Changes are coming when the majority of Wake County’s more than 161,000 students start a new school year on Monday.
Here are some tips to help traditional-calendar families navigate their way through the 2017-18 school year.
Getting on the bus
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Make sure to check your child’s bus information because some stops have changed since the end of last school year. Go to www.wcpss.net/transportation to look up bus information.
Families are asked to be patient the first few weeks because buses sometimes run off-schedule as students and drivers settle into the new school year. Routes are also adjusted during the first few weeks as drivers see which students are riding the bus.
New this school year, all elementary school bus riders will receive color-coded tags that will be clipped to their book bags. The tags include information such as the child’s name, family contact number, school bus number and stop location. The tags also help drivers tell when not to let pre-K, kindergarten or first-grade students get off the bus if there isn’t someone at the stop to pick them up.
Smile for the camera
All Wake school buses now have security cameras inside to try to cut down on student discipline and bullying issues.
The cameras continuously record what’s happening. If there’s a situation, the driver can press a button that marks the section of the video to be reviewed by school officials.
Bus drivers have cited students’ misbehavior as one reason for quitting.
Tracking your child’s bus
Wake parents can now find out exactly where their child’s school bus is – easing worries about catching the bus in the morning and when their child will get home in the afternoon.
Wake officially unveiled the Here Comes The Bus app this month for families at year-round and modified-calendar schools. The bus-tracking app will be available for families at traditional-calendar schools in September after the first three weeks of school when bus routes are stabilized.
More expensive school lunches
It’s going to cost an extra 10 cents to buy a Wake school lunch.
The cost for a full-price lunch will rise to $2.35 in elementary schools and $2.60 in middle schools and high schools. Parents can contribute to their child’s school meals account at www.MySchoolBucks.com or by calling 855-832-5226.
Multiple reasons are cited for the price increase, including fewer students buying food because of federal nutritional standards calling for healthier meals and federal mandates over meal pricing.
Parents can keep up to date with text messages or emails about what’s going on at their child’s school through the SchoolMessenger notification system.
Wake began updating in January the system that’s been used for several years to provide automated telephone messages to parents. The system will alert parents on things such as principal messages, school closings, early dismissals, attendance, special activities and school emergencies.
To use the new system, parents should make sure their child’s school has their current cellphone number and email address. To opt in to receive text messages, text YES to 67587.