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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Getting started

The Peaceful School Bus program has now been published as a facilitators guide including a DVD and CD-Rom by Hazelden ( I am aware of some schools that are using it, but I would love to know about all the schools using it. I would also like to be available to answer questions that the users of the program might have. Since the Peaceful School Bus program is designed to be adaptable to any school, I would like to hear about how the program has been implemented in other places. I am sure that there are great ideas or solutions to problems that your school would like to share. Hopefully this site could be a way for schools who are using it to connect with each other.

I am new to blogging and created this on my own, so bear with me as I learn the best ways to use this. Please feel free to email me directly at

If you are using the program and don't have anything to share, you can just say "hi" letting me know where you are and how it's going.

If you stumble upon this site and would like to know more about the program go the Hazelden site and search for the Peaceful School Bus. The site gives an overview of the program along with sample lesson plans and a video showing the program in action.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Jim
Thought you might want to let your bloggers know about the really cool program BusRadio did. If they read this e-mail, they'll be able to listen to the two-minute program that BusRadio sent out! Marty

During the month of October, a million students and ten thousand bus drivers heard a strong message about bullying on the school bus. The messages came through BusRadio - an alternative to commercial radio, providing age-appropriate programming for middle, elementary and high school students. Announcers Lucia and Matt featured Hazelden's Peaceful School Bus program. Here are some highlights from their interview with Jim Dillon, author of the Peaceful School Bus program:

Lucia: "There's a man named Jim Dillon, he's a principal at Lynnwood Schools in New York, and he came up with something called the peaceful bus program."

Matt: "I think that's the coolest thing…because I always tell people I was bullied on school bus when I was a kid and it always bothered me, and this dude wants to stop all that and I love him!"
You can hear the whole two-minute program with Lucia and Matt at You'll hear about how Jim Dillon has implemented this program in his school:

Each bus route group is a community

Three times a year, each bus route meets with students, teachers, and drivers

Older children pair up with younger students, helping them through activities.

By getting to know each other and talking about bullying, they treat each other with more respect.

Lucia: “You guys have seen a ton of results with this in the nine years it’s been going…”

Jim Dillon: “I was prompted because I was getting a lot of referrals from bus drivers about behaviors…for the last four to five years, we’ve averaged under 9 referrals a year.”

Lucia: “Nine a year! Which is incredible!...Entire school year…all the school buses. You guys have to check this out. You can learn more about this program at”

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Dillon,

I just wanted to contact you in hope that you could offer me some insight about your experiences with the Peaceful School Bus Program you created. I am happy to say that we have launched your program at our Bradt and Pinewood School this year and have seen great results thus far. One of the issues I was hoping to get your sense on is the Bus of the Month Reward. This is a great thing…but we are finding that we have about 13 buses that qualify for the nomination. What is your process for choosing the bus or do you acknowledge/reward all 13 buses if they are eligible during the same month?

Also, some of the feedback we received from parents is concern that students would not be motivated by just the bus magnet (we also ordered pencils that say “Caught Being Good on the Bus.” ). As a committee we were brainstorming how we could reward buses without necessarily having to provide a tangible reward. For example, what kind of special privileges could we give them for being the bus of the month without interrupting instruction time or creating a financial burden.

Any insight you could provide based on your experience would be extremely helpful! We love your program! You should be very proud of your work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your feedback. I am glad to hear that you are getting positive results. The Bus of the Month does not have to be part of the Peaceful School Bus program. Certainly if all the buses are doing better, you should celebrate every bus. You could have a school wide assembly honoring each bus. Kids could make a special presentation to the rest of the school describing their bus. Each route could have their turn at this one assembly. You could invite the transportation supervisor and the superintendent so they could hear about how you are doing. Kids and drivers could do individual testimonies. You could get referral statistics and show the difference between now and before.

Regarding special awards-I don't think that tangible rewards are necessary. Ultimately improving the bus atmosphere and having a sense of community makes the ride more enjoyable which is a reward itself. I think recognition itself is more important than rewards. One thing we have done this year is have a "name your bus" contest. Students submitted names for their bus route. The driver selected the one he/she liked the best. We also took a picture of each bus route standing together (like a team picture). We are making a poster with the picture and the bus name that was selected in the middle and all of the kids will sign their names all around the photo. We will then put all the poster in the hallway for everyone to see.

I hope that answers some of your questions. I am trying to start a blog for the program where visitors to the blog can share their experiences or ask me questions like you did. Here is the address for it Please feel free to contact me whenever the nee arises. Good luck. Thanks again for the positive feedback and kind words.-Jim Dillon

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim, I've never "blogged" before so here goes... I'm a prevention educator and one of the schools I work in is Edinburg Common School a Pre-K through 6th grade district, very rural, in the Adirondacks. Total student population under 100. Students attend high school gr. 7-12 at Northville Central School (different district, different county, 3 miles away). Our 4 bus routes carry ALL students, grades K-12 at the same time. We are planning our first Peaceful School Bus event in December. A breakfast for all students together, followed by bus group meetings. Our quandry is how to engage the older students in this whole concept. We thought we could meet with them separately first, but we're not sure about how to proceed, and what activities they could do with younger students. Could you point us in the right direction? We're really excited about the program but as usual, we'll be scrambling to pull it all together! Thanks so much for your time. Laurie Snell, Prevention Council of Saratoge County, N.Y.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

We met in Charlottesville and I coordinate the Olweus effort in Chesterfield County schools in the Richmond area. I just wanted you to know that two of our seven Olweus schools are implementing Peaceful School Bus and love it!! I observed a bus route meeting last week and was so excited to see student leadership from the older kids, kind behavior, and kids engaged in identifying the bus behaviors that worry them, then providing suggested solutions. Connie, the school counselor, guided the group of 40+ students to develop three simple rules. Kids were happy as they departed and reports from teachers, administrators, and bus drivers are incredibly positive.

What a great addition to the Olweus program PSB is becoming in our district. I'm writing a grant this weekend in hopes of expanding the effort! All the schools want in and it is easy to see why.

Thanks so much for your wonderful contribution to safe schools, happier students, delighted bus drivers, and more peaceful buses!

Mary Lib Morgan