The Coweta County School System urges Coweta drivers to take extra time and care when students head back to school Monday, Aug. 5.
The new school year brings a return of school buses, parents dropping off young children and student drivers. Below are a few reminders for all Coweta County residents.
“What should I expect when school starts back on Monday?”
- In short, much heavier traffic than you have grown accustomed to over the summer. Drivers should expect longer delays at intersections and greater traffic near school campuses and on all major thoroughfares. Drivers will not only experience the traffic that accompanies 23,000 students returning to school, but also school buses, which will make frequent stops for riders starting at 6:45 a.m. Monday morning.
“What are peak traffic times during the school year?”
- Most Coweta areas should see increased school traffic begin between 7-7:30 a.m. through about 9 a.m. on school days, as drivers and buses arrive first at elementary schools and then middle and high schools. Expect that traffic will be more demanding than usual during the first week or two of the school year, as everyone re-establishes a routine. In addition to heavier traffic, parents should expect longer car drop-off lines at schools and limited parking on campuses in the first few days of the school year.
“What time do buses begin their routes?”
- Buses are generally on roads by 6:30 a.m. On the first days of the school year, as new bus routes and ridership are being established, the school system asks bus riders to be at their stops no later than 6:45 a.m. for pick-up. Regular pick-up times for school bus stops will become established in the first weeks of school.
“Where do children catch the bus?”
- Bus pick-up sites have remained largely unchanged since last school year. Generally, if a home is on a street or cul-de-sac two-tenths 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 two-tenths of a mile long, bus stops are generally one-tenth of a mile apart based on ridership. Parents should always accompany very young children to the bus stop and meet them on their return. If you are unsure of where the established stop is for your address, you can speak to representatives of the school system’s transportation department at 770-254-2820.
“What should I watch out for?”
- If you are driving during peak school arrival and dismissal times, please be mindful of students getting to and from school. This includes being aware of students walking to and waiting at bus stops and the need to stop and wait if you are behind a bus. Motorists must remain stopped until all students are loaded, or until all unloading students have cleared 12 feet off the roadway. Motorists must never pass stopped buses.
“What else can I do to help?”
- Individuals who are not dropping children off at school can help by leaving for work earlier than usual during the first few weeks of school to help reduce traffic during peak hours. The school system urges all drivers – whether going to work or school – to leave earlier, and exercise patience and greater caution during the first weeks of school. Drivers should also be aware that there will also be greater than usual traffic following dismissal – generally 2:30-4 p.m. each day. Expect the unexpected – slow down, stay alert and be prepared to stop quickly around school buses and in school zones.
“What can parents do?”
- Along with leaving early and exercising patience as we all return to school, parents should also make sure their child’s school has up-to-date contact and emergency information – including all adults that are able to pick up their child – and be sure their child’s school is aware of their mode of transportation and their destination in the afternoon.