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742.1 Guideline: Student Transportation Services

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742.1 Guideline: Student Transportation Services


The purpose of this administrative guideline is to assist in the implementation of Board Policy 742 pertaining to Student Transportation.


         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 pre-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 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students with school bus safety training during the first weeks of school

The school district and a nonpublic school with students transported by school bus at public expense must provide students enrolled in grades K through 3 school bus safety training twice during the school year.

Students taking driver’s training instructional classes must receive training in the laws and proper procedures for operating a motor vehicle in the vicinity of a school bus as required by Minn. Stat. § 169.446, Subd. 2. 

The school district and a nonpublic school with students transported by school bus at public expense must conduct a school bus evacuation drill at least once during the school year. 

The school district will make reasonable accommodations in training for students known to speak English as a second language and students with disabilities.

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 District Office.

Nonpublic school students transported by the school district will receive school bus safety training by their nonpublic school.  The nonpublic schools may use the school district’s school transportation safety education curriculum.  Upon request by the school district superintendent, the nonpublic school must certify to the school district’s school transportation safety director that all students have received the appropriate training.


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. The school district’s general student behavior rules are in effect for all students on school buses, including nonpublic and charter school students.

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. Any reports made to local law enforcement will be coordinated in collaboration with the Superintendent of Schools.

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 

D.     Consequences

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.

4.      Records

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.

6.      Notice

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 having a disability 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 students with disabilities, the District  shall adhere to the requirements of state and federal law governing students with disabilities.


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 Education/Students with Disabilities

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. 


A.   School bus drivers shall have a valid Class A, B, or C Minnesota driver’s license with a school bus endorsement.  A person possessing a valid driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may drive a type III vehicle set forth in Sections VII.B. and VII.C., below.  Drivers with a valid Class D driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may operate a “type A-I” school bus as set forth in Section VII.D., below. 

B. The school district shall conduct mandatory drug and alcohol testing of all school district bus drivers and bus driver applicants in accordance with state and federal law and school district policy. 

C. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-I school bus or type III vehicle, who has a commercial driver’s license and who is convicted of a criminal offense, a serious traffic violation, or of violating any other state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, in any type of motor vehicle in a state or jurisdiction other than Minnesota, shall notify the Minnesota Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (Division) of the conviction within 30 days of the conviction.   For purposes of this paragraph, a “serious traffic violation” means a conviction of any of the following offenses: 

1. excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of 15 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit; 

2. reckless driving; 

3. improper or erratic traffic lane changes; 

4. following the vehicle ahead too closely; 

5. a violation of state or local law, relating to motor vehicle traffic control, arising in connection with a fatal accident; 

6. driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license or without having a commercial driver’s license in the driver’s possession. 

D. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-I school bus or type III vehicle, who has a commercial driver’s license and who is convicted of violating, in any type of motor vehicle, a Minnesota state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, shall notify the person’s employer of the conviction within 30 days of conviction.  The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment A accompanying this policy. 

E. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-I school bus or type III vehicle, who has a Minnesota commercial driver’s license suspended, revoked, or cancelled by the state of Minnesota or any other state or jurisdiction and who loses the right to operate a commercial vehicle for any period or who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for any period shall notify the person’s employer of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification.  Such notification shall be made before the end of the business day following the day the employee received notice of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification.  The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment B accompanying this policy. 

 F. A person who operates a type III vehicle and who sustains a conviction as described in Section VII.C.1.g. (i.e., driving while impaired offenses), VII.C.1.h.  (i.e., felony, controlled substance, criminal sexual conduct offenses, or offenses for surreptitious observation, indecent exposure, use of minor in a sexual performance, or possession of child pornography or display of pornography to a minor), or VII.C.1.i. (multiple moving violations) while employed by the entity that owns, leases, or contracts for the school bus, shall report the conviction to the person’s employer within 10 days of the date of the conviction.  The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment C accompanying this policy.

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.

1.      Safety

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.

6.      Overloads

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.

4.      Fueling

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 principal or designee.   

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.

8.      Notices

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.

1.      Standing

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.


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.

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.


A.     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

·   flashlight

·   reflectors

·   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

·   rain

·   snow

·   fog

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

using wheelchairs

·   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

B.       Evaluation

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.


A. If possible, school bus drivers or their supervisors shall call “911” or the local emergency phone number in the event of a serious emergency. 

B. School bus drivers shall meet the emergency training requirements contained in Unit III “Crash & Emergency Preparedness” of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual.  This includes procedures in the event of a crash (accident). 

C. School bus drivers and bus assistants for special education students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition shall be trained in basic first aid procedures, shall within 1 month after the effective date of assignment participate in a program of in-service training on the proper methods for dealing with the specific needs and problems of students with disabilities, assist students with disabilities on and off the bus when necessary for their safe ingress and egress from the bus; and ensure that protective safety devices are in use and fastened properly. 

D. Emergency Health Information shall be maintained on the school bus for students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition.  The information shall state: 

1. the student’s name and address; 

2. the nature of the student’s disabilities; 

3. emergency health care information; and 

4. the names and telephone numbers of the student’s physician, parents, guardians, or custodians, and some person other than the student’s parents or custodians who can be contacted in case of an emergency

E.     Fire

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.

F.      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.

G.     Tornado

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.

H.     Evacuation

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.

I.       Accident

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.

J.      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.

K.     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.

L.      Lights

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.

M.     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.


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.

D. Daily post-trip inspections shall be performed to check for any children or lost items remaining on the bus and for vandalism


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.


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 multiple 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, 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 or further to access a bus.

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; August 17, 2020