Getting to school and returning home safely
Student drop-off and pick-up
Many parents are choosing to drive their children to and from school, particularly at the elementary school level. Frequently, caring parents unknowingly create traffic hazards as they drop off or pick up their children. By making simple changes, the danger to all students can be reduced.
- Try not to arrive at the school prior to the final bell.
- Have your vehicle seats clear so your child can easily enter the vehicle.
- Make sure car seat is installed properly before arriving at the school.
- Drop your child off as close to the school as possible so they do not have to cross streets.
- Make sure children enter and leave the vehicle on the curb side.
- Try to get out of fire lane as quickly as possible. Try to hold conversations in the parking lot or elsewhere.
- Avoid using handicapped parking spaces to pick up your child unless you have a designated permit.
- Do not double park or stop on crosswalks.
- Carpool when possible to cut down on traffic.
The lanes used to drop-off and pick-up children are also designated fire lanes. By law, this means no stopping, except to actually load or unload. Parking or leaving your vehicle unattended could result in a $300 fine.
To help make all bus trips safe and enjoyable, your child should know the following safety rules.
- Be at the bus stop five minutes early. The driver has a schedule to keep.
- Stay clear of the road by 10 feet until the bus comes to a complete stop.
- Cross the road in front of the bus and only when given permission by the bus driver.
- Always use the handrail to go up and down the steps one at a time.
- Students may only carry items on the bus that fit in their laps. Several musical instruments are not allowed on the bus, please check with your school.
Our Transportation page contains additional bus safety tips.
Not only is patience a virtue, bringing it with you to and from school will make your trip more enjoyable. We’re in this together. We all want to get children to and from school safely. Make sure you plan enough time to account for traffic and children. Student pick-up and drop-off usually only takes 10-15 minutes. This waiting time provides a great opportunity to relax for a few minutes.
Walking to school
The Municipality of Anchorage has prepared maps that show safe walking routes to schools. See the MOA website, call 907-343-8406 or contact your school to obtain a route manual.
Most schools are designed to allow children within one and a half miles to walk. In Alaska, children will walk to school in the dark for several months of the school year.
- Choose a school route and practice walking it with your child.
- Have your child wear reflector tape on their coats and backpacks.
- Encourage students to travel in groups.
- Teach children to recognize traffic signals and pavement markings. A walk signal does not always mean it is safe to cross, they still need to look both ways before crossing.
- Follow instructions provided by school crossing guards.