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The Peaceful School Bus Program

The Peaceful School Bus Program is a whole-school program designed to decrease inappropriate behavior on school buses while creating a climate of respect and cooperation.

Peaceful School Bus cover 

A Program for Grades K-12
Softcover, 128 pp.
with CD-ROM and DVD
Author: Jim Dillon
Item: 2633
ISBN-10: 1592854206
ISBN-13: 9781592854202
Publisher: Hazelden
Published Year: 2008

Online Price: $119.00 Each 

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The Peaceful School Bus Program is a National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Recommended Product

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The program aims to change the social dynamics on the school bus by building strong, positive relationships among students (and the bus driver) and teaching students to take responsibility for their "bus route group" and what happens on the bus. The program also teaches students about bullying and their role in preventing it.

What are the goals of the Peaceful School Bus Program?

The main goal of the Peaceful School Bus Program is to develop a positive and safe environment on the school bus for all students. This main goal is achieved by addressing these sub-goals:

  • decrease the amount of inappropriate behaviors on the school bus
  • decrease the amount of time spent disciplining students for inappropriate behaviors on the school bus
  • decrease the amount of bullying that occurs on the school bus
  • increase the sense of responsibility of students for what happens on the bus
  • create a cooperative and supportive relationship between the school and the school transportation department
  • recognize the identity of the bus route group as an important entity
  • create greater trust among all stakeholders in the school bus: students, parents, school staff members, and transportation staff members
  • improve communication among all stakeholders
  • support and strengthen the existing discipline procedures designed for bus problems

What are the main components of the Peaceful School Bus Program?

The Peaceful School Bus Program takes a proactive, positive approach to addressing school bus problems. The program assumes that the main responsibility of adults is to teach and model for students appropriate school bus behavior and to organize activities so students build stronger relationships with others in their bus route group. This, in turn, instills in students a sense of responsibility for the social climate and what happens on the bus, when school staff members are not there. The program accomplishes these tasks by implementing the following program components:

  • A Peaceful School Bus Program committee is established to coordinate schoolwide implementation of the program and to lead the individual bus route group activities.
  • All school personnel involved in the program participate in a staff training.
  • Parents are informed about the program through a parent letter and personal contacts from classroom teachers and bus route group leaders.
  • Students in each bus route group meet together in the school building to build a sense of group cohesion and identity. Each bus route group meeting lasts approximately forty-five minutes.
  • Typically at least three bus route group meetings are held throughout the school year. Each school can determine when or how often they happen.
  • A team of teachers and teaching assistants lead each bus route group meeting. One teacher is designated as a team leader. This person is most likely a member of the Peaceful School Bus Program committee.
  • School bus transportation administrators and individual bus drivers are invited to participate in the program, some by serving on the committee and all by attending the bus route group meetings. Additional check-in meetings are also held with all of the bus drivers and school personnel on a regular basis.
  • The program is repeated every year and becomes part of a school's regular routine, similar to fire drills or other annual safety requirements.
  • During the bus route group meetings, a variety of cooperative learning strategies are used with each bus route group to help build relationships and teach key concepts. Often students are divided into pairs or groups of three or four students for these cooperative group activities.

For more information, download the Peaceful School Bus Scope and Sequence document (PDF).

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