Tips to survive Monday’s first day of school

Monday, in Miami-Dade and Broward, more than 600,000 students will head back to 760 public schools. Tens of thousands more will be returning to private schools over the next few weeks.

This means traffic will spike all over, with more than 2,000 yellow buses on the road in South Florida. School officials offer these tips for keeping the kids safe:

Kids waiting for buses

•  Stand off the roadway while waiting.

•  Never pick up an object that you drop under or near the bus. Ask the driver for help.

•  Always be sure the driver can see you.

•  Wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross the road. Always cross in front of the bus.

Parents in the pickup line

•  In the afternoon, don’t arrive too early and hinder neighborhood traffic.

•  Don't talk on a cell phone, text, or engage in other distractions while driving.

Kids on foot and bikes

•  Children under age 10 are developmentally limited when it comes to judging speed and distance accurately. They should cross the street only with an adult.

•  Walk on the sidewalk if there is one. Walk facing the traffic, as far from the street as possible, if there’s no sidewalk.

•  Never go out into the street or cross between parked cars.

•  Ride bikes in the same direction as other vehicles.


•  When approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arms extended, motorists are required to stop.

•  Be alert and watch for children at all times, but especially near schools, bus stops and school buses.

•  Pay attention to the lower speed limits in school zones.

•  Do not pass other vehicles, change lanes or make U-turns in school zones or at crosswalks.

•  Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.

Monday’s forecast

High 89, chance of storms.

What’s for lunch?

School meals will cost more this year in Broward: Breakfast is $1.20 in elementary schools, $1.30 in middle and high schools. Lunch will cost $2 in elementary, $2.35 in middle schools and $2.50 in high schools.

In Dade, lunch prices remain at $1.75 in elementary school and $2 in middle or senior high school. Breakfast is free to all students.

First day menu in Miami-Dade: pizza, fruit and yogurt platter, hummus with vegetables, Philly steak sandwich, fresh fruit, spinach/romaine salad, baked breaded okra.

In Broward: Cheesy bread sticks with marinara sauce, crunchy fish nuggets, entree salads, celery sticks, vegetable Normandy, fruit.

Online payments

You can pay for student lunches and other fees online. Find links at and

School news online

Follow @LauraIsensee in Miami-Dade; @MrMikeVasquez in Broward. Share your first-day-of-school tips and traps on Twitter using #SoFlafirstday.


Compare notes on schools and find practical parenting solutions at