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Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

A new online portal released today on Lake County Schools’ website (www.lake.k12.fl.us/busroutes) provides a one-stop information center for bus routes and school zones.

screenshot2By typing in an address, the web portal returns the elementary, middle and high school assignments and whether or not a student is eligible for transportation for that address. If the address is eligible for transportation, it will list bus stop location, distance to the bus stop from address along with morning and afternoon bus arrival times.

“Parents and students are encouraged to check the online portal to see up-to-date bus routing information,” said Scott Pfender, Supervisor of the Transportation Department. “With the change in bell schedules and the continuous improvement of the school district’s transportation system many bus stop arrival and departure times are also slightly changing.”

For any questions or concerns, contact the Transportation Department at bus@lake.k12.fl.us or 352-536-8087.

All elementary, middle and high school students of Lake County Schools will have standardized bell schedules for the 2014-2015 school year. In previous years, schools had slightly different start and end times to the school day. The new bell schedule is:

    • High school — 7:20 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
    • Elementary school — 8:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
    • Middle school — 9:20 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.

A uniform bell schedule was proposed as part of the High School Redesign opportunity outlined in the EngageLCS initiative. Through the $1.2 million, grant-funded EngageLCS project, Lake County Schools is evaluating the best use of its existing financial resources to ensure students continue to get a great education. The new bell schedule — coupled with transitioning high school schedules from a block model (four periods a day) to a seven-period day — will increase the instructional time for each high school class period by as much as 40 hours per year.

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Lake County Schools is alerting parents who have students riding the bus to and from a Lake County school that their bus may be delayed this week due to mandatory full-time equivalent (FTE) reporting.

Staff members at each school are taking roll as each bus enters and exits the campus. Due to this manual process, buses may be delayed at the start and end of the school day.

For more information, contact the Transportation Department of Lake County Schools at 352-536-8070.

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Lake County Schools and the Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is recognizing National School Bus Safety Week on Oct. 22-26, reminding all motorists to exercise caution as school buses travel the roads and highways each day.

Schools and safety advocates are using the week as an opportunity to highlight the importance of school bus safety. Florida’s theme for the week, “Stop on Red – Kids Ahead,” reminds motorists that they must stop when a school bus flashes its red lights and extends its stop arms.

“As drivers, we have a responsibility to students everywhere to know and obey the school bus laws,” said Sgt. Tom McKane, from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Chairman of the Lake County CTST.

“When transportation is required, school buses are the safest way for students to get to and from school,” said David Solomon, Supervisor of the School District Transportation Department. “This week is an excellent time to teach and reiterate to students and parents simple measures they can take while going to and from the bus stop, getting on and off the bus, and riding in the bus, which are listed below.”

“Danger Zone” — The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the bus. Loading and unloading, which is on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the bus driver. Specifically, the area 10 feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child, 10 feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot, and the area behind the bus.

Many pedestrian fatalities in school-bus related crashes are children between 5 and 7 years old.  Young children are most likely to be struck because they:

  • Hurry to get on and off the bus
  • Act before they think and have little experience with traffic
  • Assume motorists will see them and will wait for them to cross the street
  • Don’t always stay within the bus driver’s sight

Parents should remind children of these school-bus safety tips:

  • If something falls under or near the bus, tell the driver. Never try to pick it up yourself.
  • While waiting for the bus, stay in a safe place away from the street and the “danger zone.”
  • When getting on or off the bus, look for the safety lights and make sure they are flashing.
  • Be alert to traffic. When getting on or off the bus, look twice before crossing the street.
  • When the driver says it is safe to cross the street, remember to cross in front of the bus.
  • Stay in your seat and sit quietly, so the driver is not distracted.
  • If there are seat belts on the school-bus, be sure to learn to use them correctly.

The Lake County CTST is a multi-jurisdictional agency with cooperation between Lake County, its municipalities, other organizations and concerned citizens. The CTST uses a multi-disciplinary approach to solve roadway safety problems in Lake County. The team is comprised of individuals representing engineering, law enforcement, emergency services, traffic-safety education and the public.

For more information about the Lake County CTST, call 352-483-9048. For more information about school bus safety, log on to www.lake.k12.fl.us/transportation and view the bus safety brochure.

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On the 11th anniversary of 9-11, all 1,000 students at Lost Lake Elementary gathered in the courtyard of their school to commemorate and honor the men and women whose bravery marked the day.

“These brave Americans will forever be in our minds honored as heroes who died for our freedom,” said Rhonda Hunt, Principal at Lost Lake Elementary, to the gathering of students and hundreds of parents. “Mean people called terrorists wanted to hurt us from being free. They may have taken many lives that day, but they cannot take away our freedom.”

Guest speakers from the School District included School Board Member Jim Miller, Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools, and Aurelia Cole, Chief of Administration. Another segment of guest speakers featured military personnel, including U.S. Army veteran Sgt. Kimberley Dos Santos, curriculum resource teacher at the school, U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Shelby Zakarian and Senior Airman Phillip Zakarian, and U.S. Air Force veteran Lt. Col. David Solomon, Director of Transportation for Lake County Schools.

“It’s really special walking through the halls with my uniform on,” Dos Santos said. “I can share with students my experiences in the military and hopefully it helps them appreciate the sacrifice veterans make.”

The visit from Zakarians was special because the couple had just returned from an overseas deployment less than a week before the Lost Lake Elementary ceremony. Shelby Zakarian’s sister is Kristin Custer, a Kindergarten teacher at Lost Lake Elementary.

“It’s great for everyone to show their pride and support,” said Phillip Zakarian.

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The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) and Lake County Schools’ Transportation Department are offering motorists, parents and students a collection of safety tips from the Florida Department of Transportation to help make the upcoming school year as safe as possible.

With the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 20, traffic and bus safety is a high priority for Lake County Schools and Lake County CTST. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, District transportation personnel and the motoring public all play important roles in keeping children safe as they start the new school year.

TRAFFIC SAFETY:

  • With increased traffic, allow extra time to reach a destination.
  • Know and obey the law with regard to stopping for school buses loading and unloading children.
  • Be aware of the speed limit and your speed, especially in school zones and around schools.
  • Obey all crossing guard directions.

CHILDREN IN A CAR:

  • All passengers must wear a seat belt or an appropriate car safety seat. Motorists and passengers can and will be ticketed for not wearing a safety belt. Adult drivers are responsible for their passengers under 18 years of age when it comes to proper safety belt and car seat use.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. As a parent: require seat belt use by the driver and all passengers; limit the number of teen passengers; do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; limit nighttime driving; and limit driving in inclement weather.

CHILDREN ON A BIKE:

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride. The law requires children under age 16 to wear a helmet.
  • Ride on the right; in the same direction as traffic (younger children should use sidewalks).
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Obey traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Know the “rules of the road.”

 CHILDREN WALKING TO SCHOOL:

  • Make sure a child’s walk to school is a safe route, hopefully with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
  • Be realistic about a child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether a child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
  • If a child is young or is walking to a new school, walk with them the first week to make sure he or she knows the route and can do it safely.
  • Teach children to be aware of their surroundings.
  • Bright-colored clothing will make a child more visible to drivers.

WALKING TO THE BUS STOP & WAITING FOR THE BUS

  • Always walk on the sidewalk to the bus stop; never run. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
  • Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting.

GETTING ON & OFF THE BUS

  • Enter the bus in a line with younger students in front. Hold the handrail while going up and down the steps.
  • When entering the bus, go directly to a seat. Remain seated and face forward during the entire ride.

RIDING THE BUS

  • Always speak quietly on the bus so the driver will not be distracted. Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is coming.
  • Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and book bags should be kept on your lap.
  • Never play with the emergency exits. Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
  • Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others is a recipe for a dangerous bus ride.

EXITING THE BUS

  • If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and he or she may begin moving the bus. Make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door.
  • Respect the “Danger Zone” which surrounds all sides of the bus. The “Danger Zone” is 10 feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the “Danger Zone” and where the driver can see you.
  • Always cross the street in front of the bus. Never go behind the bus. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up.
  • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.

The Lake County CTST is a multi-jurisdictional agency with cooperation between Lake County, its municipalities, other organizations and concerned citizens. The CTST uses a multi-disciplinary approach to solve roadway safety problems in Lake County. The team is comprised of individuals representing engineering, law enforcement, emergency services, traffic-safety education and the public. For more information about the Lake County CTST, call (352) 483-9048.

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Lake County Schools will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, to observe Veterans Day. The administration offices of Lake County Schools will also be closed on Nov. 11.

To view a complete holiday calendar for Lake County Schools, log on to http://www.lake.k12.fl.us or visit Lake County Schools District Office, located at 201 W. Burleigh Blvd. in Tavares.

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School bus safety is a high priority for Lake County Schools. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, transportation personnel and the motoring public all play important roles in keeping children safe while on or around the school bus.

The goal of the Transportation Department at Lake County Schools is to provide safe and timely bus service for the District’s students. To do this, drivers must be able to concentrate on operating vehicles in a variety of traffic conditions, always being alert and vigilant. The support and cooperation of parents and students is needed to ensure acceptable behavior by all bus riders. Students are expected to cooperate with their bus driver to promote bus safety. As the new school year begins, it is a good time to review some simple bus safety tips that will help keep students safe.

WALKING TO THE BUS STOP & WAITING FOR THE BUS

  • Always walk on the sidewalk to the bus stop; never run. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left facing traffic.
  • Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. While at the bus stop, wait quietly in a safe place well away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting.

GETTING ON & OFF THE BUS

  • Enter the bus in a line with younger students in front. Hold the handrail while going up and down the steps.
  • When entering the bus, go directly to a seat. Remain seated and face forward during the entire ride.

RIDING THE BUS

  • Always speak quietly on the bus so the driver will not be distracted. Always be silent when a bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is coming.
  • Never throw things on the bus or out the windows. Keep the aisles clear at all times. Feet should be directly in front of you on the floor and book bags should be kept on your lap.
  • Never play with the emergency exits. Large instruments or sports equipment should not block the aisle or emergency exits. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions.
  • Hands should be kept to yourself at all times while riding on the bus. Fighting and picking on others is a recipe for a dangerous bus ride.

EXITING THE BUS

  • If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and he or she may begin moving the bus. Make sure that drawstrings and other loose objects are secure before getting off the bus so that they do not get caught on the handrail or the door.
  • Respect the “Danger Zone” which surrounds all sides of the bus. The “Danger Zone” is 10 feet wide on all sides of the bus. Always remain 10 steps away from the bus to be out of the “Danger Zone” and where the driver can see you.
  • Always cross the street in front of the bus. Never go behind the bus. If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver before you attempt to pick it up.
  • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop and never get into the car with a stranger. Always go straight home and tell you parents if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.

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