707: Student Transportation Services

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all students riding a school bus receive a safe, comfortable and orderly ride to and from school.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The school board recognizes that a safe and orderly school bus transportation is important and necessary in meeting its educational mission.

III. STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY

The safety and welfare of all transported students shall be the primary concern in all transportation matters.

A. As indicated by state law, riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to follow the same behavioral standards while riding school buses as are expected on school property or at school activities, functions or events. All school rules are in effect while a student is riding the bus or at the bus stop.

B. The School District may deny transportation to a student who fails to demonstrate the bus safety competencies, unless the student is unable to achieve the competencies due to a disability. SEE APPENDIX A.

C. Students will be held responsible for any damage to their school bus and will be expected to make restitution.

D. During periods of inclement weather, parents and guardians must confirm that school is in session before sending their children to school. School closings are announced on local news stations and posted on the District’s website.

IV. REGULAR TO AND FROM SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

The policy of the District is to transport students to and from school in a safe and economical manner within or exceeding the parameters of State regulations and statutes.

V. TRANSPORTATION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS

Resident students who become homeless shall receive transportation service appropriate to their needs as required by State statutes.

VI. TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Students with disabilities shall receive transportation appropriate to the physical, mental and emotional needs of the student as required by State statutes.

VII. TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CHILD CARE FACILITIES

Transportation shall be allowed to and from childcare facilities within the boundaries of the student's resident school of attendance using regular bus routes.

VIII. TRANSPORTATION FOR STUDENTS ATTENDING NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS

The School District shall provide transportation for pupils attending a nonpublic elementary or secondary school in accordance with State statutes.

IX. CO-CURRICULAR TRANSPORTATION

Transportation approved by the principal or designee will be provided for all co-curricular activities dependent on available funding.

X. ACTIVITY TRANSPORTATION

Transportation will be provided for students in grades 7-12 who stay after school for school-related activities, as determined by student usage and/or available resources.

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Approved: September 20, 1994 
Revised: May 18, 2006; June 21, 2001; March 16, 1995, April 23, 2009, April 25, 2013
Reviewed: March 3, 2016

Regulations begin below.


REGULATIONS STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

I. STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY

SEE APPENDIX A.

II. REGULAR TO AND FROM SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION

A. Student Eligibility for Transportation Services

1. The Hopkins School Board authorizes the transporting of resident elementary students living within the area of attendance .8 mile or more from the school.

2. The Hopkins School Board authorizes the transporting of resident secondary students living one (1) mile or more from the school in which they attend.

3. The distance shall be measured and determined from the middle of the road or street in front of the main entrance of the school to the middle of the road or street in front of the student's home, opposite the front door, following the most direct street route.

4. Transportation may be provided to students normally not eligible for transportation when the walk path within a school’s attendance area, exhibits an extraordinary "hazard area" as determined by the transportation supervisor and/or designee.

B. Bus Routes

1. The transportation supervisor and/or designee shall review on an annual basis, all bus routes in the District in order to ensure the safest and shortest bus routes available to transport all bus riders to and from school in the most economical way.

2. Routes shall be arranged in such a way as to equalize, as nearly as possible, the length of bus routes and student loads consistent with the most efficient overall District transportation route structure.

3. Bus routes shall not be longer than one hour and fifteen minutes (one way) whenever practical and possible.

4. There shall be no loading of any school transportation vehicle beyond the state approved capacity.

5. Official bus routes shall be made prior to the opening day of school.

6. When practical, safe, timesaving, and economical, student transfers may be made from one bus to another.

7. Bus routes and bus stops shall not be changed or modified until the proposed change has been reported to, approved, and published by the transportation supervisor and/or designee.

8. Secondary students may be required to provide proper identification when boarding or riding a District bus to provide for their security and to enhance system efficiency.

C. Parent Responsibility

1. Parents are responsible to monitor students at bus stops, supervise their activities and ensure their safety while walking to and from their bus stops.

2. Inclement weather may require the closing of District schools. Parents are responsible to ensure that schools are in session before sending their children to school. Notice of school closings will be announced in the media.

3. As per Minnesota Statue, it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure the safe movement of their students to and from designated District bus stops and supervise their student’s behavior while at the bus stop.

D. Student Pickup and Drop-off Locations

1. Students shall be picked up and dropped off only at designated District bus stops. Bus stops will be designated within a maximum walk-to-stop distance for elementary students of one quarter of a mile (.25) and secondary students of four-tenths of a mile (.4). Multiple stops will not be designated within the same walk-to-stop distance unless the original stop is outside of established District safety norms.

2. Students may be picked up or dropped off at a bus stop other than their normal bus stop or ride another bus, providing space is available on the bus being requested. Such service shall be provided for District students only when it is requested in advance in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by a school administrator and/or designee.

3. For the safety of the student, the student should have the same pickup location each morning and a consistent drop off location each afternoon. If a parent or guardian chooses to have their student ride to or from different locations morning or afternoon, it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to make sure that the student is aware of the proper bus stop and location.

4. Due to the extreme safety concern for the midday kindergarten take-home student, the a.m. kindergarten student shall have only one stop location for "from school" midday transportation, and that stop must be for five days per week. This is due to the concern that the student may arrive at a location where no one is available to receive him/her. The parent/ guardian of the child is responsible for transportation if an alternate plan is required. Requests for less than five day per week transportation on a.m. kindergarten take-home routes will not be accepted.

E. Loading and Unloading Areas

The School District shall supervise the school building loading and unloading areas when buses are picking up and delivering students.

F. Transportation Parameters

The purpose of the parameters is to provide for safe and efficient student transportation. The parameters will be published by the transportation supervisor on the District website and are reviewed annually. Any recommended parameter changes require Board approval. Requests for new and/or modification of existing transportation service shall be consistent with current District policy.

G. Emergencies Drivers must be prepared to deal with emergency situations such as mechanical breakdown, fire, accident, passenger injury, or medical emergency. Drivers must meet all emergency training requirements.

III. TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

A. Transportation services and accommodations will be delivered to students consistent with the IEP, where transportation is a related service.

B. Vehicles will be equipped with a two-way radio and/or have a special education assistant on board if required by the IEP.

IV. TRANSPORTATION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS

A. Homeless transportation service is provided to ensure that students maintain stability in their educational setting.

B. Resident students who become homeless shall receive appropriate transportation service to ensure that they are able to maintain continuity with their original District school and class assignment for the duration of the current school year.

V. TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM CHILD CARE FACILITIES

A. Definition: A childcare facility includes both commercial childcare facilities and private homes providing child care services.

B. The School District will provide school bus transportation for students attending a childcare facility provided the childcare facility is in the student’s resident school attendance area.

C. The assigned bus stop will be located according to established service parameters.

VI. NONPUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

A. Resident students attending school inside the District:

1. Students attending non-public schools shall receive transportation services in accordance with State statutes.

2. Non-public students will be provided transportation or a parent/guardian will be compensated for any reimbursable service allowed by the State, as provided by law.

3. The District may bus non-public students separately, together with public school students, or may bus multiple non-public school students together, depending on time and cost effectiveness.

4. Non-public schools must coordinate starting and dismissal times with District 270. The District and non-public school shall mutually agree to the time schedules for bus arrivals and departures. In the event of conflicts, the established District calendar, times, and routes shall prevail.

5. The non-public school shall adopt a calendar consistent with the public school calendar. The District will provide transportation service on days when District 270 students are not in attendance; however the non-public school shall pay all transportation costs for such days.

6. The non-public school shall provide the District with lists of students, respective addresses and grade levels by June 1 for the succeeding school year and shall also provide updated student information as changes occur.

7. Non-public schools which provide duplicate educational services within Hopkins District, shall be subdivided into transportation/walk areas in the same manner that the public schools are subdivided into transportation/walk areas. Transportation shall be within the individual school attendance area only.

8. When students from two schools are transported on the same route, the walk area for each school shall apply to all students. Pickup and drop locations will be at the school within each applicable walk area. 

9. Students who attend non-public schools shall abide by all related transportation safety rules that pertain to public school students.

10. Reimbursement in lieu of transportation services shall be provided to in-district non-public school students attending in-district non-public schools when it is determined that criteria for transportation services cannot be met.

11. Resident students attending a non-public school may be transported by a private contractor with the approval of the District. When private transportation is arranged, reimbursement shall not exceed the District's actual State transportation reimbursement per student for the same year, minus an administration fee.

12. When bus transportation service is provided for non-public school students, and parents elect not to use the service, they will not be eligible for reimbursement.

B. Resident students attending non-public schools outside the District.

1. An eligible resident pupil shall receive free and equal transportation to the Hopkins School District boundary if there is no non-public school within the District maintaining grades or departments that are maintained in another nonpublic school outside the District.

2. The Hopkins District has determined that due to safety concerns when dropping a student at the district boundary, reimbursement shall instead be provided to the parent/guardian for transporting the student to the District boundary. The reimbursement amount will be equal to the District’s state reimbursement per student for the same year, minus an administration fee.

3. Applications for reimbursement are to be submitted to the District by October 15 of the current school year. Updates to the application should be made during the school year as changes occur.

VII. TRANSPORTATION FOR CO-CURRICULAR AND EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

A. Transportation will be provided for all co-curricular activities dependent on available funding.

B. All charters shall have an adult, a coach/advisor, or designated adult ride the bus to and from the specified event to provide supervision.

C. Transportation requests should be submitted to the transportation department five school days in advance. The transportation department will make every effort to fill late requests.

D. All field trips will be confirmed in advance. 

E. The cancellation of charters or field trips require a two-hour advance notice to the Transportation Office in order to eliminate any charges. Each school is responsible for canceling its own charter with the transportation department.

F. A responsible adult chaperone must accompany students on fan buses.

G. Student behavior on all charter transportation will be governed by District rules for student behavior.

VIII. AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITY TRANSPORTATION

A. Transportation shall be provided for students in grades 7-12 who stay after school for school-related activities as determined by student usage and available resources. Drop-off points will not exceed one mile from the student's home. Time limits for regular transportation routes do not apply to activity routes.

B. The number of activity buses shall be determined by student usage and/or available resources.

C. Student behavior on all activity transportation will be governed by District rules for student behavior.

IX. SCHOOL BUS SAFETY TRAINING

A. The District shall provide enrolled students with bus safety training as required by law on an annual basis.

B. The District may deny transportation to a student who fails to demonstrate bus safety competencies, unless the student is unable to achieve the competencies due to a disability.

C. Each nonpublic school located within the District must provide all nonpublic school pupils enrolled in kindergarten through grade 10, who are transported by school bus at public expense and attend school within the District’s boundaries, with school bus safety training. The principal or other chief administrator of each nonpublic school located within the District must certify annually to the Transportation Safety Director that the school’s students, transported by school bus at public expense, have received training according to this section.

D. The District and all nonpublic schools located within the District, with students transported by school bus at public expense, will make reasonable accommodations for school bus safety training of pupils who speak English as a second language and pupils with disabilities.

E. The District’s curriculum for transportation is maintained and available for review in the office of the transportation supervisor.

X. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION

All new bus drivers shall be provided with pre-service training, including in-vehicle (actual driving) instruction before transporting students and shall meet the competencies specified by the Department of Public Safety. All school bus drivers shall receive a minimum of ten hours of in-service training and be evaluated annually to ensure competence.

 


APPENDIX A STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this addendum is to define safe operating practices for students and drivers while emphasizing the responsibilities required of all stakeholders, thus ensuring a safe busing program.

II. PLAN FOR STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY TRAINING

A. School Bus Safety Week The first week of school is designated as school bus safety week.

B. Student Training

1. The District shall provide students enrolled in grades kindergarten (K) through 10 with age-appropriate school bus safety training. The training shall be results oriented and shall consist of both classroom instruction and practical training using a school bus.

Upon completing the training, a student shall be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of at least the following competencies and concepts:

a. transportation by school bus is a privilege not a right;

b. District policies for student conduct and school bus safety;

c. appropriate conduct while on the bus;

d. the danger zones surrounding a school bus;

e. procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus;

f. procedures for safe vehicle lane crossing; and

g. school bus evacuation and other emergency procedures.

2. Student school bus safety training shall commence during the first week of the regular school year. All students in grades K through 6 who are transported by school bus at public expense and are enrolled during the first or second week of school must receive school bus safety training and demonstrate achievement of the school bus safety training competencies by the end of the third week of school. Students in grades K through 3 shall receive the training twice a year.

3. All students in grades 7 through 10 who are transported by school bus at public expense and are enrolled during the first or second week of school must receive school bus safety training or receive bus safety instructional materials by the end of the sixth week of school, if they have not previously received school bus training.

4. Students in grades K through 10 who enroll after the second week of school and are transported by school bus and have not received the training in their previous school districts, shall undergo school bus safety training or receive bus safety instructional materials within four weeks of their first day of attendance.

5. Students taking driver’s training instructional classes must receive a minimum of 30 minutes of training in the laws and proper procedures when operating a motor vehicle in the vicinity of a school bus.

6. The School District may deny transportation to a student who fails to demonstrate the competencies, unless the student is unable to achieve the competencies due to a disability.

7. Each school principal or chief administrator must certify to the superintendent or designee, on an annual basis, that all students transported by school bus have received school bus safety training according to this section. The principal or other chief administrator of each nonpublic school, resident to the District, must certify annually to the District transportation safety director that the school’s students transported by school bus at public expense have received bus safety training according to this section.

8. Bus safety training must include an on-board bus evacuation drill at least once during the school year.

9. The District will, to the extent possible, provide kindergarten students with an opportunity to receive school bus safety training before the first day of school.

10. The District will provide students in grades K through 5 with safety education for bicycling and pedestrian safety.

11. The District will make reasonable accommodations in training for students known to speak English as a second language and students with disabilities.

12. Nonpublic school students transported by the District will receive school bus safety training by their nonpublic school. The nonpublic schools may use the District’s School Transportation Safety curriculum.

13. The School District’s curriculum for transportation is maintained and available for review in the office of the transportation supervisor.

III. CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR MISBEHAVIOR

A. Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to follow the same behavioral standards while riding school buses as are expected on school property or at school activities, functions, or events. All school rules are in effect while a student is riding the bus or at the bus stop.

B. Consequences for school bus/bus stop misconduct will be imposed by the building principal or the principal's designee. In addition, all school bus/bus stop misconduct will be reported to the District's Transportation Safety director. Serious misconduct will be reported to the Department of Public Safety and may be reported to local law enforcement.

1. School Bus and Bus Stop Rules The District school bus safety rules are to be posted on every bus. If these rules are broken, the District's discipline procedures are to be followed. Consequences are progressive and may include suspension of bus privileges. It is the school bus driver's responsibility to report unacceptable behavior to the District's transportation office/school office.

2. Rules at the Bus Stop

a. Be at your bus stop five minutes before your scheduled pick up time. The school bus driver will not wait for late students.

b. Respect the property of others while waiting at your bus stop.

c. Never chase the bus if you miss it.

d. Keep your arms, legs, and belongings to yourself.

e. Wait until the bus is stopped before moving toward the bus and getting on board.

f. Use appropriate language.

g. Make sure that you get on the correct bus – know your bus number.

h. Stay away from the street, road, or highway when waiting for the bus. Never go back to the bus after you get off. If you drop something in the street wait until the bus is gone, then get your mom or dad to go with you to get it.

i. After getting off the bus, walk away from the bus. Do not stay near it.

j. If you must cross the street, go to the front of the bus where the driver can see you and wait until the driver waves you across the street.

k. No fighting, harassment, intimidation, or horseplay.

l. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

3. Rules on the Bus

a. Immediately follow the directions of the bus driver.

b. Sit in your seat, facing forward and remain seated. Open seating is permitted on all Hopkins school buses. Students shall enter the bus in an orderly manner, go directly to any open seat and remain seated until the destination is reached. The bus driver is authorized to assign seats if necessary.

c. Be ready to get off the bus when it gets near your stop. Do not stand up until after the bus has come to a complete stop.

d. Talk quietly and use appropriate language.

e. Open windows only if the driver permits you to do so.

f. Keep all parts of your body inside the bus. g. Keep your arms, legs, and belongings to yourself.

h. Show respect for others: fighting, harassment, intimidation, and horseplay are not acceptable forms of conduct.

i. Treat the bus with respect: do not write on or damage the seats.

j. Behave safely: do not throw any objects.

k. Do not eat or drink on the bus. The use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs is not permitted.

l. Do not bring weapons, look-alike weapons, or dangerous objects on the school bus.

m. Animals of any kind are not permitted on the bus.

n. Large musical instruments which might block the aisle, front door, or emergency exit cannot be accommodated. Sleds, skis/poles, ski/skate boards, hockey/lacrosse sticks, golf clubs/bags, and ice skates without protective guards are not permitted on the bus due to safety considerations.

4. Consequences

Consequences for school bus and bus stop misconduct will apply to all regular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular bus routes. Decisions regarding a student's ability to ride the bus in connection with co-curricular and extra-curricular events (for example, field trips or competitions) will be at the sole discretion of the District. Parents or guardians will be notified of any suspension of bus privileges. Inappropriate behavior will be addressed in the following manner:

First offense: Warning to the student, report to the parent or guardian. A serious offense will warrant more serious action including possible suspension of bus riding privileges.

Second offense: Warning to the student, report to the parent or guardian. Bus riding privileges may be suspended depending on the seriousness of the infraction.

Third offense: Progressive bus discipline may include suspension of bus riding privileges for a period of time, up to the remainder of the school year. In all cases where suspension of bus privileges is planned, care will be taken to ensure that individual student circumstances/needs are considered in the development of disciplinary plans, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.

5. Other Discipline

Based on the severity of a student's conduct, more serious consequences may be imposed at any time. Depending on the nature of the offense, consequences such as suspension or expulsion from school may also result from school bus/bus stop misconduct.

6. Records

Records of school bus/bus stop misconduct will be forwarded to the individual school building and will be retained in the same manner as other student discipline records. Reports of serious misconduct will be provided to the Department of Public Safety. Records may also be maintained in the transportation office.

7. Vandalism/Bus Damage

Students damaging school buses will be responsible for the damages. Failure to pay such damages (or make arrangements to pay) within two weeks may result in the loss of bus privileges until damages are paid.

8. Notice

Students will be given a copy of school bus and bus stop rules during school bus safety training. Rules are to be posted on each bus and both rules and consequences will be periodically reviewed with students by the driver.

9. Criminal Conduct

In cases involving criminal conduct (for example, assault, weapons, possession or vandalism), the superintendent, local law enforcement officials and the Department of Public Safety will be informed.

IV. PARENT AND GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT

A. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities for Transportation Safety

1. Become familiar with District transportation policies and principles of school bus safety.

2. Assist students in understanding safety rules and encourage them to abide by them.

3. Recognize their responsibilities for the actions of their students.

4. Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts.

5. When appropriate, assist students in safely crossing local streets before boarding and after leaving the bus.

6. Support District procedures for emergencies as set up by the District.

7. Respect the rights and privileges of others.

8. Communicate safety concerns to school administrators.

9. Monitor bus stops and supervise student activities while waiting for the bus.

10. Support all efforts to improve school bus safety.

11. Ensure student safety while walking to and from the bus stop.

12. Ensure that students arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pickup time.

13. Have a backup plan in case the bus is late or does not come. Ensure that students understand the backup plan.

14. Ensure that their children are dressed appropriately for the weather.

B. Parent and Guardian Notification

A copy of the District’s school bus and bus stop rules will be provided to each family at the beginning of the school year or when a child enrolls, if this occurs during the school year. Parents and guardians are asked to review the rules with their students.

V. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER QUALIFICATIONS, DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. School bus drivers shall be licensed, trained and qualified to drive school buses in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations and District policy.

B. School bus drivers shall operate their buses in a safe and professional manner and adhere to all state and federal laws and District policy.

C. School bus drivers who become disqualified for any reason will stop driving and notify their employer or District immediately. Disqualified drivers will not resume bus driving duties until qualified and directed to do so. 

D. The transportation safety director will confirm annually that private contractors utilized by the District have verified the validity of the driver’s license of each employee who regularly transports students for the District, with the National Driver’s Register or state Department of Public Safety.

E. Current bus drivers and bus driver applicants will submit to mandatory and random drug and alcohol testing in accordance with state and federal laws and District policy.

VI. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TRAINING

A. Training

All new bus drivers shall be provided with pre-service training, including in-vehicle (actual driving) instruction before transporting students and shall meet the competencies specified by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Minnesota Bus Driver’s Handbook. All school bus drivers will receive a minimum of ten hours of in-service training annually.

B. Evaluation

All drivers will be evaluated for the following competencies at least once annually:

1. safely operate the type of school bus the driver will be driving;

2. understand student behavior, including issues relating to students with disabilities;

3. ensure orderly conduct of students on the bus and handle incidents of misconduct appropriately;

4. know and understand relevant laws, rules of the road and District bus safety policies;

5. handle emergency situations;

6. safely load and unload students;

7. demonstrate proficiency in first aid, CPR procedures, and EpiPen injectors. This evaluation must include completion of an individual “school bus driver evaluation form” (road test evaluation) as contained in the Minnesota School Bus Driver’s Handbook.

C. First Aid/CPR All drivers and paraprofessionals must demonstrate proficiency in first aid and CPR. This may be shown by current certification in CPR and first aid by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association or equivalent. All drivers will be trained in the use of EpiPen injectors.

D. Private or Confidential Student Information

Drivers and paraprofessionals will understand:

  • the types of student data that are considered private or confidential under Minnesota Statutes,
  • their responsibility for safeguarding confidential student information,
  • the consequences for inappropriate use of confidential data by drivers or paraprofessionals.

E. Student Discipline

Drivers and paraprofessionals will understand:

1. How to create a positive attitude on the school bus.

2. How to use good oral and visual communications skills between the driver, paraprofessional, and passengers.

3. How to deal confidently with a disruptive student.

4. The District’s discipline policy.

5. How to encourage student adherence to bus ridership rules.

6. How to report student violations on Incident Report forms.

7. District policy on possession of weapons by a student.

8. District policy on sexual, racial and religious harassment/violence.

9. District policy on smoking.

10. Offensive Behavior policy.

11. Applicable state and federal laws.

F. Human Relations Drivers and paraprofessionals will understand:

1. Appropriate driver and paraprofessional behavior.

2. How to be sensitive to a diverse student population.

3. How to be sensitive to handicapping conditions.

4. How to develop good relations with parents and school staff.

G. Chemical Abuse Drivers and paraprofessionals will understand:

1. How alcohol and/or drugs can affect driving skills. 

2. The drug-testing program.

3. State and federal regulations.

VII. DISTRICT OPERATING RULES AND PROCEDURES

A. General Operating Rules

1. School buses shall be operated in accordance with state traffic and school bus safety laws and procedures contained in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Minnesota School Bus Driver’s Handbook.

2. Drivers are to enforce the provisions of the school bus and bus stop rules as appropriate.

3. Students may be released from the bus at only two points, the designated bus stop or at school, except in case of an emergency or as otherwise authorized.

4. The parent/guardian may designate a daycare facility, respite care facility, the residence of a relative or the residence of a person chosen by the parent or guardian as the address of the student for transportation purposes. The address must be in the attendance area of the assigned school and meet other eligibility requirements.

5. Drivers shall remain with the bus when students are on board, except in an emergency. When leaving the bus during an emergency and students are in the bus, the driver shall stop the bus, remove the ignition key, set the brakes, and otherwise render the bus immobile.

6. Buses shall not be run backwards on the school grounds or at any other location if it can be avoided. If it is necessary to run a bus backwards on school grounds, the driver shall have another responsible person act as a guard/flagman in back of the bus to keep other persons out of the path and to issue warnings to the driver of approaching vehicles. At locations outside of school grounds and when unavoidable, students shall be boarded before and disembarked after running the bus backwards.

7. No school bus shall pull any trailer when students are being transported on regular routes to or from school.

8. Drivers must minimize, to the extent practical, the idling of school bus engines and exposure of children to diesel exhaust fumes.

9. The District may adopt such additional operating rules as are deemed necessary to meet local conditions and needs, provided they do not conflict with state laws and regulations.

B. Type A, B and C School Buses

School bus drivers operating Type A, B or C school buses will be qualified and carry a Class A, B or C license, with school bus endorsement, in accordance with state laws and regulations.

C. Type A-I “Activity” Buses Driven by District Employees

Bus drivers who are certified to operate a District-owned Type A-1 school bus will be qualified and carry a Class D license in accordance with state laws and regulations.

1. The holder of a Class D driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may operate a Type A-I school bus under the following conditions:

a. The operator is an employee of the District and is not solely hired to provide transportation services under this section.

b. The operator drives the school bus only from points of origin to points of destination, not including home-to-school or school-to-home trips to pick up or drop off students.

c. The operator is prohibited from using the eight-light system.

d. The operator has submitted to a successful background check and physical examination as required by state statute.

e. The operator has a valid driver’s license and has not sustained a conviction or a disqualifying offense as set forth in state law.

f. The operator has been trained in the proper use of child safety restraints as set forth in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator’s Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Pre-school Age Children in School Buses.

g. The bus has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less and is designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.

2. The District will maintain annual certification of the requirements listed in this section for each Class D license operator.

3. School buses operated under this section must bear a current certificate of inspection.

4. The word “School” on the front and rear of the bus must be covered by a sign that reads “Activities” when the bus is being operated under this section.

D. Type III Vehicles

Drivers who operate a Type III vehicle will be qualified and carry a valid driver’s license in accordance with state laws and regulations.

1. Type III vehicles are restricted to passenger cars, station wagons, vans and buses having a maximum manufacture’s seating capacity of 10 or fewer people including the driver. Any vehicle designed to carry more than 10 passengers must meet all legal requirements for a school bus and cannot be treated as a Type III vehicle.

2. If District-owned, the District name will be clearly marked on the side of the vehicle.

3. Type III vehicles cannot be more than 12 years old.

4. Type III vehicles must be painted a color other than national school bus yellow.

5. All District-owned Type III vehicles will be properly licensed, insured, and inspected.

6. All drivers of Type III vehicles will be familiar with the use of required emergency equipment.

7. Drivers of Type III vehicles shall not have been convicted of an offense that disqualifies the person from operating a school bus.

8. Type III drivers must be qualified under the same standards as required of school bus drivers in accordance with state laws and regulations.

E. Private Vehicles

1. District employees will not transport students in private vehicles. The District has no system for inspection of private vehicles or the qualification of drivers of such vehicles.

2. However, private vehicles may be used in an emergency.

VIII. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

A. Emergency Procedures Drivers and paraprofessionals must be prepared to deal with emergency situations while serving on regular routes and field trips. An emergency situation includes mechanical breakdown, fire, accident, and passenger medical emergency or injury.

Drivers shall receive training in:

1. Determination of the degree of an emergency and proper course of action (see Section VIII, B.)

2. When it is appropriate to evacuate the school bus.

3. How to supervise an emergency evacuation.

4. How to identify a safe evacuation unloading area.

5. Preplanning emergency evacuations for both conventional and lift buses.

6. Front, rear, and both door evacuations.

B. Injuries/Medical Emergencies

Drivers will be familiar with first aid and CPR procedures. Drivers should first contact the dispatcher to call 911 in the case of serious injuries. Drivers should administer proper first aid in accordance with their training and level of ability. In the event an injured passenger is taken to the hospital, record the students' name and the name of the hospital where the student is sent.

C. Tornado

If there is likelihood that the tornado will hit a vehicle, and there is no escape route available or no time to drive to a safe location, the driver should evacuate the bus, taking the first aid kit. The driver will take the students to the basement of a nearby building or to the nearest depression or ditch upwind (toward the storm) of the bus far enough away from the bus so that the bus will not roll over on them and instruct them to cover their heads with their arms. If the students are wearing coats or jackets, these can be used to provide additional protection for their heads and bodies. Drivers should take only the first aid kit from the bus. If drivers are on the road when they hear a tornado warning or spot a funnel, and there is no time to evacuate the students after stopping the bus, drivers should have the students assume the protective position, remaining in the seats, with their heads below window level.

D. Evacuation

Drivers should evacuate buses only when there is a danger of fire, collision or other potential hazard. Drivers should inform passengers that there is an emergency, and in very calm and precise terms, tell them exactly what they are to do. When safely possible, drivers will keep all evacuees a minimum of 100 feet from the bus. They should be loaded back onto the bus only when the driver has determined it is safe to do so.

E. Accident

In case of an accident, the driver should immediately assess students for injuries and begin any emergency first aid procedures if necessary. The driver must then notify the School District and law enforcement of any school bus accident. Upon providing emergency care and notifying the District, the driver shall:

1. In cooperation with police officer and/or ambulance service, assist with the care of students.

2. See that all injured students receive proper care.

3. Determine facts pertaining to the accident.

4. Record all students’ names.

5. Call transportation/District staff to give list of names and circumstances so they can begin calling parents.

6. Discuss the accident only with police and District officials.

7. Not leave the scene of an accident until released by the driver's supervisor. Before leaving for the day, the driver shall fill out an accident report. All bus accidents will be reported to the District Transportation Safety director and the Department of Public Safety.

F. Cold Weather

Stop If a driver is stuck or stalled in cold weather, the driver should call for assistance and wait for help. The driver should avoid relying on the engine to provide heat for the driver and passengers as long as possible. If it is necessary to run the engine to provide heat, the driver will make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow, open windows for ventilation, and check passengers frequently for headaches or drowsiness.

G. Dangerous Weapons

If a driver observes or learns that a passenger may have a dangerous weapon on the bus, he or she should remain calm and call for assistance using a pre-determined code. The driver should give the location of the bus to the dispatcher, continue the route and wait for assistance. The driver should not inform the passenger suspected of having the weapon that he or she knows of the weapon.

H. Lights

In an emergency stop, the driver should turn on the four-way hazard warning lights, and running or clearance lights.

I. Getting Assistance

Use the two-way radio communications system to get assistance. Drivers should report the location and number of the bus, the nature of the problem, and the status of the passengers. If the driver cannot use a radio to contact the dispatcher, ask a passerby or other motorist to do so from the nearest telephone. If necessary, send two responsible students to the nearest home or place of business. The driver should write out, for the students, the number and location of the school bus, and the status of the passengers.

IX. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE STANDARDS

A. All school vehicles shall be maintained in safe operating conditions through a systematic preventive maintenance and inspection program as required by law.

B. Daily pre-trip inspections shall be required and prompt reports submitted of defects to be immediately corrected. Daily pre-trip inspections shall be required and prompt reports submitted of defects to be immediately corrected. Daily pre-trip inspection reports shall be kept on file. A copy of the current daily pre-trip inspection report must be carried in the bus.

X. SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY DIRECTOR

The School Board has designated an individual to serve as the District's school transportation safety director. The transportation safety director shall have day-to-day responsibility for pupil transportation safety, including transportation of nonpublic school children when provided by the District. The name, address and telephone number of the school transportation safety director are on file with the superintendent. Any questions regarding student transportation or this policy should be addressed to the school transportation safety director.