Bus Safety & FAQs
The safety of all school children is a joint responsibility between the principals, parents, students, school bus operators and administrative staff. A major ingredient of that is communication. Please let us know when anything changes in the busing routine of your child so that we can contact the necessary people to make sure the change goes smoothly.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
- Leave home early. Arrive at the school bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pickup time, but not more than 10 minutes.
- Always wait for the bus driver to bring the bus to a complete stop, put out the red stop sign and signal for you to cross the street.
- Walk directly away from the bus when you get off. If you must cross in front of the bus when you exit, walk far enough in front of the bus (10 feet) so the driver has you in his/her vision at all times. A rule of thumb, if you can see the driver’s eyes – they can see you.
- Do not stick your head, arms or any other object out the window of the bus.
School bus safety is no accident. It takes planning, training, and follow-through. As parents, I hope you will work with us to make sure all our children have a safe and enjoyable trip to and from school. Please take the time to teach them the basics and remind your children of their role in bus safety. National statistics state that most bus accidents occur when a driver’s attention is momentarily distracted from their driving responsibilities by misbehavior of students on the bus.
- How are bus stop locations determined?
- Under what conditions is consideration given to adjusting bus stop locations?
- Why do some children have to cross the street to board the school bus?
- We live on a cul-de-sac. Will the bus come down our street?
- Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and has hills and curves. Can we have an additional bus stop so our children do not have to walk to the existing stop?
- What if I cannot see the bus stop from my house?
- My child carries a large musical instrument and/or a heavy backpack; or he/she is the only student using the bus stop, the stop needs to be closer to our home.
- The bus drives right past my house. Why can’t it stop at my house?
- I own a daycare and need the stop at my house because the state requires me to see the students at all times. Why can’t the bus stop be located at my house?
- I have young children at home and/or I leave home because of work.
- What is the maximum length of time for a bus route?
- What do I need to do?
Bus stops are established so students in kindergarten and grades 1-5 who live one mile or more from their school, and students in grades 6-12 who live one and a half miles or more from their school are transported to the school in their attendance area.
Our goal is to consistently identify bus stops in neighborhoods on the basis of safety, efficiency and distance between stops. Generally bus stops are located at an intersection in order for the driver to have a wide area to scan for traffic and students, to create efficient routes and to minimize buses backing up.
- School bus drivers do not have the authority to change bus routes or student pickup/drop off locations.
- Generally, bus stops are located at least 3 blocks away from each other.
- Generally, 15-20 students are assigned to a bus stop. This number may be exceeded at cul-de-sacs, high density housing areas and high school stops because students are not standing on through streets and/or they are older.
- Bus stops are placed at locations that meet defined criteria, are centrally located and within reasonable walking distances from the student’s home.
Roads and streets sometimes intersect on areas of road that cause concern for school bus transportation and the motoring public. We make every effort to select safe places to load and unload students given these varying factors of roads, streets, traffic speed and locations of residences. Adjustments to bus stops to create what we believe is the safest alternative will be made in these instances.
Except to transport special education students, buses generally are not routed down cul-de-sacs because of the danger to small children and property caused by the bus turning around and/or backing up in a small area. However, elementary school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs that are on half mile long or longer, and middle school and high school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs that are one mile or longer.
Generally, bus stops are centrally located for all students. Bus stops are not changed to accommodate one or more students because that may displace other students further from their home. Even though other students are not all riding the bus we must keep bus stops as they have been published. A central bus stop is necessary because other students may begin riding the bus or new families may move into the neighborhood.
It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child arrives safely at the bus stop.
The higher frequency of stops can make the motoring public "impatient." This results in drivers driving around the bus and causes greater safety concerns than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also delays the bus in increasing the number of stops, making overall student ride time longer.
- Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
- Be aware that the bus will pick up and drop off students at the same stop every day school is in session.
- Help your children learn their bus numbers.
- Review with your children the bus safety rules outlined here.
- Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or childcare provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.
Understand that the bus pickup and drop off times are based on existing weather and road conditions. Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pickup times. Parents will be notified of any major changes in bus schedules that will affect their child.