Owego Elementary Implements Peaceful Bus Program
10/22/2012 (Updated 11:29:48 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
Last September's floods damaged the Owego Elementary school forcing it to shut down.
Since then, students have been going to school at Union-Endicott's Linnaeus West School 15 miles away.
Linnaeus West was closed the year before due to budget reasons.
This is the second year all students have had to either be driven to school or be bused. For most kids, an additional 20-45 minutes has been added to their commute time.
"It's kind of hard. I really don't like it," said fourth grader Cameron Bundy.
"I mostly read because there's really nothing to do. It's kind of gets boring after a while," said fourth grader Kennidy Dyer-Decator.
"There's more kids on the bus, and we've seen an increase in behavioral issues," said fourth grade teacher Karen Monforte. "They have ants in their pants at the end of the day and it's hard to sit still."
To solve this issue, Monforte and school officials came up with a solution called the "Peaceful Bus Program."
Staff works with students to promote safe and appropriate behavior on the bus.
Owego Elementary Principal Laurie McKeveny said this program is critical for the ride. "We focused on the differences between what it means to be on a peaceful bus. What does that look like and sound like as opposed to being on a bus that's not as peaceful," said McKeveny.
The program launched last week with the first of three meetings during the school year.
Students and staff said they've already seen a difference.
"I like that it's kind of quiet," said Bundy.
"Everything that we've heard has been positive and we look forward to the 2nd meeting," said Monforte.
Whether students want to take a nap or get a head start on their homework on the bus, they will have a peace of mind that everyone is working together to have a pleasant ride home.
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