The Palmyra-Macedon Central School District is in the beginning stages of implementing a new model for school bus behavior to improve the overall transportation experience for students and drivers.
Led by Pal-Mac Intermediate School Principal Chris Barnard, the planning process began in early 2019 as a district-wide conversation about the need to better inform and teach students of behavior on school buses. The process involved administrators across the district as well as direct input from bus drivers through a survey and meetings.
“Creating a set of guidelines for behavior on the school bus was extremely important to us as a district,” Barnard said. “Instilling the importance of accepting responsibility and understanding one’s actions will be beneficial to students not only while they are on the school bus, but throughout the rest of their lives.”
Using information collected during the feedback and planning process, a model was formulated which creates understandable guidelines of appropriate behavior when riding the bus. Behavioral expectations are outlined using familiar language, already utilized in district programs including the Primary Years Programme and International Baccalaureate.
The rules, which are referred to as agreements, are being implemented across the district with a specific emphasis on program education in grades
The new model emphasizes the importance of students accepting responsibility for actions which do not align with the agreements. Should a student be cited for improper behavior, a form referred to as a Bus Agreement Reflection Form is then sent home with the student. The form provides the opportunity for both students and parents to understand what took place, how it impacted others and how to ensure the action is corrected in the future. Eventually, a shift from a paper form to a digital form to incorporate the blended learning experience will occur.
Agreements to be followed by riders include:
-I will sit in my seat with a calm and safe body.
-I will talk in a classroom level voice.
-I will follow adult directions the first time.
-I will use kind words.