Coweta County School System officials and the system’s transportation department urge Cowetans to take extra time and care when students return to school on Friday, August 7.
Coweta roads will have a higher volume of traffic Friday morning, as parents and school buses transport Coweta’s 22,000 students to their first day of class.
School bus service begins that morning, and students who ride the bus the first day are advised to be at their neighborhood bus stop by 6:45 a.m., until regular pick-up times are established.
Morning and afternoon bus route information will be posted on the school system’s website (www.cowetaschools.net) before the start 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 7, 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.”
For students riding the bus to school August 7:
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 the first day and full week of school (August 7-14).
Regular morning pick-up times will become predictable as routes are established in the new school year. Bus ridership is impossible to predict on the first day of school. Parents are advised to have their children at the appropriate stop at 6:45 a.m., and expect a possibly 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 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.
All parents should make sure the child’s teacher is aware of the child’s mode of transportation and their destination in the afternoon.
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 Thursday, August 6 and the first day of school August 7.
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.
Gresham has additional safety tips for all drivers as the school year starts:
Expect the unexpected – slow down, stay alert, and be prepared to stop quickly around school buses and in school zones.
Everyone has a responsibility for school bus safety. Be on the alert for children walking to and from their school bus stop, and exercise care as children wait at their stops. Be alert and watch for children near schools or in school parking lots.
Parents should accompany very young children to the bus stop, and meet them on their return.
The most dangerous time for children who ride school buses is when they are loading and unloading on the road.
When you see flashing yellow lights on the front or rear of a school bus, that means the bus is about to stop. Slow down and watch for students. Never speed up to beat a school bus, and exercise caution.
Motorist are required to come to a full stop when the school bus activates its flashing red lights, stops, and deploys its stop arm.
Be attentive after stopping. Motorists must remain stopped until all students are loaded, or until all unloading students have cleared 12 feet off the roadway. Proceed with caution after all students have cleared the roadway and the bus has turned off its lights and retracted the stop arm.
Remind students when crossing the street to stop and look for cars and trucks and look to their bus driver for clearance.
Be mindful of school zones. Obey speed limits and watch for school crossing guards. Don’t pass vehicles in school zones or at crosswalks. Don’t change lanes or make u-turns in school zones.
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 in the first weeks of August.
Coweta County Schools asks parents to be patient during the first weeks of school as these changes are made.
Because of that, the routes and assigned buses listed here are subject to change after the first full week of school following August 7, 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 22,000 students each day, covering about 12,000 miles daily.
Coweta County Schools Press Release
Release Date July 31 2015