MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — A school district program here teaches students how to behave on the school bus and fosters better communication between them and their drivers, The Middletown Press reports.

The Peaceful School Bus program instructs students and DATTCO bus drivers on communication skills and lets students know that behavior rules in the classroom also apply to the bus, Mark Langton, the transportation director at Middletown Public Schools, told the news source. The program, which is now two years old, runs at two elementary schools within the district, and aims to create positive, cooperative relationships between bus drivers, students, and school staff members to eliminate inappropriate behavior on the bus, according to the newspaper.

At Bielefield Elementary School, students meet regularly with their bus drivers during the school year, The Middletown Press reports. Bus drivers and students at Lawrence Elementary School brainstormed about important rules to follow on the bus and created a “mood meter” to chart desired feelings while riding on the bus, and devised strategies to stay calm, safe, and happy, according to the newspaper.

Bielefield Elementary School Principal Jeff Fournier told The Middletown Press that the numbers of student disruptions decreased after the sessions. Meanwhile, Lawrence Elementary School Principal James Gaudreau wrote in a letter to the board of education that there were very few instances in which a bus driver needed staff to help with a student and there were no documented cases of bullying on the bus during the 2015-16 school year, according to the newspaper.

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