with any suggestions for improving any aspect of the Walking School Bus at St Francis School.