Department of Transportation

Bus Stops

All riders are expected to wait respectively and quiet at the bus stop for the school bus. Designated bus stops may be moved to a location farther away from the student's house if students fail to respect the property near the bus stop. Parent supervision at bus stops is encouraged.

Be alert for vehicles that do not stop when the bus is loading or unloading students. Each day, drivers carelessly run through the red flashing lights on school buses stopped for children. Please instruct your students to look before stepping off of the bus as well as crossing roadways.

Students should never touch the school bus while the bus is in motion on the roadway as they are approaching the bus stop or leaving the bus stop. Students should never try to retrieve any item that may end up under the school bus.

Bus Transportation Members

Members of our Transportation team are united with the National Safety Council and the American Red Cross to provide safe transportation for all students. Effective transportation service requires appropriate actions by bus drivers and staff, school administrators, students and parents/guardians.

USD 500 will not allow any person to negatively affect District 500 providing a safe ride to school.

School bus drivers are selected, hired, and professionally trained following a rigorous selection criteria along with a criminal history background check. All drivers are trained on site by the designated driver trainer. Each driver has earned a Class B Commercial Driver License including School Bus and Passenger Endorsements. Drivers are required to pass a pre‐employment drug test, a D.O.T. physical and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Additionally, drivers are certified in Defensive Driving Skills, CPR and First Aide Course requirements.

Cell Phone / Electronic Devices

In an attempt to encourage responsibility and safety, use of a cell phone is not permitted on the school bus. Students who allow electronic devices to become a distraction or disruption on the school bus will be asked to put the device away. Failure to do so may result in a discipline card from the bus driver.

Driver Authority

In the interest of maintaining safety standards, the bus driver may issue discipline notices to any student, whom creates a disturbance or violates safety rules specified herein:

Illustrations of improper conduct:

  1. Failure to remain seated at all times except when entering or leaving the bus.
  2. Loud conversations, shouting, obscene language or gestures not properly suited to a classroom.
  3. Scuffing, fighting, jostling, or otherwise creating a disturbance or disorder.
  4. Extending hands, heads or objects from the bus.
  5. Throwing any object including paper or trash either within the bus or out of the bus.
  6. Creating any hazard, damage or unnecessary delay of the bus before entering, while on, or after leaving the bus.
  7. Physical or verbal abuse toward the bus driver.
  8. Tampering with any of the operating equipment including sitting in the driver's seat or opening the emergency door.

Field Trips

All school bus safety rules apply to riding the bus to and a school – sponsored event. The bus driver has overall responsibility for the bus and safety of all passengers with the assistance of the sponsor.

Late Activity Bus Stops

Activity bus passes are required for all students riding the activity buses. Student must be participating in a school approved activity such as sports, cheerleading, and tutoring. Students who do not meet distance requirements for regular transportation are NOT eligible for activity bus transportation. Activity bus passes are to be obtained from the school office the day of the event.

Activity stops are located by area and must accommodate the entire school boundary. In most cases, these stops will not be the same as the student's regular bus stop.

Preschool Programs

Every preschool student is required to be met by school staff at the school and parent/guardian at the bus stop. If no connection is made at the bus stop, the student will remain on the bus and be returned to the designated school. Continued problems may impact bus riding privileges.

If a student does not ride (3) consecutive days, the bus driver may place the bus stop on hold until Transportation is notified. Students must be at the bus stop at least (10) minutes prior to an estimated pick up time.

Pupil Transportation / Safety and Conduct

School buses are designed with many features for the safety of students. A major design factor is the compartment formed by each seat, which protects the students sitting appropriately on the seat.

All riders are expected to follow the guidelines of the District 500 Code of Conduct. Riders are expected to board and exit at their designated pick up or delivery point. Any changes in pick up or drop off must be processed through the school. Allow at least (3) days to process changes.

Rider Eligibility

Parents / Guardians

USD 500 offers the privilege of bus transportation for all eligible riders. Discuss with your child that it is a privilege to ride the school bus and how it helps your family. The attire and behavior on the school bus is same as in the classroom and is discussed further in the Student Code of Conduct.

Eligibility measurement is determined along public roadways.

Elementary

District 500 distance requirement for Elementary student is 8/10 of a mile. Elementary students who do not qualify under District Policy are permitted to walk to the nearest regular bus stop as long as they are not crossing a major street to get to a bus stop.

Secondary

District 500 distance requirement for High School / Middle School student is 1 1⁄2 mile. Students that do not qualify under District Policy are not permitted to ride the school bus.

Restricted Areas

USD 500 buses will not enter dead end streets or enter personal property except when approved by the Director of Transportation. Use of private property requires concurrence by the property owner.

Students must be at the designated bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to the estimated pick up time. For safety reasons, we encourage parents to wait at the bus stop with your child. If you cannot be at the bus stop, discuss any safety concerns you may have, and instruct your student to return home should the bus be extremely late, contact you and contact Transportation for instruction.

Route Times

Route times are estimated and may fluctuate especially at opening of school. Times should stabilize after the first few days. Pick up times are estimated and may be changed or adjusted throughout the school year as necessary.

Seating

Every student shall be seated and drivers may assign seats. Seating may be three pupils per seat in a 39-inch seat and two per seat in a 26-inch seat.

Bus capacity shall be determined by allowing 13 inches of seat width per individual times the number of 39-inch seats (3 passengers) and 26-inch seats (2 passengers) per bus. If the bus is at capacity any larger objects including musical instruments that cannot reasonably be held on the lap on the bus are subject to being removed.

Special Needs Transportation

In order to qualify for Special Needs transportation, the assigned School I.E.P. team must determine that special transportation is needed as a related service.

Regular Education students with temporary medical conditions or injury may qualify for special needs transportation. Each case will be determined by the team, based on needs.

Student Discipline

Step 1

Each student will be given an opportunity to correct or change their behavior with a verbal warning from the school bus driver.

Step 2

Failure to correct the behavior will result in a written warning from the school bus driver and generate notice to the home and school to initiate involvement.

Step 3

If similar behavior continues, the driver will report the activity on a second written warning. The Director of Transportation will determine the appropriate bus suspension consequences to the school. The school is responsible for notifying the home regarding suspensions.

Step 4

If the previous consequences prove ineffective and the disruptive or unsafe behavior continues, parent must arrange a conference with the Director of Transportation to determine if riding privileges will continue.

Step 5

If similar behavior continues, bus riding privileges will be revoked for the remainder of the school year and transportation to and from school will become parent responsibility.

Video / Audio Monitoring

Audio and video cameras record the bus ride is to ensure safety and monitor behavior. Parents with concerns may contact Transportation to request review of a particular bus ride event; however USD 500 school officials are the only ones to review video.

The first requirement for bus safety is an orderly bus. The school bus is considered as an extension of the classroom rules, regulations and procedures to assure safe, courteous and efficient transportation services is consistent with the Board Policies Student Code of Conduct.

Therefore, temporary suspension of a student's riding privileges because of improper conduct may be ordered by the Director of Transportation and / or the school principal and or designee for Director of Transportation.