Safety top of mind as Saskatoon students head back to school

School buses will be a common sight as students fill Saskatoon area classrooms starting on Sept. 4. File / Global News

As the Labour Day long weekend comes to an end, the 2018-19 school year starts in Saskatoon.

School divisions, teachers and support staff across the city have been busily preparing for students’ return to the classroom on Sept. 4.

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools had 18,080 kids enrolled on Sept. 30, 2017, and expects even more this year at its 50 schools.

This fall, the Saskatoon Public Schools division will welcome more than 43,000 prekindergarten to Grade 12 students at 62 schools.

Travelling to and from school can be dangerous due to lack of supervision.

Here are some tips parents can teach their children as they head back to school:

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  • cross the street only at crosswalks or intersections;
  • look both ways before walking out onto the road;
  • wear protective gear like helmets for biking and skateboarding;
  • report any hazards to a parent or teachers supervising the playgrounds. Never attempt to pick up sharp objects;
  • don’t dart out between parked cars;
  • walk with a buddy;
  • go straight to school or home without any detours;
  • never accept a ride from a stranger;
  • discuss where kids can go in case of an emergency;
  • have children wear reflective or bright-coloured clothing; and
  • stay well back until the bus has come to a complete stop.

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Drivers should also be prepared to once again share the road with school buses and students.

Motorists are asked to take extra caution around schools and playgrounds and to leave a little early to compensate for the increase of traffic.

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Last but certainly not least, school zones are now back in effect and being enforced around the city. There is one new school zone this fall at St. Frances Cree Bilingual School on Bateman Crescent, according to the City of Saskatoon.

The city is also reminding drivers that U-turns are not permitted in school zones.

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