'Respect And Responsibility'

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One school introduced a report form to help encourage good bus behavior. Here's how they did it.

Lake Denoon Middle School in Wisconsin took a different approach to addressing behavior on school buses. After some students reported in an annual school survey that they didn't always feel safe on buses, the school focused new attention on bus safety.

A team including students, drivers, teachers, administrators and the manager of the bus company under contract worked together to develop the district's "R & R Onboard" action plan — for "respect and responsibility."

The action plan included one list of expectations for students and another for drivers. The lists are posted in buses. A 6th-grade class drafted a behavior report form (PDF) students can use to report bus problems. Students can pick up the form in every classroom.

One year into the program, drivers are filing significantly fewer bus conduct reports — and students aren't being branded as tattletales.

"Bringing something forward doesn't necessarily make you a complainer," Associate Principal Ron Rivard said. "It makes you someone that can change things for the better."