OPINION

Superintendent Olson on Student Safety and School Bus Safety

Submitted by Jeremy Olson
Submitted

Student Safety

Please drive carefully! With the days getting shorter and sugar beet harvest in full swing, I am reminding all of us to use extra caution while driving. The darkness, additional traffic from the harvest, and students who are walking or riding bikes to and from school warrant an increased focus on traffic safety. Areas of particular concern are near our elementary schools, during drop off and pick up times, and at the crosswalks on Fisher Avenue across from the high school.

I also want to remind parents that the designated parent drop off and pick up for the high school is at the east parking lot as we reserve the west parking entrance drop off area only for bus drop off and student parking. Keeping these two areas separate increases student safety.

Parents, you can help keep our students safe by talking to your own children about the importance of being aware of their surroundings, staying off their cell phones when crossing streets, using crosswalks, and helping them choose the safest ways to school. Community members, you can help with student safety when you slow down in areas where children are present as they aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings.

School Bus Safety

Safety around school buses is also very important. School bus drivers are doing their best not to impede traffic, however, to safely pick up students there are areas where we must stop traffic at times. I want to remind you of the different types of flashing lights on a bus and what they mean for you as a driver.

Hazard lights: these are the typical yellow lights that are near the headlights and tail lights. These are to catch your attention and are used when a bus is about to make the required stop for all railroad crossings or are used when a bus is pulled off the road to alert other drivers of its presence.

Yellow flashing lights above the drivers window and above the rear exit door signal to you that a bus is about to make a student pick up and should be treated like a yellow light at a stop light, be prepared to stop, students are near!

Red flashing lights above the drivers window and above the rear exit door signals to you that the bus is actively making a stop. You should also notice a stop arm with red flashing lights extended. This means that all traffic in both directions needs to come to a complete stop. A student is being picked up. Failure to stop or driving around a stop arm is against the law and carries legal consequences. It is never okay to drive around a bus that has a stop arm extended. Bus drivers do not want to hold up traffic and will get you on your way as soon as the student is safely on board and seated.

If you have any questions on school bus safety, please contact Rick Niemela at 218-281-5444. As always if you would like to get more information or have questions about Crookston Public Schools please feel free to contact me at 218-770-8717 or email jeremyolson@isd593.org. Thank you for keeping our students safe!

Jeremy Olson