SURPRISE, Ariz. — Kindergarten students at Dysart Unified School District will receive instruction on school bus safety and other areas this week during the district’s 3rd Annual Safety Town.
Director of Transportation Steve Daigle told SBF that the transportation department staff has been an integral part of this year’s event, as they volunteered to build and assemble the village, and they will teach students about bus safety by conducting a mock bus evacuation drill.
"Our previous director, Robert Streeter, was very instrumental in bringing this concept to the district after he attended an NAPT conference several years ago,” Daigle explained. “The first year, this was rolled out to one kindergarten class and has since been a week-long event bringing in two classes a day.”
He went on to say that the mock bus evacuation conducted during Safety Town will be a refresher for the students, as they completed actual evacuation drills at their schools last month.
Fire science and law enforcement program students from Valley Vista High School will also instruct the approximately 900 students from the district’s eight elementary schools on other topics over a period of two hours throughout the course of the week.
The 11 stations that are set up will provide the elementary students with an orientation on first responder equipment, as well as information on the importance of washing one’s hands, how to clean and bandage wounds, and information on medicine.
Other stations will have information on car safety and distracted driving; fingerprinting and hair sampling; dangerous objects; exit drills in one’s home/home escape planning; calling 911 and “stranger danger”; pedestrian and bike safety; hands-only CPR and water safety; and a mock city for scenario-based learning.
“The town has simulated streets for proper crosswalk procedures, safe houses, police and fire departments, and local businesses,” Daigle said. “There is also a simulated park where one student is off to the side with a puppy to ‘lure’ students away from their primary instruction. As they are learning about crosswalks, a student sits around the corner with the puppy and starts to call a couple of students. This is the reinforcement to the stranger danger presentation.”
Daigle said all lessons incorporate hands-on learning as well as visuals to aid in the learning and demonstrations.
The career and technical education divisions of the school district, Banner Health and the Surprise Fire Department also supported the implementation of this year’s Safety Town.