The school bus is often the student’s first point of contact in the morning and the last point of contact in the evening. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an increased awareness to cleaning and disinfecting school buses to mitigate risks for student and drivers. School buses are considered an extension of the classroom and will be prioritized with the same expectation of cleanliness and will have practices in place to provide the safest mode of transportation for our students and staff. Drivers have the option of opening windows to increase circulation of outdoor air depending on climate and weather conditions.
Transportation Re-Opening Questions
Yes, some bus loads will be reduced, but locations of bus stops will remain the same.
Students will be spread out if space is available. Strongly recommending all students wear face coverings. Siblings are strongly encourage sit together on the same bus.
Bus drivers will be required to wear face covering.
Buses will be sanitized after each run and thoroughly disinfected and sanitized at the end of each day.
In the morning, students will load back to front (siblings will be seated together). For afternoons/evenings, students will load front to back (and siblings will be seated together).
- Masks must be worn at all times unless an individual students has a medical exemption.
- Disposable masks will be available if a student doesn’t have one.
- Bus Information will be provided 1-2 weeks before the date students will be back in a classroom
- Students will be required to wear face mask if still required by local health department and/or school board
- Disposable face coverings will be provided on the bus if student shows up without one
- Hand sanitizer will be available for students to use while entering
- Students will have assigned seating
- Students will be required to load from the back of the bus first, and then load to the front to avoid students walking past each in the aisle.
- Students will be required to unload from the front of the bus to the back at the school
- If the bus is not full, students will be spaced out as much as possible
USD 500’s Department of Transportation considers it an honor to have the opportunity to safely transport the students of WyandotteCounty. It is our goal to have the most efficient and safest school bus delivery system ever, and we are pleased to serve you and your students.??
USD 500 offers bus transportation for all eligible riders as per District Policy. Eligibility measurement is determined along public roadways.
- Elementary Eligibility
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 Eligibility
District 500 distance requirement for High School / Middle School student is 1.5 mile. Students that do not qualify under District Policy are not permitted to ride the school bus, and will be considered a non-transport student.
For safety reasons we strongly encourage parents to accompany children to the bus stop, and wait with their children to ensure supervision and support. Eligible riders must be at the designated bus stop at least 5-10 minutes prior to the estimated pick up time. All parties are expected to wait respectively and quietly at the bus stop, while waiting for the school bus. If parties fail to respect the property and the community, near the bus stop, the designated bus stop could potentially be moved to a location farther away from the student’s home.
If you cannot be at the bus stop, discuss any and all safety concerns you may have with your child. Instruct your child / children to return home, should the bus be extremely late; and have them contact you. You may contact Transportation for special instructions at 913-627-3100.
Teach your children to be road safety alert, and be alert for any vehicles that may not stop when the bus is loading or unloading students. Unfortunately, each day, drivers carelessly run through the red flashing lights on school buses when buses are stopped to load or unload children. Please instruct your children to look before stepping off of the bus as well as before crossing roadways.
Support our safety efforts and remind your child / children that they should never touch the exterior of the school bus while the bus is in motion on the roadway; or when they are approaching the bus stop; or leaving the bus stop. Caution them to never try to retrieve any dropped item near or under the school bus, and notify the driver immediately for special instructions.
USD 500 buses will not utilize dead end streets, alley ways, unsafe conditions, personal property, or apartment complexes.?? Bus stops will be made as safe as possible to accommodate all eligible students as demographics allow, per State Regulations.
Bus Drivers and Aides
Our drivers and support personnel are some of the best available and we are dedicated to providing proficient transportation services to our community. Data shows that the school bus has been proven beyond question to be the safest mode of ground transportation available.
At USD 500, School bus drivers are carefully selected, hired, and professionally trained with rigorous selection criteria to include a criminal history background check. All drivers are trained on site by our designated driver trainer. Each driver has earned at minimum, a Class B Commercial Driver License including School Bus and Passenger Endorsements. Drivers are required to pass a pre-employment drug test, a continuing D.O.T. physical and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Additionally, drivers are certified in Defensive Driving, CPR and First Aide training. The Transportation team is united with the National Safety Council and the American Red Cross to ensure a safe transportation for all students.
For safety reasons, USD 500 will not allow any person to negatively affect District 500 with providing a safe ride to school. Effective transportation service requires appropriate actions and collaborative efforts with bus drivers; staff, school administrators, students and parents/guardians.
Electronic Devices (Cell Phone, Tablets, etc.)
In an attempt to encourage responsibility and safety, use of a cell phone is not permitted on the school bus. Students who allow electronic and or technology devices to become a distraction or disruption on the school bus will be asked to put the device away. Failure to do so could result in a disciplinary action.
School Bus Behavior
Discuss with your child that it is a privilege to ride the school bus and help them understand how it helps your family and the education system. The attire and behavior on the school bus is the same in the classroom and is discussed further in the Student Code of Conduct.?? Students must be at the bus stop at least (10) minutes prior to an estimated pick up time.
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:
- Failure to remain seated at all times except when entering or leaving the bus.
- Loud conversations, shouting, obscene language or gestures not properly suited to a classroom.
- Scuffing, fighting, jostling, or otherwise creating a disturbance or disorder.
- Extending hands, heads or objects from the bus.
- Throwing any object including paper or trash either within the bus or out of the bus.
- Creating any hazard, damage or unnecessary delay of the bus before entering, while on, or after leaving the bus.
- Physical or verbal abuse toward the bus driver.
- Tampering with any of the operating equipment including sitting in the driver’s seat or opening the emergency door.
All school bus safety rules apply to passengers riding the bus to and from a school-sponsored event. The bus driver shall have overall responsibility for the bus and the safety of all passengers with the assistance of the sponsor.
Late Activity Bus Stops
Activity bus passes are required for all students riding the late after school activity bus. Eligible students must be participating in a school approved activity such as sports, cheerleading, and or 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, and be submitted to the bus driver upon boarding.
- Activity stops are centrally 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, and an activity bus stop could potentially be routed up to 6 blocks from a regular bus stop. Please contact Transportation for additional information.
Every preschool student will be properly secured with a safety seat belt and will be 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. Continuous concerns will impact bus riding privileges. Every effort will be made to include a second adult as a bus monitor on the bus to assist the driver with any concerns.
For specially routed students, if a student does not ride (3) consecutive days, the bus driver may place the bus stop on hold until a parent notifies Transportation, with the need to reinstate the bus service.
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 could be changed or adjusted throughout the school year as necessary.
Student Safety and Conduct
School buses are designed with many features designed for the safety of students. A major design factor is the compartmentalization (compartment) formed by each seat, which protects the students; when they are 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.
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 per seat) and 26-inch seats (2 passengers per seat) per bus. If the bus is at full capacity, any large objects including musical instruments that cannot reasonably be held on the students lap 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 reviewed by Student Services.
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 are in place to assure a safe, courteous and efficient transportation service that is consistent with Board Policies and Student Code of Conduct. 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.
Each student will be given an opportunity to correct or adjust their behavior when receiving a verbal warning from the school bus driver.
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.
If similar behavior continues, the driver will report the activity on a second written warning. The Director of Transportation will determine and communicate the appropriate bus suspension consequences to the school. Transportation is responsible for notifying the home regarding bus suspensions.
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.
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.
Bus Video / Audio Monitoring
Audio video cameras on school buses are used to monitor behavior, to ensure safety for all passengers and the bus driver. Parents with concerns may contact Transportation to request that a USD 500 school official(s) review a particular bus ride event; however USD 500 school officials are the only ones to review a video, as parents will not be authorized to do so.
Thank you for your support.