Registration is now open for Rocky View School's First Ride Program.

Carla Veenstra, Transportation Manager with RVS, explained that the First Ride Program is designed for students that have never ridden the school bus, and might be feeling nervous about it as the school year approaches.

"It just alleviates the nervousness of the kids. These are kindergarteners and Grade One's mostly, but it's open to everybody but it is geared to that level and they can be a little nervous starting out."

Veenstra said the program has been offered by the school division for about 15 years. Students and their parents will get a presentation on bus safety and etiquette, and then they'll have the chance to ride the bus for the first time by themselves and experience what it's like getting off and waiting at a bus stop. Veenstra also said that parents are allowed on the bus if any student is feeling particularly nervous.

Students aren't the only ones that benefit from the program.

"We also recognize some of the parents' concerns. We have questions from parents. A lot of times the parents are just as nervous, if not more, than the kids are so they have questions and concerns too, so we address those as well."

Veenstra said she believes the program is important as it gives students knowledge of bus safety and the rules before they ride it during the school year.

"It helps us because we see less student management issues, and it certainly helps the bus drivers. They don't have to tell the kids when they're busy trying to keep their bus on the road. It's pretty valuable that way that they know, first day of school going in, some of these rules."

Rocky View is offering three seperate dates for the First Ride Program. Urban students can take part on August 15 or August 16, while rural students are slated for August 17. All the presentations will go at 6:30pm at the Rocky View Education Centre. There is no cost for the program, and parents and siblings are welcome. Rocky View is hoping anyone wanting to take part in the program will register so that they know how many buses to have on hand, but there is no deadline to register. If you would like to take part, you can register by emailing [email protected].


Questions, comments or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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