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Topic of the week| Welcome Back to Lonoke School District

Welcome Back to the 2014-15 School Year at Lonoke Public Schools. The school board, administration, faculty and staff hope that you have had a wonderful summer break, and that you are ready to enter the new school year full of excitement and an eagerness to be an active participant in your child’s education. Please review the “Topic of the Week” each week in the Lonoke Democrat Newspaper or on the Lonoke District Website’s Homepage. This is provided to help keep our parents and community members informed regarding the school events, activities, and successes of our students, faculty, and staff members. We appreciate all the support we receive from our parents, business and community leaders, and the patrons of Lonoke. Please contact us during the school year if you have questions or concerns. We have a chain of command chart provided for your information on our District homepage to help give you guidance and assistance in helping to provide answers to you when needed.

New Traffic Route for Buses for the 2014-15 School Year

The Lonoke School District will have a new system for picking up bus students at the end of the school day. The high school students will be picked up first at 3:10 p.m. Car riders and walkers will be dismissed afterwards at 3:15 p.m. at the high school. The high school has an eight period schedule this school year to help us provide more ACT prep, enrichment activities, CPEP, AIP remediation, homework and study skills all on rotation as well as helping us to better with our middle school bell schedule.

The buses will then travel to the middle school/elementary school to pick up these students at 3:20 p.m. Car riders and walkers will leave at this time also.

The buses will travel last to the primary school and arrive at 3:30 p.m. for bus students. Car riders will dismiss at 3:10 p.m. Walkers will dismiss at 3:20 p.m.

This new system flow was created to provide more safety for our students. The primary students have difficulty, at times, remaining seated and such when they enter the buses first. High school students normally sit in the back of the school buses, so picking them up first allows for this to happen more easily. Also, keeping the walkers on campus until all motor vehicles have exited the campuses provides for a safer atmosphere for our students that walk home.

We will have a police officer at the four-way intersection each day to help with traffic control so that our new system can flow the safest way possible for our students.

Parents: Please be sure you give the appropriate address and phone numbers to the school staff and the bus drivers to ensure effective communication throughout the school year. Notify office personnel/bus drivers of any changes in your child’s pick up and drop off busing information.

Sharing the Road Safely with School Buses

School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road today. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle and 10 times safer than walking to school. The reality of school bus safety is that more children are hurt outside the bus than inside as passengers. Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, four to seven years old, who are hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus. For this reason, it is necessary to know the proper laws and procedures for sharing the road safely with school buses:

-All 50 states have a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

-School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus.

-All 50 states require that traffic in both directions stop when students are entering or exiting a school bus.

-The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.

-Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.

-Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.

-Parents of young drivers should remind them about school bus traffic laws.

Primary Construction Progress:

Our primary school construction is getting closer each day to being completed. We will have some temporary air issues while we await all the new units to be delivered and installed. The district will do its best to ensure that the students and staff are comfortable and safe while the construction process is still underway when school begins. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through project completion as soon as possible. We will be inconvenienced for a while. The students will have a safer and more secure entry-way and a cleaner heat and air system that is more efficient. We appreciate the work from Delk Construction and our architect, Clayton Vaden.

Immunization Deadline for Students:

Oct. 1 is the deadline to have all immunization records updated to meet the new guidelines (attached on the website and communicated by school nurses).

We understand there are many who have been unable to get their shots this summer. Lonoke School District is working with our local Health Department to see that our students have extra opportunities to get immunized. We will communicate options we can offer through the Health Department after school starts.

Also we understand many of you have appointments going out into mid-September/October with your PCP. We will also accept those. You just need to make sure that you provide proof of your appointment to school personnel within the first week of school, and then your updated immunization record after the visit.

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