Indianapolis Public Schools start Monday

New health, bus, safety policies

INDIANAPOLIS - Summer is winding down for students who will head back to Indianapolis Public Schools on Monday.

IPS was preparing to welcome students back, but school officials had a to-do list for parents.

District officials want parents to be prepared -- starting with a student’s immunizations.

More: Getting ready to go Back to School

One new requirement this year is that all students are required to get a second chicken pox vaccine.

"We also want to make sure our kids come to school well, so we're asking parents, which we've done this for years, but we're asking parents, if your child has a fever of 100 degrees or more to not send them," IPS Director of Health Services Rae Wallis said.

From shots to security, school police have made changes to several school entrances to make them more secure against potential intruders.

"Change in that buzzer system, which will allow visitors into the building and they can't just walk freely through a building," IPS Police Chief Steve Garner said.

Transportation was another area of concern and district officials were expecting to get a lot of calls wondering about bus stops and pickup times.

"They've been mailed out what time they should be at their stops, what their stops are and we want them to arrive about 10 minutes before that time so they'll be there waiting on a unit," IPS Transportation Spokesman Charles Burke said.

Also new this year is a policy for all bus drivers to wait at each stop for at least 30 seconds to accommodate stragglers.

As teachers dusted off their supplies on Friday, district officials encouraged parents and students to do the same thing while keeping in mind there are available resources for families in need.

"We simply ask them to call their school, talk to the social worker and we will make sure that our students have those basic supplies so that every child has a great start to the school year," Director of School and Community Relations John Althardt said.

The Marion County Health Department will host an annual back-to-school family day for families still in need of supplies or immunizations on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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