Student Transportation

Approved 6/11/03
Policy Revision:  8/6/14, 10/11/17                 

Philosophy-

Buses operated by the District will run on routes proposed by the Transportation Director under the direction of the School Board and approved by the Utah State Office of Education. It shall be the duty of the Transportation Director, with the approval of the Superintendent and the Board of Education, to establish, evaluate, extend, or delete bus routes for those students who are eligible to be transported to and from school. The Transportation Director will provide the State Office of Education all information requested by that office for the approval of any route. The Transportation Director will not propose routes for which a student allowance or subsistence allowance accomplishes the needed transportation at less cost. Busing issues not addressed in this Policy will be followed according to the latest State School Bus Standards and Guidelines.

General Requirements—

  1. Routes proposed and approved by the Board must:
    1. Traverse the most direct public route;
    2. Be reasonably cost effective related to other feasible alternatives;
    3. Provide adequate safety for students;
    4. Traverse roads that are constructed and maintained in a manner that does not cause property damage.
    5. Include an economically appropriatenumber of students.
       Utah Admin. Rules R277-600-6(3) (November 7, 2016)
  2. Number of Students:
    1. he minimum of general education students required to establish a route is ten; the minimum number of students with disabilities required to establish a route is five; and a wheelchair student is equivalent to four students. If a route is required for less than these numbers, the Board may propose such a route to the State Board of Education for approval. (If the State does not approve a requested route, the Transportation Director may still choose to establish the route at the District’sexpense.)   
      Utah Admin. Rules R277-600-4 (November 7, 2016)
  3. Bus Stops:
    1. With Board approval, the Transportation Director and the School Traffic Safety Committee will review and designate safe areas for bus stops. To promote efficiency, the minimum distance between bus stops will be 3/10 of a mile. Bus routes shall avoid stops on dead-end roads whenever possible. Students are expected to walk to bus stops up to 2 miles from home depending on the age and ability of the student.
    2. Special education students are responsible for their own transportation to bus stops except as provided otherwise in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).
      Utah Admin. Rules R277-600-6(5), (6) (November 7, 2016)
    3. Stops should be located to avoid the following practices:
      1. Upturns or main arteries with high traffic volume and high speeds.
      2. Projection of the rear end of the bus into inside traffic lanes.
      3. Backing the bus.
      4. Placing stops at the crest of a hill or on a curve.
  4. Roads:
    1. A bus route may follow only public roads that are constructed and maintained at such standards that the condition of the road will not subject the passengers on the bus to undue hazard and will not subject the District or any of its employees to liability for injury or property damage.
  5. Hazardous Routes:
    1. A hazardous route is defined as a route to the school where a student would have to walk on the side of a heavily traveled highway because of no sidewalks and/or a limited shoulder width. Students who live on routes that might be considered “hazardous” may ride the regular buses to and from school provided there is sufficient room on the bus and provided the students ride without causing problems for the driver or for other students who ride the bus.
  6. Route Changes:
    1. Whenever a request is made to change a bus route, establish a new route, or to extend a route to pick up extra students, the Transportation Director will analyze the request and the extra costs involved and obtain prior approval from the State Board of Education. The Transportation Director will consider whether a “travel allowance” (if eligible) will be more economical than granting such requests.
    2. Existing routes may be eliminated, shortened, or changed when student population on the route falls below the required number of pupils or when it is no longer economically feasible to continue the route.

Bus Conduct for Students

Philosophy—
South Sanpete School District considers the bus as an extension of the school and the classroom; therefore, those same school and District expectations, rules, Safe School Policies, and consequences apply to busing issues. Waiting, boarding, riding, or off- loading from a bus, the student’s conduct needs to reflect school standards, as well as exhibit a genuine consideration for property and for the respect and safety of all persons. A copy of these expectations shall be made available to parents/guardians and students.

Policy—
During regular daily bus routes, the driver is also the supervisor and is responsible for student behavior and the safety on the bus. The driver will be able to correct many minor problems on his/her own; however, for major problems or recurring problems, the driver will work with the principal or the District Transportation Director. The following general guidelines outline student expectations while on or around buses:

  1. Students should arrive at the bus stop 3-5minutes before the bus arrives.
  2. Students shall wait for the bus in a safe place away from traffic and away from where the bus stops. When boarding the bus, students should form an orderly line and avoid horseplay.
  3. Loading and off-loading a reason or contingent to school property should receive adequate supervision from school personnel, other than the bus driver.
  4. Drivers have the authority to assign seats as the need arises. Students are obligated to comply with these assignments and other driver requests.
  5. All students must be seated while the bus is in motion and keep the aisles and exits clear. Students may not arise from their seats to exit before the bus has stopped; nor may they load or unload while the bus is in motion. Students must not extend their arms, heads, or other parts of their bodies out of the bus windows.
  6. Students shall refrain from shouting, whistling, pushing, scuffling, fighting, bullying, swearing, and harassing.
  7. The use and/or possession of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, controlled substances, hazardous material,or pornography is prohibited and will involve police action.
  8. Students may not possess any weapons, flippers, lighters, nuisance items, or any flammable material, or any other item that through its use may damage the bus, inflict injury on another person or cause unnecessary disturbance.
  9. No objects shall be thrown from the bus nor thrown at the bus. No objects shall be passed on, from, or into buses.
  10. Students must not use the rear emergency door, except as directed by the driver.
  11. Any willful, negligent damage or vandalism to the bus by any student must be paid for by that student or the student’s parents/guardians.
  12. Students causing unnecessary litter will be responsible to clean up such litter.
  13. No food or drink may be consumed on the bus without permission of the driver.
  14. Students shall refrain from hitching rides via the rear bumper or other parts of the bus.
  15. Students shall observe classroom conduct and be courteous to the driver, to fellow students, and to passers-by.
  16. When loading or unloading from the bus and having to cross the roadway, students must cross in front of the bus with the aid of the flashing red signals activated by the driver.
  17. Animals are not permitted on the bus.
  18. Excluding items such as band instruments, students may not carry any objects onto the bus that cannot be held in their laps. Any acceptable large items brought on to the bus must be stored properly and securely.
  19. Students shall not be permitted to board a bus or to unload from a bus except at the stop to which they are regularly assigned, except upon written request by the parent/guardian to the bus driver and approval by the principal.
  20. Students may not be “kickedoff” a bus or denied transportation except at a place near their home, where the students board the bus.
  21. Other rules or guidelines may be implemented on an“as needed” basis to ensure proper student behavior, respect and safety.

Consequences—

Students who do not follow bus rules, school policies and/or Safe School   Policies will risk losing their bus riding privileges.

The following may be used in handling improper student behavior:

  1. The driver should make an attempt to handle minor problems by using the following:a verbal reprimand or reminder to the student ,assigning a seat, communication with the parent/guardian,and/or contact with the principal or Transportation Director. The driver shall document all problems by identifying who,what,when,where,how,why,witnesses,etc.
  2. If the problem is recurring, if the driver decides to temporarily suspend a student’s bus privileges, if a major problem arises, the driver will contact the principal. The principal will then schedule a meeting with the student and his/her parents, the driver or a designee to develop an Action Plan for student improvement.
  3. The purpose of an Action Plan will be to discuss the situation and to implement suitable interventions, which will lead to the resolution of the problem and will include a plan to improve student behavior. The plan will also indicate consequences for future problems.
  4. If the bus problem involves a criminal act or the breaking of a law, the driver will notify the principal. The principal will then notify the police, the parent/guardian of the alleged student(s), and the victim’s parents. The principal and/or police officer may then set up a meeting with the driver, parents, and students as needed. In addition to the police officer’s actions, the principal may suspend bus privileges for student(s) and/or implement other appropriate disciplinary procedures. The principal or his/her designee shall keep documentation on bus incidences.
  5. It is the desire of the administration and bus drivers of South Sanpete School District that students will not have to be excluded from riding school buses. However, when it becomes clear that a studen tcannot exhibit proper bus behavioror he/she raise s a threat or safety concern for other students, that student will be denied bus privileges. Parents have a right to appeal any such action to the Board of Education.

Rider Eligibility and Travel Allowance

Philosophy—

 

In accordance with state guidelines, South Sanpete School District will provide bus transportation for “eligible” students, as well as provide a travel allowance for “eligible” students when regular bus transportation is not feasible in accordance with the State’s “Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.”

Eligibility—

 

  1. Eligible Students
    1. Elementary (Grades K-5): Students wholive 1.5 miles or more from the school to which the local Board has assigned them are eligible.
    2. Secondary (Grades 6-12): Students wholive 2 miles or more from the school that the local Board has assigned them are eligible.
    3. Students with disabilities whoseIEP (Individual Education Plan) requires transportation are eligible regardless of the distance from school.
    4. Pre-School students are eligible regardless of the distance from school.
  1. Ineligible Students:
    1. Ineligible students (those whodon’t qualify in items 1-4 listed above) may ride existing busroutes, and to and from an existing busstop, on a “space available” basis provided that neither time, mileage or other appreciable cost is added as a result of this service. Noeligible transported student may be displaced to make room for an ineligible student.

Travel Allowance—

 

Parents of students in Grades K-5 living 1.5 miles or more from their assigned school or closest bus stop and students Grades 6-12 living 2 miles or more from their assigned school or closest bus stop are “eligible” to be paid a transportation allowance according to the following State guidelines:

  1. The allowance will be paid only when regular bustransportation is not possible or feasible under state guidelines.
  2. The allowance will be paid from state fundsonly for transportation to the nearest busstop or school whichever is shorter.
  3. The rate per mile will be the same as the District’s rate established as payment for the use of a private car. The local Board may approve payment for two round trips per family for days the student(s) attends school.
  4. Transportation allowances and subsistence issueswill be followed and determined as outlined in the State’s “Standards for Utah School Buses Operations.”

EAB_Student_Transportation_17.pdf

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