Nassau County heads back to school

Officials offering some friendly reminders for parents, students


NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Nassau County students will be heading back to school Wednesday morning.

Around 7:45 a.m. school will be starting for the little ones in elementary school, and around 9 a.m. for middle and high school students.

Between checking the weather, packing your child's lunch and making sure they don't forget their new backpack, the first day of school can be just as busy for parents as it is students returning. That's why the Nassau County Sheriff's Office and the transportation department are both offering some friendly reminders.

"If kids are walking to school, it's better for them to have side walks and make sure they stay on them and only cross in cross walks or where there's a school crossing guard," said Sheriff Bill Leeper.

Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said the first day back to school is an exciting day, and he also wants it to stay safe. Be extra careful when you hit the road Wednesday, kids of all ages will be walking, biking and crossing. Sheriff Leeper wants to remind drivers, speeding in a school zone is the worst thing you can do.

"If you're speeding in a school zone, the fines are doubled so you could wind up paying $200 or $300 for a speeding ticket... It's for the safety of the kids so be careful don't drive distracted, pay attention to what you're doing," said Leeper.

The Sheriff's Office has been preparing for back to school all summer and so has the transportation department for Nassau County schools. 90 school buses have been undergoing maintenance and checkups, and bus drivers have also continued their education.

They go through 40 hours of training before even hitting the road. Bus drivers study school bus safety, student discipline and other appropriate matters, and each and every one is background checked as well as drug tested before starting the job.

Director of transportation, David Buchanan, said school bus drivers have tough jobs, but understand the importance of their role. He hopes parents can help with keeping kids safe so the school year gets off to a great start.

"Stay away from the traffic; we like for them to stand 10 feet off the road as the school bus approaches, then wait on the drivers signal, then let them cross and the driver will make sure no traffic is coming," said Buchanan.

About 6,500 students will be heading back to school on 90 buses in Nassau County.

First they will take care of the elementary school students then they will double run for the students in middle and high school.