There’s a really important task for all parents in Duval County who have kindergartners getting ready to ride buses home from public schools.
Each kindergarten parent has to fill out the Kindergarten Dismissal form and return it to the school before the first time the student is set to ride the bus home.
“If you’re going to allow your kindergartner to walk home from the bus alone, that would be indicated on the letter. If they are to be greeted by a parent or guardian, that would be indicated on the letter,” says Erika Harding, director of transportation for Duval County Public Schools.
She says a lot of kindergarten parents will choose to drive their child to and from school on the first day of class, so they don’t have to turn in the form by Monday if that’s the case. But they will have to turn in the form before the student is set to ride the bus home for the first time or they child will be left at the school.
“Our bus drivers have been instructed not to allow a kindergartner to get on the bus unless they have that instruction,” Harding says.
She says it’s a safety concern. If the bus driver lets a child on the bus without knowing what’s supposed to happen at the bus stop, it would be dangerous to let the student leave the driver’s supervision.