RULES AND EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS RIDING THE SCHOOL BUSES
A safe and appropriate environment for students and adults on our school buses is no accident. It takes the help of informed and effective bus drivers, school staff, parents, and students following the lead of adults helping to maintain a safe, orderly and harrassment free school bus. It is for this reason that twice each year our bus drivers review with the students the rules and expectations for students riding our school buses. Bus drivers also give new students this information, including the following expectation:
"Students riding this bus are expected to follow the bus driver's directions and practice the skill of courtesy."
(Note: FORMAL - Replace this paragraph and example formal rules with your state's posted bus rules. Delaware's are used in this example.)
Students are expected to know and must obey the Delaware State Board of Education Rules of Conduct For Bus Students and the student conduct policies established by the school board at all times while on or around the school buses. These rules are posted inside the school bus, the back of the registration card, reviewed with the students and are provided in parent/student school handbooks for easy reference. They are as follows:
Rules of Conduct For Bus Students
(1) Pupils must obey the driver cheerfully and promptly, be courteous to the driver, and to fellow students. The driver is in full charge of the bus and students, and has the authority of a classroom teacher.
(2) Pupils must be on time; the bus has to run on schedule and cannot wait for those who are tardy
(3) Pupils should never stand or play on the road while waiting for the bus.
-Before boarding the bus, pupils must kkeep a safe distance from the bus while it is in motion.
(4) Pupils must enter the bus without crowding or disturbing others and occupy their seats immediately.
(5) Pupils must not try to get on or off the bus when it is in motion. Pupils must remain seated until the bus has come to a complete stop.
(6) Pupils must keep out of the driver's seat. Unnecessary conversation with the driver is prohibited while the bus is in motion.
(7) When going to or from the bus stop along the highway, a pupil should walk on the side of the road facing traffic in accordance with Section 4146 of the Motor Vehicle Laws of Delaware.
-Before crossing the road to board the bus or after being discharged from the bus, the pupil shall cross only upon a signal from the driver.
-On buses required to have a public addddress system, the driver shall signal pupils to cross by instruction through the external speaker of the public address system.
-The pupil must be sure the road is cleear of all traffic or that traffic has come to a complete stop before crossing and then shall cross in front of the bus far enough to be seen by the driver.
(8) In crossing the street or highway at any time, pupils should look both to the left and the right then WALK-not run.
(9) Outside of ordinary conversation in normal tone, classroom conduct is to be observed.
-Absolute quiet is necessary when approoaching a railroad crossing and anytime the driver calls for quiet.
(10) Pupils must not call out to passers-by. They should not open the bus windows without permission from the driver nor extend head or arms out of the window.
(11) Pupils shall not leave the bus without the driver's consent except on arrival at their regular stop or at school.
-Written authorization, approved by theee school office, must be given the driver to depart the bus other than at the pupil's assigned bus stop or school. -A guest traveling with an authorized sstudent passenger must give the driver written approval from the school office.
(12) Pupils should help to keep the bus clean, sanitary and orderly. They must not damage or abuse the equipment.
(13) Pupils are not permitted to smoke on the bus.
(14) Pupils must not use profanity on the bus.
(15) Pupils must not throw articles in, out, or around the bus.
(16) Pupils are not to eat or drink while on the bus.
(17) Pupils are to conduct themselves while on the bus in such a way that it will not distract the driver from the job of driving.
(18) Pupils are to ride only the bus to which they are assigned.
Other forms of misconduct that will not be tolerated are acts such as, but not limited to, indecent exposure, obscene gestures and spitting.
OTHER BUS RULES AND EXPECTATIONS
(Note: INFORMAL - Answer in this section Frequently Asked Questions. Parents like to know upfront what's expected.)
Students must be registered to ride the bus within five school days of receiving the bus registration card, filled out and signed by the student's parent or legal guardian. The student must obtain a bus pass from the school office, good for upto five days, for use until the bus registration card is completed and returned to the bus driver or school office. Failure to provide the completed registration card within the five days allowed may result in loss of riding privileges until accomplished.
- Every student riding the school bus is expected to know the posted bus rules and respectfully follow the bus driver's directions.
- Students are expected to be at their designated bus stop and ready to board five minutes prior to their scheduled pick-up time. (Bus may arrive up to five minutes early.)
- Every student riding the daily route buses is expected to have a backup plan in the event he or she misses the bus.
- Kindergarten age and easily disorientated students must be assisted by a parent or agreed designee at their bus stops, except by written permission to drop off the student without a parent or designee present.
- Students late to their stop and attempting to board by running along side a moving bus or chasing the bus down the road is dangerous and prohibited.
- Vehicles or persons attempting to force the bus to stop in order to board or remove a student is prohibited.
- Unauthorized persons attempting to board or detain the school bus is prohibited.
- The District recommends drivers assign seats to students riding the daily route buses.
- Large items which cannot be safely transported while held in pupils lap, stowed in an empty seat or directly under a seat are prohibited.
- In addition to the mess that can be left behind and the risk of a student choking when consuming food on the school bus, some students can experience sever life-threatening reactions after accidental contact with certain food residues. Food, gum and drinks must be sealed and kept in students backpacks and may not be consumed on the school bus without the permission of the bus driver and approved by the school. (Clear plastic bottles containing plain drinking water is permitted with permission from the bus driver. Drinking water must be secured within a backpack when not drinking from it.)
- No glass containers or breakable items allowed on the bus.
- No radios other than the driver's and/or tape players and radios with ear phones, without driver's permission.
- The bus shall not leave school grounds until the bus environment is appropriate for safe, orderly transportation.
- Students refusing to follow the bus driver's directions, interfering with the driver's duties, safety, order or the timeliness of the route may be returned to the school. (Note: Students returned to the school are to be turned over to a school staff member.)
- Drivers are to inform students of other regulations, policies, rules, and expectations pertaining to pupils riding the school buses as they come in to effect.
ACTIVITY TRIPS ON THE SCHOOL BUS
The rules and expectations for students riding the school buses on activity trips (such as field and athletic trips) are essentially the same as on the bus routes. Chaperons and bus drivers are expected to discuss any special needs (discipline, eating, rest stops, student counts, pick-up time at the destination, etc.) prior to departure. Eating on the bus during an activity trip includes the students responsibility to keep the bus free of litter both to and from the activity. Any damage to the bus, including littering, is reported to the main chaperon and to the transportation supervisor upon completion of the trip.
BUS DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES (INFORMAL)
(Note: Include here your primary student management/violence prevention program. "Kids In Charge" is presented here).
Kids In Charge is an informal program that often gives the child and the parents greater control over disciplinary action where that is welcomed. Kids in Charge lets the child choose an alternative to a formal bus ticket, when the driver and the child decide that's a reasonable option. Drivers receiving training for this program are recommended to offer this option where appropriate. Informal management of student discipline can include some or all of the following:
- The misbehaving student is permitted to work on practicing appropriate behavior on and around the school bus, sometimes with the help of an assigned seat, another bus rider or sibling.
- The student can be offered the responsibility to tell his/her parents about the misbehavior and return a Courtesy Notice | ( Back Side) to the bus driver from the student's parent or legal guardian indicating the misbehavior was discussed and resolved. (Note: In the event the child fails to follow through, by returning the Courtesy Notice within the agreed date and time-frame, the driver will follow through with a bus citation. Driver's will note on the citation that this opportunity to take charge was offered the child.)
- The driver may inform the student's parent/s of the child's misbehavior for parental discussion with their child and disciplinary action at home. (Note: The driver must have permission from the school or the transportation supervisor or a note from the parent to make the first contact. Subsequent contacts are at the discretion of the driver, parent and/or school staff.)
- Drivers may allow open seating, or limited open seating and other privileges to student groups that help maintain a safe, orderly, clean, and damage free school bus.
BUS DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES (FORMAL)
Bus Citations are issued to a student, usually after verbal warnings, when the student refuses to behave themselves. Citations will not be issued unless the student clearly refuses to comply with the rules and expectations pertaining to students riding our school buses. The bus drivers guidelines regarding the issuance of citations are as follows:
- The driver will let the student know he/she is to receive a citation and will write that citation after completing the bus route or activity trip.
- The principal, or designee, acting on the citation will act in a timely manner, usually within one or two school days. A pass to ride the bus is required from the school office for each day disciplinary action is pending on the student's bus citation.
- The parent/legal guardian of the student will be notified of a bus suspension or refusal to transport by phone (when possible).
- A copy of the citation and notice of action taken pertaining to the bus citation will be mailed to the parent/legal guardian.
WHEN A STUDENT'S DECISION IS TO REFUSE THE BUS DRIVER'S DIRECTIONS
All students and staff are involved in helping to keep our school buses safe, beginning with information the students and parents need to help keep a safe, orderly and harrassment-free school bus environment. For the students that interfere with helping to maintain a safe bus environment, the driver usually gives a warning. If the misbehavior continues or escalates to other violations a warning may build to moving the student to another seat, returning the student to the school, parent contact, a bus citation and possible loss of school transportation privileges.
The severity of the infraction determines the level of *action taken by the school. The school principal, or designee, will access the misbehavior, consider requests, assign the appropriate level and may determine an in-school suspension is appropriate discipline for some infractions. Students in sports programs may be referred to their coach for disciplinary action.
A student receiving a second citation is also reported to the transportation supervisor for possible additional monitoring and intervention. A student receiving a third citation may be referred directly to the transportation department administration or other Superintendent's designee.
- Loss of student transportation privileges may include route, athletic, activity and field trip school bus transportation.
- The school shall not permit the student's lack of other available transportation to influence the level of discipline.
Level 1 - Results in student authored plan describing the problem and student's strategy to help correct the behavior, or parent conference and student plan, or student plan and one, two or three-day suspension of bus riding privileges.
Level 2 - Results in immediate removal from the bus that trip and may result in a five to ten-day suspension of bus riding privileges.
Level 3 - Results in immediate removal from the bus that trip and may result in immediate suspension of bus riding privileges and a hearing with the District Superintendent, or designee, to consider expulsion from bus riding privileges for the remainder of the school semester or school year. These types of infractions can include but are not limited to: persistent refusals to follow the bus driver's directions, bringing a weapon on the bus, harassing or bullying another student or the driver, physically assaulting another student or the driver, giving a false name or making a false report.
*Note: In the event the driver or school staff waives the right to take a specific action on one occurrence does not mean an action will be waived upon a reoccurrence.
(Safe Schools kic_tpol, Rev. 03/11/2004) RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE OR URL
Top of Page | Front Page | Comments | Message Board | E-Mail Safe Schools Copyright ©1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by James Kraemer. Click on this Copyright
Notice to view copy without charge limitations.