Winter has officially hit the state of Minnesota for the year, and our drivers at American Student Transportation are working hard each and every day to keep your kids safe on icy, snowy roads. When your students leave school or home and board our buses, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll get to their destination safely, efficiently, and, above all, warm.

That said, winter poses a fair deal of health hazards for your students as soon as they set foot off of their buses or even before their morning rides. Depending on the logistical situation of your students, many might find themselves waiting at the bus stop for a bit in the mornings—not by any fault of your school bus services, but perhaps out of an old, ingrained habit or a worry that they may miss their only ride. They might even be playing in the snow as they wait! In addition, you might fret that your students could slip and fall on the ice as they make their way from the safe confines of your building to the buses.

As short as the time periods before and after your students’ bus rides may be, it’s important to remind them of proper safety procedures for those times, lest they sustain frostbite on their walks home or injury in the school’s parking lot. American Student Transportation Services, a Blaine provider of student transportation services and other group transportation services, explains below what school administration can do to keep students safe from common wintertime pre-and-post-bussing hazards.

Winter Hazard Number 1: The Cold

All Minnesotan natives know how frigid temperatures get during the winter months; it’s almost a matter of pride to brag about it. Temperatures almost always stay below freezing for a majority of the winter, with wind chills pushing those temperatures down further. The result is that frostbite and hypothermia are very real risks, and proper protection should be taken without question.

Your students will never be in danger of freezing when you choose American Student Transportation Services as your school bus contractor. Our warm, sturdy vehicles are tough enough to handle the cold. Your students are most in danger of feeling the effects of the cold before their bus rides—in other words, out of the school’s line of supervision. You can’t exactly enforce “bundling up” policies when your kids aren’t on school grounds, after all!

If you can’t make your students bundle up as they wait for the bus, how can you help them stay warm?

●        Enforce a strict clothing policy for recess | It’s common sense that your students should be bundled up before being sent out to play, but enforcing this rule could save your students’ lives. If proper clothing is required for recess, the children are more likely to bring it and also to wear it to the bus stop. Make a list of all clothing items required for outdoor play—hats, gloves, snow pants, you name it—and post it in a visible area. Be strict on this policy; you’ll be keeping your students warm long before their busses pull up in the mornings.

●        Invest in a quality school bus service | Having your school’s buses break down is a great way to expose your students to the cold, especially if they are stuck waiting at their stops for longer than expected. By hiring a quality school bus contractor, like American Student Transportation Services, you’re taking an important step to keeping your students safe in the dangerous Minnesota cold.

●        Consider holding a sign-making contest | For younger children, getting them to take cold safety seriously is as easy as getting them involved. Host an optional poster-making contest surrounding what all kids can do to stay safe before their daily bus rides. Raising awareness is key!

As you can see, there’s plenty you can do to keep your students safe before and after their bus rides, and when you hire a high-quality school bus service, like American Student Transportation, you set your district up for a stressless winter transportation season. However, the cold isn’t the only problem you will have to overcome.

Winter Hazard Number 2: Ice in the Parking Lots

We all know how rambunctious kids can be. As best as your district may try to enforce discipline as your students board the buses, slipping and falling on the ice is still a valid concern. A talented class B CDL holder, like ours at American Student Transportation Services, will be able to navigate an icy parking lot with no problem, but a toddling kindergartner or gangly preteen might not be so agile. What can your district do to maintain pre-boarding safety?

For one, watching the weather and proactively de-icing your parking lots goes a long way. You probably already have a policy for this, but it’s important to modify it as our capricious state weather fluctuates. Letting students out onto the parking lot at their own pace can also help decrease the frequency of the rowdy behavior that can cause slipping. Hustling or holding your students back often will cause them to rush.

Seeking the Highest Quality in School Bus Services? American Student Transportation is Here to Provide

The most responsible and protective thing you can do to help your students stay warm is hiring the best of the best when it comes to student transportation: American Student Transportation Services. Give our Blaine office a call today at 651-628-8900.