Back to School: Transportation
Coweta County School System’s transportation department is urging Cowetans leave home early on August 6, the first day of school, and to expect a higher volume of traffic.
Students who will ride the bus on the first day of school are advised to be at their neighborhood bus stop no later than 6:45 a.m. on August 6, and for the first full week of school (August 6-10). Parents should expect a longer wait for the bus during that time, too. Bus ridership is impossible to predict on the first day of school, but regular morning pick-up times will become predictable as routes are established.
Bus pick-up sites have remained largely unchanged since last school year. Generally, if a home is on a street or cul-de-sac of 2/10th’s of a mile or less in length, students should wait for the bus on the nearest street corner. If a subdivision street or other neighborhood street is longer than 2/10ths of a mile long, bus stops are generally 1/10th of a mile apart based on ridership.
If parents are unsure about pick-up sites for the school bus, or have other questions, they can call the transportation department at 770-254-2820. Representatives of the transportation department will also be in schools during school orientation times on Monday, August 5 and the first day of school August 6.
Parents who will drive children to school are also advised to leave home and arrive at school earlier than usual on the first day.
Coweta County school operations times are:
Elementary schools – 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Middle schools – 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. High schools – 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Central Educational Center – 8:15 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. (first and second blocks); 12:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. (third and fourth blocks).
Parents can expect longer lines for student drop-off on the first days and should plan accordingly. Every school has separate drop-off areas for bus traffic and car traffic, and car drivers should be extra caution to stay away from bus zones on the first days of school .
“It always takes the first day or two for everyone to get used to school traffic,” said school system transportation manager Judy Gresham. “We ask that everyone keep in mind that buses will be on the road again on August 6, making stops in the morning and dropping students off in the afternoons. Everyone should leave a little earlier for work and school, drive safely, and be mindful of buses and children.”
Gresham has a few “first-day” safety tips for parents who drive children to school:
• Everyone has a responsibility for school bus safety.
• The most dangerous time for children who ride school buses is when they are loading and unloading on the road.
• Expect the unexpected – slow down, stay alert, and be prepared to stop quickly around school buses and in school zones.
• All motorists much watch for buses on the road, and must stop when the school bus loads or unloads students and signals for traffic to stop.
• Remind students when crossing the street to stop and look for cars and trucks and look to their bus driver for clearance. •Make sure the child’s teacher is made aware of their mode of transportation and their destination in the afternoon.
• Accompany very young children to the bus stop, and meet them on their return. Bus route lists will be available for the first day of school before the start of the new year. Routes are listed by school. Each street served by a school bus is listed under the elementary, middle or high school zone alphabetically, with the morning and afternoon bus routes and bus numbers
Typically, school enrollment and bus ridership grow over the first weeks of school. The department will address problems such as crowding on some buses, double bus routes and route changes as quickly as possible. Coweta County Schools asks parents to be patient during the first weeks of school as these changes are made.
Routes and assigned buses listed here are subject to change after the first full week of school following August 6, depending on school growth and ridership patterns. The Coweta County School System provides the option of bus service to all Coweta County students. In all, Coweta school buses transport about 13,000 of Coweta County’s 24,000 students each day, covering about 12,000 miles daily.