STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
The purpose of this policy is to provide for the transportation of students consistent with the requirements of law.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
A. It is the policy of the school district to provide for the transportation of students in a manner which will protect their health, welfare and safety.
B. The school district recognizes that transportation is an essential part of the school district services to students and parents but further recognizes that transportation by school bus is a privilege and not a right for an eligible student.
A. “Disabled student” includes every child who has a hearing impairment, visual disability, speech or language impairment, physical handicap, other health impairment, mental handicap, emotional/behavioral disorder, specific learning disability, autism, traumatic brain injury, multiple disabilities, or deaf/blind disability and needs special instruction and services, as determined by the standards of the Department of Education. In addition, every child under age three, and at the school district’s discretion from age three to seven, who needs special instruction and services, as determined by the standards of the Department of Education, because the child has a substantial delay or has an identifiable physical or mental condition known to hinder normal development is a child with a disability. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.02)
B. “Home” is the legal residence of the child. In the discretion of the school district, “home” also may be defined as a licensed day care facility, a respite care facility, the residence of a relative, or the residence of a person chosen by the student’s parent or guardian as the home of a student for part or all of the day, if requested by the student’s parent or guardian, if the facility or residence is within the attendance area of the school the student attends. Unless otherwise specifically provided by law, a homeless student is a resident of the school district if enrolled in the school district. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.92, Subd. 1(b)(1); Minn. Stat. § 127A.47, Subd. 2)
C. “Homeless student” means a student, including a migratory student, who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes: students who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; are awaiting foster care placement; have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings. (42 U.S.C. § 11434a)
D. “Nonpublic school” means any school, church, or religious organization, or home school wherein a resident of Minnesota may legally fulfill the compulsory instruction requirements of Minn. Stat. §120A.22, which is located within the state, and which meets the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000a). (Minn. Stat. §123B.41, Subd. 9)
E. “Nonresident student” is a student who attends school in the school district and resides in another district, defined as the “nonresident district.” In those instances when the divorced or legally separated parents or parents residing separately share joint physical custody of a student and the parents reside in different school districts, the student shall be a resident of the school district designated by the student’s parents. When parental rights have been terminated by court order, the legal residence of a student placed in a residential or foster facility for care and treatment is the district in which the student resides. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 6; Minn. Stat. § 125A.51; Minn. Stat. § 127A.47, Subd. 3)
F. “Pupil support services” are health, counseling and guidance services provided by the public school in the same district where the nonpublic school is located. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.41, Subd. 4)
G. “School of origin,” for purposes of determining the residence of a homeless student, is the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled. (42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(G))
H. “Shared time basis” is a program where students attend public school for part of the regular school day and who otherwise fulfill the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 by attendance at a nonpublic school. (Minn. Stat. § 126C.01, Subd. 8)
I. “Student” means any student or child attending or required to attend any school as provided in Minnesota law and who is a resident or child of a resident of Minnesota. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.41, Subd. 11)
A. Upon the request of a parent or guardian, the school district shall provide transportation to and from school, at the expense of the school district, for all resident students who reside two miles or more from the school.
1. Transportation will be provided within the designated attendance areas for each school:
a. The attendance area for Richfield Intermediate School, Richfield Dual Language School, Richfield Middle School and Richfield High School is the entire school district.
b. The Centennial Elementary School attendance area extends from the east side of Nicollet Avenue to the eastern border of the district, and the Sheridan Hills Elementary attendance area extends from the west side of Nicollet Avenue to the western border of the district. Provided, however, that the area east of Nicollet Avenue, south of 77th Street and north of Highway 494 will be designated as a flexible attendance area based on enrollment, demographics and other factors as determined by administration.
2. Transportation services will not be provided to students whose transportation privileges have been revoked or have been voluntarily surrendered by the student's parent or guardian. (Minn.Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 1)
B. The school district may, in its discretion, also provide transportation to any student to and from school, at the expense of the school district, for any other purpose deemed appropriate by the school board.
1. The school district shall be responsible for transporting to and from school resident public and nonpublic elementary school students (grades 1-5) residing one mile or more from school and resident students (grades 6-12) residing two miles or more from school.
2. The Superintendent shall be responsible for identifying hazardous walking boundaries for students. Kindergarten resident students residing 1/4 mile or more from school shall receive transportation. Students residing in walking areas located outside the hazardous boundaries listed below shall also be transported.
CENTENNIAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GRADES K-2
SHERIDAN HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GRADES K-2
Penn & Xerxes Avenues
RICHFIELD INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL GRADES 3-5
66th & 76th Streets
Diagonal Blvd. to Bloomington Avenue to 76th Street
RICHFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADES 6-8
BLESSED TRINITY – NICOLLET CAMPUS GRADES 4-5
Railroad tracks at Pleasant Avenue
66th & 76 Streets
BLESSED TRINITY – PENN CAMPUS GRADES K-3
Penn & York Avenues
76th & 70th Streets
MT. CALVARY LUTHERAN SCHOOL GRADES K-5
Bloomington & Cedar Avenues
C. At the discretion of the school district, transportation along regular school bus routes may also be provided, where space is available, to any person where such use of a bus does not interfere with the transportation of students. This includes part-time secondary students, early childhood family education participants and area learning center students. The cost of providing such transportation must be paid by those individuals using these services or some third-party payer, with the exception of early childhood family education participants and area-learning center students if the provision of such transportation services can be provided without an increase in the school district’s expenditures. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 10, 11, 12, and 13)
V. TRANSPORTATION OF NONRESIDENT STUDENTS
A. If requested by the parent of a nonresident student, the school district shall provide transportation to a nonresident student within its borders at the same level of service that is provided to resident students. The school district may provide transportation to a nonresident student outside its borders only after written notice to the resident district. (Minn. Stat. § 124D.04, Subd. 7; Minn. Stat. § 123B.92, Subd. 3; Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 6)
B. If the school district decides to transport a nonresident student within the student’s resident district, the school district will notify the student’s resident district of its decision, in writing, prior to providing transportation. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 6)
C. When divorced or legally separated parents or parents residing separately reside in different school districts and share physical custody of a student, the parents shall be responsible for the transportation of the student to the border of the school district during those times when the student is residing with the parent in the nonresident school district. (Minn. Stat. § 127A.47, Subd. 3(b))
VI. TRANSPORTATION OF RESIDENT STUDENTS TO NONDISTRICT SCHOOLS
A. In general, the school district shall not provide transportation between a resident student’s home and the border of a nonresident district where the student attends school under the Enrollment Options Program. A parent may be reimbursed by the nonresident district for the costs of transportation from the pupil’s residence to the border of the nonresident district if the student is from a family whose income is at or below the poverty level, as determined by the federal government. The reimbursement may not exceed the pupil’s actual cost of transportation or 15 cents per mile traveled, whichever is less. Reimbursement may not be paid for more than 250 miles per week. (Minn. Stat. § 124D.03, Subd. 8)
B. Resident students shall be eligible for transportation to and from a nonresident school district at the expense of the school district, if in the discretion of the school district, inadequate room, distance to school, unfavorable road conditions, or other facts or conditions make attendance in the resident student’s own district unreasonably difficult or impracticable. The school district, in its discretion, may also provide for transportation of resident students to schools in other districts for grades and departments not maintained in the district, including high school, for the whole or a part of the year or for resident students who attend school in a building rented or leased by the school district in an adjacent district. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subds. 1 and 4)
VII. SPECIAL EDUCATION, DISABLED & STUDENTS WITH TEMPORARY DISABILITIES
A. Upon a request of a parent or guardian, a resident disabled student who is not yet enrolled in kindergarten, who requires special education services in a location other than the student’s home, shall be provided transportation to and from the student’s home at the expense of the school district and shall not be subject to any distance requirement. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 1)
B. Resident disabled students whose handicapped conditions are such that the student cannot be safely transported on the regular school bus and/or school bus route and/or when the student is transported on a special route for the purpose of attending an approved special education program shall be entitled to special transportation at the expense of the school district. The school district shall determine the type of vehicle used to transport disabled students on the basis of the handicapping condition and applicable laws. This provision shall not be applicable to parents who transport their own child under a contract with the school district. (Minn. Rules Part 7470.1600)
C. Resident disabled students who are boarded and lodged at Minnesota state academies for educational purposes, but who also are enrolled in a public school within the school district, shall be provided transportation, by the school district to and from said board and lodging facilities, at the expense of the school district. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.65)
D. If a resident disabled student attends a public school located in a contiguous school district and the school district of attendance does not provide special instruction and services, the school district shall provide necessary transportation for the student between the school district boundary and the educational facility where special instruction and services are provided within the school district. The school district may provide necessary transportation of the student between its boundary and the school attended in the contiguous district, but shall not pay the cost of transportation provided outside the school district boundary. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.12)
E. When a disabled student or a student with a short-term or temporary disability is temporarily placed for care and treatment in a day program located in another school district and the student continues to live within the school district during the care and treatment, the school district shall provide the transportation, at the expense of the school district, to that student. Transportation shall only be provided by the school district during regular operating hours. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.15(b); Minn. Stat. § 125A.51(d))
F. When a nonresident disabled student or a student with a short-term or temporary disability is temporarily placed in a residential program within the school district, including correctional facilities operated on a fee-for-service basis and state institutions, for care and treatment, the school district shall provide the necessary transportation at the expense of the school district. Where a joint powers entity enters into a contract with a privately owned and operated residential facility for the provision of education programs for special education students, the joint powers entity shall provide the necessary transportation. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.15(c) and (d); Minn. Stat. § 125A.51(e))
G. Any parent of a disabled student who believes that the transportation services provided for that child are not in compliance with the applicable law may utilize the alternative dispute resolution and due process procedures provided for in Minn. Stat. Ch. 125A. (Minn. Rules Part 7470.1600, Subd. 2)
VIII. HOMELESS STUDENTS
A. Homeless students shall be provided with transportation services comparable to other students in the school district. (42 U.S.C. § 11432(e)(3)(C)(i)(III)(cc) and (g)(4)(A))
B. Upon request by the student’s parent, guardian, or homeless education liaison, the school district shall provide transportation for a homeless student as follows:
1. A resident student who becomes homeless and is residing in a public or private shelter location or has other non-shelter living arrangements within the school district shall be provided transportation to and from the student’s school of origin and the shelter or other non-shelter location if the shelter or non-shelter location is two or more miles from the school of origin and the student’s transportation privileges have not been revoked. (42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii)(I))
2. A resident student who becomes homeless and is residing in a public or private shelter location or has other non-shelter living arrangements outside of the school district shall be provided transportation to and from the student’s school of origin and the shelter or other non-shelter location if the shelter or non-shelter location is two or more miles from the school of origin and the student’s transportation privileges have not been revoked, unless the school district and the school district in which the student is temporarily placed agree that the school district in which the student is temporarily placed shall provide transportation. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.51(f); 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii)(II))
3. If a nonresident student is homeless and is residing in a public or private homeless shelter or has other non-shelter living arrangements within the school district, the school district may provide transportation services between the shelter or non-shelter location and the student’s school of origin outside of the school district upon agreement with the school district in which the school of origin is located. (Minn. Stat. § 125A.51(f))
IX. AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES
Transportation shall be provided on all regularly scheduled school days or make-up days. Transportation will not be provided during the summer school break. Transportation may be provided for summer instructional programs for students with a disability or in conjunction with a learning year program. Transportation between home and school may also be provided, in the discretion of the school district, on staff development days. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 21)
X. MANNER OF TRANSPORTATION
The scheduling of routes, establishment of the location of bus stops, manner and method of transportation, control and discipline of school children, the determination of fees, and any other matter relating thereto shall be within the sole discretion, control and management of the School Board. The school district may, in its discretion, provide room and board, in lieu of transportation, to a student who may be more economically and conveniently provided for by that means. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.88, Subd. 1)
Transportation by the school district is a privilege and not a right for an eligible student. A student’s eligibility to ride a school bus may be revoked for a violation of school bus safety or conduct policies, or violation of any other law governing student conduct on a school bus pursuant to the school district’s discipline policy. Revocation of a student’s bus riding privilege is not an exclusion, expulsion, or suspension under the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act. Revocation procedures for a student who is an individual with a disability under 20 U.S.C. § 1415 (Individuals with Disabilities Act), 29 U.S.C. § 794 (the Rehabilitation Act), and 42 U.S.C. § 12132, (Americans with Disabilities Act) are governed by these provisions. (Minn. Stat. § 121A.59)
A. At its discretion, the school district may charge fees for transportation of students to and from extra curricular activities conducted at locations other than school, where attendance is optional. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Subd. 1(10). This is present in the district’s offering of Co-curricular And Athletic Transportation (Policy #744) and in Field Trip Fees And Transportation (Policy #653).
B. The school district may charge fees for transportation of students to and from school when authorized by law. If the school district charges fees for transportation of students to and from school, guidelines shall be established for that transportation to ensure that no student is denied transportation solely because of inability to pay. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Subd. 1(11). This is present in the district’s offering of Pay-To-Ride Service (Policy #743).
C. The school district may charge reasonable fees for transportation of students to and from post-secondary institutions for students enrolled under the post-secondary enrollment options program. Families who qualify for mileage reimbursement may use their state mileage reimbursement to pay this fee (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Subd. 1(13).
D. Where, in its discretion, the school district provides transportation to and from an instructional community-based employment station that is part of an approved occupational experience vocational program, the school district may require the payment of reasonable fees for transportation from students who receive remuneration for their participation in these programs. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Subd. 3)
Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.59 (Bus Transportation is a Privilege Not a
Minn. Stat. § 123B.36 (Authorized Fees)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.41 (Educational Aids for Nonpublic School Children; Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.44 (Provision of Pupil Support Services)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.88 (Independent School Districts, Transportation)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.92 (Transportation Aid Entitlement)
Minn. Stat. § 124D.03 (Enrollment Options Program)
Minn. Stat. § 124D.04 (Enrollment Options Programs in Border States)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 125A (Children With a Disability)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.02 (Children With a Disability, Defined)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.12 (Attendance in Another District)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.15 (Placement in Another District; Responsibility)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.51 (Placement of Children Without Disabilities; Education and Transportation)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.515 (Placement of Students; Approval of Education Program)
Minn. Stat. § 125A.65 (Attendance at Academies for the Deaf and Blind)
Minn. Stat. § 126C.01 (General Education Revenue - Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 127A.47 (Payments to Resident and Nonresident Districts)
Minn. Rules Part 7470.1600 (Transporting Pupils with Disability)
20 U.S.C. § 1415 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004)
29 U.S.C. § 794 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504)
42 U.S.C. § 2000a (Prohibition Against Discrimination or Segregation in Places of Public Accommodation)
42 U.S.C. § 11431, et seq. (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001)
42 U.S.C. § 12132 (Americans With Disabilities Act)
Cross References: Board Policy 653 (Field Trips)
Board Policy 541 (Student Behavior)
Board Policy 744 (Co-curricular and Athletic Transportation)
Board Policy 743 (Pay-To-Ride Service)
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: December 21, 1992
REVISED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: November 7, 1994; May 15, 2006, April 21, 2008
REAFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: February 1, 1999
742.1 Administrative Guidelines
STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
The purpose of this administrative guideline is to assist in the implementation of Board Policy 742 pertaining to Student Transportation.
II. PLAN FOR STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY TRAINING
A. School Bus Safety Week
During the first month of school, bus safety will be emphasized. The second or third week of school will be designated as school bus safety week and student training will be completed.
B. Student Training
The School District shall provide students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 with school bus safety training. The training shall be results-oriented and shall consist of both classroom instruction and practical training using a school bus. Upon completing the training, a student shall be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of at least the following concepts:
1. Transportation by school bus is a privilege not a right
2. District policies for student conduct and school bus safety
3. Appropriate conduct while on the bus
4. The danger zones surrounding a school bus
5. Procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus
6. Procedures for students' safe crossing of vehicle lanes
7. School bus evacuation and other emergency procedures
Student school bus safety training shall commence during school bus safety week. All students who are transported by school bus and are enrolled during the first week of school must demonstrate achievement of the school bus safety training competencies by the end of the third week of school. Students who enroll in a school after the first week of school and are transported by school bus shall undergo school bus safety training and demonstrate achievement of the school bus safety competencies within three weeks of the first day of attendance. The School District may deny transportation to a student who fails to demonstrate the competencies, unless the student is unable to achieve the competencies due to a disability.
The District will provide kindergarten students with school bus safety training during kindergarten roundup. Any students who register after roundup will be trained during the first month of school.
The School District will also provide student safety education for bicycling and pedestrian safety.
The School District's curriculum for transportation is maintained and available for review in the Office of the Superintendent.
III. CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR MISBEHAVIOR
Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to follow the same behavioral standards while riding school buses as are expected on school property or at school activities, functions or events. All school rules are in effect while a student is riding the bus or at the bus stop.
Consequences for school bus or bus stop misconduct will be imposed by the School Principal or designee. In addition, all school bus or bus stop misconduct will be reported to the District's Transportation Safety Director. Serious misconduct will be reported to the Department of Public Safety and may be reported to local law enforcement.
A. School Bus and Bus Stop Rules
The School District school bus safety rules are to be posted on every bus. If these rules are broken, the School District's discipline procedures are to be followed. Consequences are progressive and may include suspension or termination of bus privileges. It is the school bus driver's responsibility to report unacceptable behavior to the School District's Transportation Office and or School Office.
B. Rules at the Bus Stop
Students are to be trained in proper behavior at the bus stop including the rules listed below. Supervision of the bus stop is not provided by the District.
1. Get to your bus stop 5 minutes before your scheduled pick up time. The school bus driver will not wait for late students.
2. Respect the property of others while waiting at your bus stop.
3. Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.
4. Use appropriate language.
5. Stay away from the street, road or highway when waiting for the bus. Wait until the bus stops before approaching the bus.
6. After getting off the bus, move away from the bus.
7. If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Wait for the driver to signal to you before crossing the street.
8. No fighting, harassment, intimidation or horseplay.
9. No use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
C. Rules on the Bus
1. Follow the directions of the driver.
2. Sit in your seat facing forward.
3. No swearing or rude gestures.
4. Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself and inside the bus.
5. No fighting, harassment or intimidation.
6. Do not throw any object.
7. No eating, drinking or use of tobacco or drugs.
8. Do not bring any weapons or dangerous objects on the school bus.
9. Do not damage the school bus.
Consequences for school bus or bus stop misconduct will apply to all regular and late routes. Decisions regarding a student's ability to ride the bus in connection with co-curricular and extra-curricular events (for example, field trips or competitions) will be at the sole discretion of the School District. Parents or guardians will be notified if their student is experiencing behavior problems on the bus. Listed below in sequential order are the consequences that may result due to misbehavior incidents.
1. Elementary (K-5)
a. Initially driver issues verbal warnings, confers with students and assigns seat as necessary.
b. Driver completes Conduct Report. School official confers with students and parents.
c. One day suspension from riding the bus. School official confers with student and parents.
d. Three day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
e. Five day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
f. Ten day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
g. Denial of bus privileges.
2. Secondary (6-12)
a. Driver issues verbal warnings, confers with students and assigns seats as necessary.
b. Driver completes Conduct Report. School official confers with students and parents.
c. Three day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
d. Five day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
e. Ten day suspension from riding the bus. (parental notification).
f. Denial of bus privileges
3. Other Discipline
Severe misbehavior includes such items as fighting, destroying property or bringing a weapon or drugs on the bus. In case of severe misbehavior, the building principal or designee will immediately complete a Minnesota School Bus Incident Report on the student(s) involved.
More serious consequences may be imposed based on the severity of a student's conduct. Depending on the nature of the offense, consequences such as suspension or expulsion from school may also result from school bus or bus stop misconduct.
A Bus Conduct Report will be forwarded to the individual school building and will be retained in the same manner as other student discipline records. Reports of serious misconduct will be provided to the Department of Public Safety. Records may also be maintained in the transportation office.
5. Vandalism/Bus Damage
Students damaging school buses will be responsible for the damages. Failure to pay such damages (or making arrangements to pay) within two weeks may result in the loss of bus privileges until damages are paid.
Students will be given a copy of school bus and bus stop rules during school bus safety training. Rules are to be posted on each bus and both rules and consequences will be periodically reviewed with students by the driver.
7. Criminal Conduct
In cases involving criminal conduct (for example, assault, weapons, possession or vandalism), the Superintendent, local law enforcement officials and the Department of Public Safety will be informed.
E. Special/Disabled Transportation Rules and Consequences
1. Misbehavior and consequences thereof for students requiring special transportation are described in the Richfield Schools Special School Bus Transportation brochure.
2. A student who is currently identified as disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDA) or section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act is subject to the provisions of this policy and guideline unless the student’s IEP or accommodation plan provides for modification to or accommodations related to the application of the District’s behavior policy. In regard to disciplinary actions, removals, suspensions, exclusions or expulsions of disabled students, the District shall adhere to the requirements of state and federal law governing students with disabilities.
IV. PARENT AND GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT
A. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities for Transportation Safety
1. To become familiar with District rules and policies, regulations and principles of school bus safety.
2. Assist students in understanding safety rules and encourage them to abide by them.
3. Recognize their responsibilities for the action of their students.
4. Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts.
5. When appropriate, assist students in safely crossing local streets before boarding and after leaving the bus.
6. Support procedures for emergency evacuation, and procedures in emergencies as set up by the School District.
7. Support and respect the rights and privileges of others.
8. Communicate safety concerns to school administrators.
9. Monitor bus stops, if possible.
10. Support all efforts to improve school bus safety.
11. Report any misbehavior or safety concerns to the transportation office.
B. Parent and Guardian Notification
A copy of the School District school bus stop rules will be provided to each family at the beginning of the year or when a child enrolls, if this occurs during the school year. Parents and guardians are asked to review the rules with their students.
C. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities for Transportation of Special/Disabled Students
The Parent/Guardian responsibilities are described in the Richfield Schools Special School Bus Transportation brochure.
1. Parent Responsibility At Pick-up Time
a. Have your student fully clothed, toileted, and ready at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the pick-up time. Cost efficient routing does not allow time for buses to wait.
b. Accompany your student to the bus.
c. If your student will not be riding on any given day, call the transportation dispatch office at least one (1) hour before the pick-up time.
2. Parent Responsibility At Drop-off Time
Be at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled return.
3. Missed Bus
The driver cannot return to a bus stop because of scheduled commitments to other parents, students and schools.
4. Emergency Information Form
The State Board of Education Rules require that the bus driver have emergency and health information in the bus for each student. Parents or guardians must provide this information. The form is mailed to each special transportation student’s home and must be completed and returned before the student can ride the bus.
V. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All school bus drivers shall be adequately prepared physically and mentally each day to perform required duties. These shall include:
A. Operating the vehicle in a safe and efficient manner.
The primary concern of each driver is safety. Drivers will exercise extreme caution during the loading and unloading process as well as when driving.
2. Defensive Driving
All drivers are to drive defensively at all times. A definition of defensive driving is: driving in a manner to avoid accident involvement despite adverse conditions created by road, weather, traffic, or errors of other drivers or pedestrians.
3. Driving Adjustments
Winter and wet weather driving may require adjusting speed and normal driving practices to compensate for road conditions.
4. Emergency Doors
Emergency doors must be free and operable. Under no circumstances may the doors be obstructed to prevent easy access.
5. Service Door
The service door of the bus must be closed at all times while the bus is in motion.
The registration card in all vehicles designates the maximum number of passengers allowed to be carried. This limit cannot be exceeded. A driver should call the designated individual for instructions should a vehicle become overloaded.
7. Railroad Crossings
All vehicles used to transport must stop at railroad crossings, using required procedures, whether they are loaded or empty. School buses shall not activate the eight-way lights; four-way hazard lights are to be used before stopping and when crossing the tracks.
8. Speeding and Other Moving Violations
No bus shall travel faster than road, traffic and weather conditions safely permit, regardless of the posted speed limit. Any driver convicted of a moving violation with a school bus will face disciplinary action. Other reports or warnings regarding speeding will result in suspension and/or termination.
9. Smoking Prohibited
Smoking or use of tobacco products is prohibited on school property, including building facilities, grounds, or vehicles per Richfield School Board Policy.
B. Conducting thorough pre-trip and post-trip inspections of the vehicle and special equipment.
1. Bus Inspection.
Drivers are required to make a pre-trip inspection of the bus before each trip. Failure to do so is a violation of State law. Defects are to be reported in writing. Drivers are required to check their buses for students, vandalism and articles left on the bus after each route segment and the end of the day. Defects are to be reported in writing.
2. Safety Equipment.
Every bus will carry an emergency card on which is printed telephone numbers of appropriate personnel to contact in the case of an emergency. All drivers are responsible for ensuring that the necessary safety equipment is aboard the bus, including fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bodily fluids clean-up kit, flashlight, reflector emergency warning device, and any additional items required by the District. Drivers of vehicles for disabled students will ensure all student health information cards are on the bus.
3. Bus Cleaning
Drivers are required to keep the interior of their buses swept and free of trash at all times and the windows cleaned both inside and out.
The driver is responsible for ensuring that his or her assigned vehicle is adequately fueled before leaving the yard. Smoking is prohibited
in the fueling area and on all school district property. The engine shall be turned off while fueling. Drivers should never fuel with passengers aboard.
C. Ensuring the safety, welfare and orderly conduct of passengers while on the bus.
D. Responding to emergency situations in accordance with operating procedures.
E. Communicating effectively with school staff, students, parents, law enforcement officials and the motoring public.
1. Relations with Students
Bus drivers will treat students with respect and will refrain from any conduct which is intended or could be perceived as demeaning, intimidating or harassing.
2. Relations with School Officials
School officials can and will be of considerable assistance to drivers. They are trained in the education of students and it is in their best interest that control and discipline be maintained on the bus. Therefore, it is very important drivers have good relationships with the school officials and give them full cooperation.
3. Relations with the Public
It is important to remember that to the general public, the driver represents the School. Buses are one of the most visible vehicles on the road. Drivers must deal with students, parents, and other motorists in a polite, professional and considerate manner.
4. Student Discipline
Although drivers are responsible for maintaining order on the bus, drivers must always remember that the types of actions they may use are limited. Drivers must never, under any circumstances, use corporal punishment. Drivers have no authority to deny a child the privilege of riding the bus, drop a student at other than the designated stop, or to return a bus full of students back to school. Any denial of bus-riding privileges can only come from the school authorities.
5. Route Changes
No driver is to make changes in the pick-up or drop-off schedule for his or her route without prior authorization. No stops are to be added, deleted, or moved without approval. No driver may deviate from the established route without prior permission except as required by an emergency or temporary road condition. The driver is subject to disciplinary action when making unauthorized route changes.
6. Route Problems
Any problems encountered by a driver on the routes or trips should be brought to the immediate attention of the transportation dispatcher.
7. Unauthorized Passengers
Only authorized passengers may be transported in a bus. Any other passenger must be specifically approved by the Transportation Supervisor. A special bus pass shall be issued by the transportation office to an unauthorized passenger, which must be shown the driver to access a bus ride.
It is the responsibility of the driver to check for notices each day and to check with his or her supervisor regularly.
F. Completing required reports
It is the responsibility of the driver to completely fill out and timely turn in all reports, discipline referrals, time cards, and mechanical defect slips as required. This includes all requirements pertaining to pre-trip inspections and stop-arm violation reports.
G. Completing required training programs.
H. Promoting safety for passengers during loading and unloading.
Standing on a moving bus is not allowed. Drivers must not move a bus from a stopped position until all passengers are seated. Students are to remain seated until the bus has stopped.
2. Dangerous Articles
Articles that may be considered dangerous, are not allowed on a school bus. This includes any and all weapons, gasoline cans, animals, and other dangerous or objectionable items. Possession of weapons on school property or the bus will not be tolerated. Companion dogs are allowed.
I. Wearing of driver's seat belt whenever the bus is in motion.
J. Additional driver duties and responsibilities may be found in the driver handbook. All bus driver dismissals will be reported to the Department of Public Safety pursuant to Department of Public Safety directions.
VI. OPERATING RULES AND PROCEDURES
A. General Operating Rules.
1. All routes shall be on file with the School District's Transportation Safety Director.
2. Only students assigned to the school bus by the District shall be transported. The number of students or other authorized passengers transported in or assigned to a school bus shall not be more than the legal capacity for the bus. No person shall be allowed to stand when the bus is in motion.
3. Drivers are to enforce the provisions of the school bus and bus stop rules as appropriate. Students may be released from the bus at only two points, the designated bus stop or at school, except in case of an emergency or as otherwise authorized.
4. The parent/legal guardian may designate by a signed, written request a day care facility, respite care facility, the residence of a relative or the residence of a person chosen by the parent or guardian as the address of the student for transportation purposes. The address must be in the attendance area of the assigned school and meet all other eligibility requirements.
5. Severe misbehavior may result in an immediate return of the bus filled with students to the school subsequent to driver's radio request to the dispatcher and approval of the school principal.
6. Safety evacuation drills for the student-passengers shall be conducted at least twice a year.
7. There shall be no students in the bus while the fuel tank is being filled. On leaving the vehicle when students are in the bus, the driver shall stop the bus, remove the ignition key, set the brakes and otherwise render the bus immobile.
8. Buses shall not be driven backwards on the school grounds or any other point if it can be avoided. If it is necessary, the driver shall have another responsible person act as a guard flagman in back of the bus to keep other persons out of the path and to issue warnings to the driver of approaching traffic.
9. When arriving or leaving the school grounds, the driver must not follow closer than 50 feet from the vehicle directly in front of the bus or closer than 500 feet when traveling on the highway.
10. No school bus shall pull any trailer when students are being transported on regular routes to or from school.
11. In case of an accident or breakdown of the bus, the driver shall contact the dispatcher or another bus using the two-way radio. If no radio contact is available, the driver shall not leave the bus but shall send two responsible students to the nearest house to summon help.
12. The District may adopt such additional operating rules as are deemed necessary to meet local conditions and needs, provided they do not conflict with the State laws and regulation.
B. Use of Signals, Loading or Unloading
1. The driver shall activate the flashing eight-light system of the bus at least 300 feet before stopping to load or unload students, in a speed zone of more than 35 miles per hour and 100 feet before stopping in a speed zone of 35 miles per hour or less (except as provided in item #2 below), and shall not extinguish such lights until loading or unloading is completed and persons who must cross the roadway or highway are safely across.
2. The driver shall activate the four way hazard lights only on four lane or one way streets as designated to avoid restricting traffic flow. Passengers shall be loaded and unloaded only from the right-hand side of the vehicle. Students are not to cross the following streets for the purpose of loading and unloading the school bus: Old Cedar, Portland, Nicollet, Lyndale, Penn, York, 66th, 76th, 77th and the 78th Street service road.
3. The driver shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop in the right hand lane of the roadway parallel to the center line.
4. The driver shall activate the red flashing lights, come to a complete stop, then extend the stop arm and discharge students only after all traffic (front and rear) has come to a complete stop.
5. The driver shall keep door open and eight-light system operating until all students have been loaded or unloaded safely.
6. The driver shall avoid loading and unloading students where the view is obstructed to other motorists for 200 feet in either direction.
7. The driver shall not permit students to stand or get on or off the bus while it is in motion. The driver will bring the bus to a full stop before loading or unloading students.
8. Driver’s shall load and unload students only at designated locations.
C. Crossing Highways and Streets
1. The driver shall be responsible for safely delivering the students who must cross a highway or street by one of the following methods:
a. Students shall pass approximately 10 feet in front of the school bus so as to be seen by the driver and cross the road only upon receiving a hand signal from the driver, or
b. The driver shall visually ascertain that students getting off the bus who do not need to cross the road are a safe distance from the bus before moving the vehicle.
D. Type III Vehicles.
1. Students shall not be regularly transported in private vehicles. However, private vehicles may be used for convenience or in an emergency. The District has no system of inspection for private vehicles.
VII. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TRAINING
All new bus drivers shall be provided with pre-service training, including in-vehicle (actual driving) instruction before transporting students and shall meet the competencies specified by the Department of Public Safety. All school bus drivers shall receive a minimum of eight hours of in-service training annually.
The following driver training standards represent the minimum areas of training which each driver must receive prior to entering service to the School District.
1. Pre-Trip Inspection
Both new and experienced drivers must be familiar with the elements of the mandatory pre-trip inspection required under Minnesota law including:
a. The engine compartment - belts, valves, fluid leaks
b. Engine start, warning lights, gauges, horn
c. Fuel level
d. Brakes - pedal reserve and air/vacuum gauges
e. Interior - seats, floor, lights
f. Electrical charging system
g. Emergency door
· smooth latch operation
· alarm buzzer
h. Entrance door operation
i. Lift door operation and alarm
j. Lift equipment for wheelchairs
k. Wheels, service brakes, emergency brake
l. Exterior lights - headlights, brake lights, market lights, turn signals
m. Exhaust system
n. Windows, windshield, and inspection sticker
o. Eight-light system and stop arm
p. Emergency equipment
· first aid kit
· bodily fluids clean-up kit
· two-way radio
2. Fundamentals and Techniques of School Bus Driving
The driver training program must include:
a. Relevant laws
b. Rules of the road and School District safety policies
c. Defensive driving
d. Driving in inclement weather conditions
· reduced visibility
e. Dealing with pedestrians and students in traffic
f. Operation of the manual or automatic transmission
g. The use of the drive train for stopping the school bus
h. Situations where the hand brake will not stop a moving bus
i. Steering and turning techniques
j. Right and left turn maneuvers
k. Gauging the speed of other vehicles on cross streets
l. Use of mirrors
m. Merging into traffic
n. Visual perceptions
o. Safe following distances
p. Safe passing procedures
q. Safe backing procedures
r. Use of eight-light system and School District policy regarding its use
s. Loading and unloading procedures
t. Knowledge of the danger zone concept
u. Policies and Procedures for grade level railroad crossings
v. Emergency use of the public address system
w. Response to an approaching emergency vehicle while unloading
x. Leaving the bus unattended at school sites
3. Special Education/Disabled Transportation
Special education transportation requires skills and abilities that exceed those required to provide normal school bus service. Drivers shall be familiar with:
a. What to do in a medical emergency
b. Handling of wheelchairs
c. Operation of lift equipment
d. Proper use of wheelchair securing devices
e. School District policies on the use of seat belts on designated students
g. Handicapping conditions
h. Responsibilities of the bus driver and the bus aide
i. What to do when a responsible person is not available to receive a
4. Emergency Procedures
Drivers must be prepared to deal with emergency situations while operating on routes and field trips. Included in these emergency situations are mechanical breakdowns, fire, accident, or passenger injury. Drivers shall receive training in:
a. Identifying the degree of an emergency before beginning an evacuation
b Identifying a safe evacuation unloading area
c. Preplanning emergency evacuation for both conventional and lift buses
· front, rear, and both door evacuation
· evacuation of special education students
· evacuation of physically disabled students and students
· placement of students in a safe location
d. Cooperation in emergency evacuation drills
e. Mechanical breakdowns
· stop bus in safe location
· keep passengers in bus if safe to do so
· take steps to warn motorists
· radio or call for assistance.
f. How to secure the school bus and place emergency triangles
g. Use of two-way communication system in an emergency
h. When it is appropriate to evacuate the school bus
i. How to supervise an emergency evacuation
j. Emergency evacuation of the disabled
k. Special considerations when evacuating a lift bus
l. Lifting techniques for handling disabled students in an emergency situation
m. Priorities when dealing with injured passengers
n. How to use the school bus first aid kit
o. Use and operation of the fire extinguisher
p. Dealing with other motorists and the police
q. Use of emergency reflectors and hazard lights
r. Control of exposure to blood borne pathogens
s. Use of body fluid clean-up kits
t. School District policy on medical emergencies
u. Recognition and handling of epileptic seizures
v. How to respond if a passenger has a weapon on the bus
5. First Aid / CPR
All drivers must demonstrate proficiency in first aid and CPR. This may be shown by current certification in CPR and first aid by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association or equivalent.
6. Private or Confidential Student Information
All drivers shall understand the types of student data that are considered private or confidential under Minnesota Statutes
7. Student Discipline
a. Creating a positive attitude on the school bus
b. Oral and visual communications skills between the driver and the passengers
c. Dealing confidently with a disruptive student
d. District discipline policy
e. Developing and enforcing workable rules
Incident report forms
f. District policy on possession of weapons by a student
g. District policy on sexual, racial and religious harassment/violence
h. District policy on smoking
8. Human Relations
a. Appropriate driver behavior
b. Sensitivity to a diverse student population
c. Sensitivity to handicapping conditions
d. Relations with parents and school staff
e. Working with a special education bus aid
9. Chemical Abuse
a. How alcohol and/or drugs can affect driving skills
b. Drug-testing programs
c. State and federal requirements
All drivers shall be evaluated for the following competencies at least once annually:
1. The safe operation of the type of school bus the driver will be driving
2. Their understanding of student behavior, including issues relating to students with disabilities
3. Their ability to manage students on the bus and handle incidents of misconduct appropriately
4. Their understanding of relevant laws, rules of the road and local school bus safety policies
5. Their ability to handle emergency situations
6. Their ability to safely load and unload students, and;
7. Their ability to demonstrate proficiency in first aid and CPR procedures.
VIII. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
In the event of a fire, the first priority is to evacuate the bus. Drivers shall make certain passengers are safe, before attempting to put out the fire.
B. Injuries / Medical Emergencies
Drivers shall be familiar with first aid and CPR procedures. Drivers should first contact the dispatcher to call 911 in the case of serious injuries. Drivers should administer proper first aid in accordance with their training and level of ability. In the event of an injured passenger is taken to the hospital, record the students' name and the name of the hospital where the student is sent.
If there is likelihood that the tornado will hit a vehicle, and there is no escape route available or no time to drive to a safe location, the driver should evacuate the bus, taking the first aid kit. The driver will take the students to the basement of a nearby building or to the nearest depression or ditch upwind (towards the storm) of the bus far enough away from the bus so that the bus will not roll over on them and instruct them to cover their heads with their arms. If the students are wearing coats or jackets, these can be used to provide additional protection for their heads and bodies. Drivers should take only the first aid kit from the bus.
Drivers should evacuate buses only when there is a danger of fire, collision or other potential hazard. Drivers should inform passengers that there is an emergency, and in very calm and precise terms, tell them exactly what they are to do. When possible, drivers will keep all evacuees a minimum of 100 feet from the bus. They should be loaded back onto the bus only when the driver has determined it is safe to do so.
In case of an accident, the driver shall immediately assess students for injuries and begin emergency first aid procedures as necessary. The driver must also notify the Transportation Dispatcher who will contact the law enforcement officials for medical assistance.
After providing emergency first aid, notifying the Dispatcher, and upon the arrival of law enforcement officials the driver shall:
1. In cooperation with the police officer and/or ambulance service, assist with the care of the students.
2. See that all injured students receive proper care.
3. Determine facts pertaining to accident.
4. Call the dispatcher to give a list of names and circumstances. The dispatcher will contact the Transportation Office so they can begin calling parents.
5. Discuss the accident only with police and School District officials.
6. Record all students' names.
7. Not leave the scene of an accident until released by the proper authorities.
Before leaving for the day, the driver shall fill out an accident report and take it to the Transportation Office. All bus accidents shall be reported to the Department of Public Safety.
F. Cold Weather Stop
If a driver is stuck or stalled in cold weather, the driver should call for assistance and wait for help. The driver should avoid relying on the engine to provide heat for the driver and passengers as long as possible. If it is necessary to run the engine to provide heat, the driver will make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow, open windows for ventilation, and check passengers frequently for headaches or drowsiness.
G. Dangerous Weapons
If a driver observes or learns that a passenger may have a dangerous weapon on the bus, he or she should remain calm and call for assistance using a pre-determined code. The driver should give the location of the bus to the dispatcher, continue the route and wait for assistance. The driver should not inform the passenger suspected of having the weapon that he or she knows of the weapon.
In an emergency stop, the driver should turn on the four-way hazard warning lights, and running or clearance lights. If the bus is on a highway, the driver must set out warning flares or triangles at the distances specified by State Law.
I. Getting Assistance
Drivers should use the two-way radio communications system to get assistance, reporting the location and number of the bus, the nature of the problem, and the status of the passengers. If the driver cannot use a radio to contact the dispatcher, ask a passerby or motorist to do so from the nearest telephone. The driver should write out the number and location of the school bus, the nature of the emergency, and the status of the passengers.
IX. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE STANDARDS
A. All school vehicles shall be maintained in safe operating conditions through a systematic preventive maintenance and inspection program adopted or approved by the School District.
B. All school vehicles shall be inspected in accordance with legal requirements.
C. Daily pre-trip inspections shall be required and prompt reports submitted of defects to be immediately corrected.
X. SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY DIRECTOR
The School Board has designated the Transportation Supervisor as the School Transportation Safety Director. The name, address and telephone number of the Director is on file with the Superintendent. Any questions regarding student transportation or this policy should be addressed to the School Transportation Safety Director.
XI. WALKING DISTANCE TO BUS STOPS
The number of bus stops in the School District impacts the length of time students are on the bus and the number of buses required to provide service. Bus routes are arranged according to geographic areas. This means that some students will walk further than others to bus stops.
A. Whenever possible, bus stops will be located at corners or intersections. Stopping at corners or intersections is generally safer due to the expectations of traffic. When a bus stops mid-block it can confuse motorists, whereas traffic anticipates the bus will stop or yield at an intersection. In addition, the bus driver has the best view of traffic and neighborhood students have the most direct route of access to their bus.
B. Elementary students shall be given priority when identifying the location of common bus stops that service the K-12 grade levels.
C. The bus routes can change every year based on the student population. Students may have to walk 2-3 blocks to the bus stop depending on the route structure and time schedule. At no time shall more than one stop be designated per block for regular to and from transportation.
D. Kindergarten stops will generally be closer to the home than regular route stops, (usually within 1-2 blocks), however visibility from the home to the bus stop is not always possible nor is it part of our criteria for moving stops.
E. Students residing on dead end streets or cul-de-sacs are expected to walk the distance to the nearest intersection to access a bus.
1. For bus runs at noon only, bus stops will be located at the corner of the street where each kindergartner lives.
2. No bus stop will be located at a residence mid-block, except in cases where medical or handicapping conditions require home pickup.
3. Bus stops may be adjusted where kindergartners are alone at the stop in the morning or afternoon.
XII. Video Surveillance
Video surveillance may be used on a limited basis as part of our comprehensive approach to student management on school buses. The driver continues to have the responsibility for controlling the students through gaining rapport and interacting with students. The Business Manager in consultation with the superintendent may utilize video technology on selected vehicles to insure student safety and appropriate behaviors.
Legal References: Minn. Stat. 169.443-169.444: Safety of School Children
Minn. Rule: 7470.1000-1100: Operation of a Type A,B,C, or
D school bus
Dated: November, 1994
Reviewed: April 21, 2008
Revised: February, 1999, May 15, 2006