Saturday , 16 October 2021

Teaching students to rideSAFE on NLPS school buses

With School Bus Safety Week less than a month away, Northern Lights Public Schools has announced the launch of rideSAFE, its new student school bus safety program.

“Having our own program will provide us with more flexibility in providing school bus safety sessions to students and help us increase the number of students who can participate each year,” explained Matt Richter, Director of Transportation.

Prior to this year, NLPS contracted out this service.

rideSAFE will teach students about general school bus safety, rider responsibilities and bus rules, and how to evacuate a bus safely.

The program uses a combination of classroom discussion and practical exercises on a school bus. While it is focused on students in Kindergarten to Grade 6, lessons can be tailored to older students as well.

“In addition to covering material that is universal for all students who take the bus, we will also be able to focus in on issues that are more local in nature – issues we observe with students on our buses and in our area,” said Richter.

Part of driving school

Recently, NLPS announced they would become a bus driver training school.

The rideSAFE program will be instructed by Marlena Bowering, the division’s new senior driving instructor.

She will also be teaching Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) and S-Endorsement courses for bus drivers at the new NLPS Driving School.

“The same team of people that’s going to be instructing at the driving school and organizing that is going to do ride safe program for students,” said communications director Nicole Garner.

“We can maximize the number of students who get to go through the program every year, and we can do it at other times of the year, too.”

In addition to rideSAFE, Bowering also introduced students to riding the bus in August during Meet the Bus sessions at the division’s elementary schools.

The first rideSAFE sessions will take place later this month to coincide with School Bus Safety Week.

School Bus Safety Week

School Bus Safety Week will take place October 20-26.

This year’s theme is “Ready to Ride.”

The Alberta Student Transportation Advisory Council (ASTAC) is sponsoring a provincial poster contest for students in Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Students are encouraged to create an 11″X17″ poster with the theme “Ready to Ride.”


About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.