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6605 - Student Safety Walking to School and Riding Buses

STUDENT SAFETY WALKING TO SCHOOL AND RIDING BUSES

Driver Handbook

Prior to the beginning of each school year the transportation director shall have each driver review the contents of the School Bus Driver’s Handbook. Each driver will verify his/her completion of the review by signing the district form. Each driver, in turn, is expected to follow the procedures as outlined in the handbook.

Student Conduct on Buses to and/or from School

Riding a school bus to and/or from school is not an undeniable right. It is a privilege which each school bus rider is responsible for retaining by maintaining appropriate behavior while loading, riding, and unloading.

Our philosophy is: "We believe all students can behave appropriately and safely while riding on a school bus. We will tolerate no student preventing drivers from doing their job or preventing other students from having safe transportation."

Student passengers are expected to follow bus rules which are posted in each bus.

These rules are as follows:

  1. Follow the bus driver's instructions at all times.
  2. Keep all body parts/objects inside bus.
  3. Stay in your seat and keep aisle clear.
  4. No swearing, loud talking, pushing, or fighting.
  5. Do NOT litter, write on, or damage bus.

These basic rules for student passengers riding a school bus to and/or from school are satisfactory for those familiar with school bus transportation. However, these rules are not adequate for some students, parents/guardians, teachers, and school administrators as they are not detailed enough for some of those individuals. Therefore, the following School Bus Conduct guidelines have been established to aid those individuals to understand what is expected of a student passenger. These rules and guidelines are present to ensure a safe ride to and/or from school and will be provided to all K-8 students at the beginning of each school year.

Student passengers are expected to conduct themselves in the following manner when loading, riding, and unloading a school bus.

Any misconduct by a student, which in the opinion of the bus driver or bus supervisor, is detrimental to the safe operation of the bus shall be suffi­cient cause for the principal to suspend the transportation privilege.

Rules of conduct for students riding buses:

  1. Students shall obey the driver and any aide assigned to the bus by the district. The driver is in full charge of the bus and passengers and shall be obeyed. If an aide is assigned to the bus by the district, he/she shall be responsible for the safety of the passengers. When transporting classes/teams, the teacher/coach shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students. Students shall obey both the driver and the teacher, coach, or other staff member.
  2. Students shall ride only on their assigned bus unless written permission to do otherwise has been received by school officials.
  3. Students shall not be permitted to leave the bus except at their regular stop unless written permission to do otherwise is received by school officials and a variance slip has been issued by a school official.
  4. Students assigned seats shall use only that seat unless permission to change is authorized by the driver.
  5. Students shall observe rules of classroom conduct while riding on buses. Noise shall be kept down to avoid distracting the driver. Students shall refrain from the use of obscene language or gestures.
  6. Students shall not smoke, use any tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, or ignite lighters or matches on buses.
  7. Students shall not eat on buses, except when specifically authorized and supervised by an accompanying teacher, coach, or other staff member. Buses shall be kept clean.
  8. Students shall not open bus windows without the driver's permission.
  9. Students shall not extend any part of their body out of bus windows at any time.
  10. Students shall not carry or have in their possession items that can cause injury to passengers on the bus. Such items include, but are not limited to, sticks, breakable containers, weapons or firearms, straps or pins protruding from clothing, large, bulky items which cannot be held in student’s lap, etc. Books and personal belongings shall be kept out of aisles.
  11. Students shall not have animals on buses, except a certified service animal providing assistance to a disabled student.
  12. Students shall not sit in the driver's seat or to the immediate right or left of the driver.
  13. Students shall refrain from talking to the driver unless necessary.
  14. Students shall go directly to a seat once inside the bus and remain seated at all times unless the driver instructs otherwise.
  15. Students shall get on/off the bus in an orderly manner and shall obey the instructions of the driver or school safety patrol on duty. There shall be no pushing and shoving when boarding or leaving the bus. Once off the bus, students shall adhere to rules for pedestrians.
  16. Students shall go 10 feet in front of the bus and wait for the bus drivers' signal to cross when crossing the road is required.
  17. Students shall not throw any object or material around the interior of the bus or out its windows.
  18. Students should arrive at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  19. Students should wear light colored or reflective clothing when going to and from the bus stop in darkness.
  20. Students shall stand away from the roadway curb when any bus is approaching or leaving a stop.
  21. Students going to and from their bus stops where there are no sidewalks shall walk on the left-hand side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic. Students shall go directly to their home after leaving the bus.
  22. Students shall follow emergency exit drill procedures as prescribed by the driver.
  23. Students shall not tamper with emergency doors or equipment.
  24. Parents of students identified as causing damage to buses shall be charged with the cost of the incurred damage. Students causing the damage may be suspended from transportation.
  25. Student misconduct shall constitute sufficient reason for suspending transportation privileges.

Discipline Procedures

The following procedures will be utilized whenever a student passenger chooses not to follow any one of the rules.

First Incident

The student passenger will receive a verbal warning from the school bus driver.

Second Incident

The bus driver will discuss the violation with the student and may assign the student to a particular seat. The driver will determine the length of time that the student will remain in the assigned seat. A "Bus Incident Report" (available in the Transportation Department) will be initiated by the bus driver. The transportation director will complete the "Disciplinary Action Taken" portion of the report and copies will be mailed to the parent/guardian and school principal.

Third Incident

The student passenger may be suspended from riding the school bus. The bus driver will initiate a “Bus Incident Report” noting the specific details of the rule(s) violated. The transportation director will complete the "Disciplinary Action Taken" portion of the report, which will indicate the number of days and dates of suspension, and send copies as noted above. The suspension dates may be delayed for two (2) school days to allow time for parent/guardian to be made aware of the suspension.

Further Incidents

All further bus incidents will be documented on a "Bus Incident Report" and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. This action may include suspensions for longer periods of time, using the procedures noted above.

If a severe rule violation is committed by the student passenger, the procedures noted in the first and second incidents will be bypassed and procedures noted in the third incident will be used.

A severe rule violation is defined as any act which may jeopardize anyone's safety or cause destruction of school property. Suspensions for damaging or destroying transportation equipment shall be immediate and shall continue until restitution for damages is made.

Students who have bus riding privileges suspended are required to attend school. Absences resulting from such suspension will be regarded as truancy.

Field and Athletic Trips

When a teacher, coach, or other designated chaperone is assigned to accompany students on a bus, such person shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students in his/her charge. The bus

driver shall have final authority and responsibility, as per Policy No. 6630.

It is expected that activity trip supervisors will assist the bus driver in the enforcement of the following transportation procedures:

  1. No unauthorized passenger(s) shall be transported.
  2. Order and control of students shall be maintained at ALL times. (Excessive noise and commotion inside the bus can prevent the driver from hearing warning signals, either inside or outside the bus.)
  3. Each passenger must STAY SEATED - DON'T CHANGE SEATS while the BUS IS STILL MOVING.
  4. Activity trip supervisors can assist in backing the bus as backing may only be done when a responsible person is available for flagging.
  5. No passenger is permitted to sit in the driver's seat at any time.
  6. ALL TRASH goes into TRASH CONTAINER. Bus must be CLEANED at the END OF THE TRIP.
  7. Passengers shall keep all parts of the body inside the bus. (Do NOT allow passengers to stick arms, legs, head, or other body parts out of the windows.)
  8. Emergency door exits are NOT to be used by passengers for entering or departing the bus, except in an emergency.
  9. EATING and DRINKING on the bus is allowed with DRIVER'S PERMISSION ONLY.
  10. The following are NOT permitted on the bus:
  1. Use of any tobacco product.
  2. Alcoholic beverage.
  3. Glass containers.
  4. Shoes with cleats that are being worn.
  5. Animals including insects (seeing eye dogs are permitted).
  6. Use of vulgar language and/or obscene gestures.
  7. Any object that can be classified as a weapon.

The safety of the students is the primary consideration which overrides all other concerns in school bus transportation. It must be given the paramount place in all decisions.

Emergencies

In the event of an accident or other emergency, the driver shall follow the accident procedures that are located in each bus and school van. To insure the success of such emergency procedures, each bus driver shall conduct an emergency evacuation drill within the first six weeks of each school semester for the students who ride a regular route. The driver shall also review the emergency evacuation drill each time he/she takes a field trip or other activity trip out of town.

Revised: January 2015

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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