Back To School: Coweta school officials offer bus info, schedule
From Staff Reports
As the first day of school approaches for Coweta County School System (CCSS) students, school officials and the school system’s transportation department are urging Cowetans to leave home early on the first day of school and to expect a higher volume of traffic on Coweta roads.
Students who will ride the bus on the first day of school are advised to be at their neighborhood bus stop no later than 6:55 a.m. not only on Aug. 6, but for the first full week of school (Aug. 6-10)
Parents are advised to have their children at the appropriate stop at 6:55 a.m. and to be prepared for a longer wait for the bus on the first days.
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 two-tenths of a mile or shorter in length, students should wait for the bus on the nearest street corner.
If a subdivision street or other neighborhood street is longer than two-tenths of a mile long, bus stops are generally one-tenth 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 Friday, Aug. 3 and the first day of school.
One significant change for the school transportation this year will take place at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School. The school will hold bus pick-ups and drop-offs behind the school, while parent car riders will be routed to the front of the school (accessed by the highway 34 bypass). This is a switch from previous years.
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 operation 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 Aug. 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 must 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.
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 in the first weeks of August.
“We ask parents to be patient during the first weeks of school as these changes are made,” said Dean Jackson, CCSS public information officer.
The Coweta County School System provides the option of bus service to all Coweta County students in the mornings and afternoons. In all, Coweta school buses transport about 13,800 of Coweta County’s 23,000 students each day, covering about 12,000 miles daily.