More than a ride; school bus a community for students
October 12, 2011
A school bus is more than
just a way to get from point A to point B. There’s also a point C to
consider – community.
Watervliet students are part of many different types of communities. They’re members of their city, neighborhood, school and classroom communities.
Teachers and administrators at the Watervliet Elementary School also want students to feel they’re part of a community when they travel to and from school on the bus everyday. Now in its third year, the Watervliet Elementary School Peaceful School Bus program aims to foster that sense of community and teachers say it’s working.
The school has already held its first Peaceful School Bus program activity of the year to help students make friends with students they may not have met yet and to encourage older students to help younger students. Problem solving, making positive and effective choices and generally learning to be part of a community while traveling on the school bus are also part of the program. Two more activities are schedule throughout the year.
Teachers say the program is having a positive impact on students.
“We have seen a decrease in bus-related discipline referrals,” said school speech therapist Mary Alice Hipwell, who started the program at Watervliet during her school building and school district level internship.
The Peaceful School Bus program was created in the Guilderland School District. Watervliet has adapted the program and aligned it with the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) goals: Being Respectful, Being Honest, Being Responsible, and Being Safe.
View a slideshow of the elementary students participating in the year's first Peaceful Bus program.