What is the “Purple Bus”?
The Purple Bus is an innovative early childhood classroom that is just what its name suggests – a large bus that has been painted purple with the inside converted to a classroom. Launched in the spring of 2013, the Board of Trustees planned a program to accommodate all children birth through age five in the Wind River School District. Wind River Schools believes that early childhood education provides all children with the opportunity to develop the skills for success in Kindergarten and beyond; the Purple Bus ensures that every child in our district has access to early childhood education experiences.
How much does the program cost families?
The Purple Bus program is free to all families through the generosity of grants. There are no restrictions on enrollment of any kind and the program is free to every child ages 0-5 in FCSD#6.
When and where does the Purple Bus meet?
The Purple Bus meets each family for thirty minute time slots about once per week. Sometimes when enrollment is high we meet families every other week. The Purple Bus can stop at any address within the boundaries of Fremont County School District #6 – the only exceptions to this are driveways/roads that are unsafe for the bus to travel. In these situations the bus will find the nearest safe and approved stop within the district boundaries to meet you with your child in order to ensure your child is included in the program. These stops include Midvale Fire Hall, Kinnear Fire Hall, Wind River School, and Crowheart School. We are also able to meet at a childcare facility or at a babysitter’s house within district boundaries if that is where your child is during the day.
What will my child learn on the Purple Bus?
Lessons are based on student needs and vary by age and year to year. Each lesson is approved by a certified teacher and fit within one (or more often several) of the five developmental domains the bus focuses on: social-emotional development, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, problem solving, and communication. Lessons are designed to be developmentally appropriate for each child and encompass a variety of activities ranging from sensory bins to arts and crafts to health education lessons delivered by a registered nurse. Parents are welcome to join their child on the bus during the lessons, and Purple Bus staff send home suggestions for further learning opportunities that parents can utilize at home to build on the lessons children receive on the bus.
What is the nurse’s role on the bus?
The nurse is an important member of the Purple Bus team and is in charge of all health education lessons on the bus. Topics vary month-to-month and encompass topics such as fire safety, dental health, cold and flu, etc. The nurse is available to parents for general nurse advice and assistance with medical questions.
No medical screenings or vaccinations of any kind are offered on the bus.
Vaccinations may be available to purple bus children who wish to utilize the service during FCSD#6 hosted Kindergarten round-up.
If you would like more information about immunizations for your child please contact the purple bus nurse and she will be happy to assist you.
Does the bus offer developmental screenings?
Developmental screenings via the BRIGANCE will be conducted during your child’s time on the Purple Bus after we have gotten to know them. ASQ tests are also available to parents through the Purple Bus, but are not required as part of enrollment. These screenings do not include vision and hearing screenings, but we do have a working relationship with Early Intervention Services and can provide more information about other opportunities for Developmental Screenings within the community. We are happy to assist you in finding the best resources to support your child’s Early Childhood education.
Who teaches on the Purple Bus?
Miss Emily is a certified teacher who also drives the bus. She loves helping to plan the lessons, keep the schedule running smoothly, and most importantly, spend time helping kids discover how fun learning can be. Miss Emily is on the bus for every visit with either Ms. Shino or Nurse Kelli.
Ms. Shino is a paraprofessional who specializes in organization for the Purple Bus. She assists Miss Emily in planning lessons and ensures that everything runs smoothly. Ms. Shino is also the resident decoration specialist and keeps the bus looking inviting all year.
Nurse Kelli is a registered nurse who plans and teaches all the health education lessons on the bus. She chooses the topics and activities that are best suited for the needs of the students on the bus, and always ensures that health education on the bus is both fun and appropriate. Nurse Kelli is also available to provide nurse advice to all families with children enrolled in the program.
How did the Purple Bus program begin?
Fremont County School District #6 encompasses 2,481 square miles, making the district roughly the size of Delaware. Sixty-one percent of district lands are on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Without access to early childhood experiences, many children were entering Kindergarten without many skills necessary for success in an educational system.
The Board of Trustees recognized there was an issue and many people throughout the district worked together to develop a plan that eventually blossomed in to the Purple Bus program. The program was officially launched in the Spring of 2013, and continues to grow in order to meet the needs of all young children at Wind River Schools. Today the Purple Bus travels roughly 73,000? miles a year to visit children birth to five-years-old throughout the district.