3541 - Transportation

Policy 3541

Business/Non-Instructional Operations

Transportation


The Board of Education will provide transportation, under provisions of state law and regulation, under contract, for all students who qualify for such service.

The Board of Education is responsible for the efficiency of the school bus system as determined by the selection of bus routes, the scheduling of bus trips, the authorization of bus trips, and the authorization of bus stops. 

The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the execution of the transportation policy and regulations.  Subject to Board approval, he/she may delegate this duty to the Director of Business, or another member of his staff. 

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, is responsible for establishing proper standards of safety for the operation of school buses based on those developed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Division, Department of Motor Vehicles, State of Connecticut, and shall ensure enforcement by the operator.

Parents and/or guardians who opt not to have their children participate in district-provided transportation are responsible for ensuring the safety of their children until their children arrive on school grounds for school each day and upon their departure from school grounds at the end of each school day. This responsibility includes the selection of methods of transportation, walking routes and the provision of supervision that is appropriate to the student’s age and maturity at all times. 

Students in Grades K-8

The following provisions shall apply to students in Grades K-8.  Students who are eligible for district-provided transportation in accordance with Board Policy 3541 and Administrative Regulation 3541 are encouraged to ride buses to and from school.  However, parents/guardians may choose to waive the right to such transportation and give permission for their child or children to walk home from school on a daily basis.  

Each parent/guardian who wishes to waive district-provided transportation and permit a his/her child to walk home from school on a daily basis must complete, sign and submit a waiver and permission form, using the form provided by the Administration.  Such forms shall only be valid for the school year in which they are submitted.  In the event that a parent/guardian wishes to revoke such permission at any point during the school year, the parent/guardian must notify the Administration in writing of such decision. Parents wishing to give permission for their student(s) to walk on an occasional basis, must submit a note specifying the date(s) the student(s) will be permitted to walk.  

The following provisions shall apply only to students riding the shuttle from Reed Intermediate School (Grades 5-6):  5th and 6th graders may be allowed to walk home on a daily basis after taking the shuttle bus from Reed Intermediate School to the designated elementary school only if their parents/guardians have completed, signed and submitted a waiver and permission form in accordance with the provisions of this policy.  

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
            10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education
            10-220 Duties of boards of education
            14-275 Equipment and color of school buses
            14-275a Use of standard school bus required, when.
            14-275b Transportation of handicapped students.
            14-275c Regulations re school buses and motor vehicles used to transport special education students.
            14-276a (c) Town/school district may require its school bus operators to have completed a safety training course.
            14-280 Letters and signals to be concealed when not used in transporting children.  Signs on other vehicles.
            20 U.S.C. NCLB Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, Title I, Section 1116
            McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 42 U.S.C., Sections 11431-11435

Policy adopted:    April 4, 2017    NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Policy revised:    December 19, 2017    Newtown, Connecticut


Regulation 3541(a)

Business/Non Instructional Operations
Transportation


Bus Routes

A.    Bus Routes 
On behalf of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, will establish bus routes and assign buses to such routes.

B.    Bus Stops 

It shall be understood that it is not the intent of the Board of Education to transport every child from his door to school.  Bus stops shall be established by the Superintendent, or his/her designee, on the various routes at appropriate points.  Bus stops will be reviewed annually and changes made as required by changes in conditions. 

C.    Limits of Transportation 

The maximum walking distance from a student’s property entrance way to the bus pick-up point or to school is as follows: 

            Grades K-8:    1 mile             Grades 9-12:    1 1/2 miles 

 Exceptions to the walking distance limits to a school or a designated school bus pick-up point will be considered under the following conditions: 
    1.    Physical disability limitations 
    2.    Unusual conditions or hazards along walking location to a designated bus stop 

Bus Safety

A.    Safety Rules for Drivers 
  1. When a bus is on school property and children are present, the driver will not back up a bus until the children are supervised by an adult. 
  2. The driver shall not permit any unauthorized person to occupy the driver’s seat, drive the bus, operate the controls, or tamper with the motor while the bus is in service. 
  3. The driver shall never move the bus when children are embarking and disembarking or when they are not seated, and he must see that all doors are closed while the bus is in motion.
  4. The driver shall signal the children when it is safe to walk in front of a bus or cross the street. 
  5. When possible, and in the safest manner, the driver shall pick up and discharge students only on that side of the State road or highway on which they live.This specifically applies to Routes 6, 25, 34 and 302 only.  Exceptions must be authorized by the Superintendent or designee. 
  6. The driver will not allow any unauthorized persons to board the bus. 

B.    Student Behavior 

When a bus driver believes the conduct and behavior of a student may endanger the safety of the bus or its passengers, he has the authority to return the student to school on an afternoon run.  If a disturbance occurs on a morning bus run, all passengers will be brought to school.  On both runs, the driver must immediately report the incident to the Bus Supervisor or school Principal. The Principal will determine appropriate disciplinary action, including curtailment of bus privileges. 

C.    Student Safety Rules 
  1. All students waiting for buses are to wait quietly, without running and/or playing in the designated area. 
  2. Students must form an orderly line prior to entering the assigned bus. 
  3. Before leaving the area to re-enter the school, to go to other parts of the school property, or to leave the school property and then return for transportation, students must have permission from staff who are supervising the loading area. 
  4. Students will enter/leave the bus without hurrying or pushing. 
  5. Every student must be seated immediately upon entering the bus and remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop at the point where the student disembarks. 
  6. Students will not block or obstruct an entrance or exit with books, instruments, or other equipment. 
  7. Feet must be kept on the floor and out of the aisle. 
  8. Students will at no time or in any manner cause any disturbance that will distract the bus driver’s attention and/or endanger the occupants of the bus. 
  9. Students will refrain from loud talking and shouting while on the bus. 
  10. Students must not throw or shoot objects in the bus. 
  11. No student shall mark or damage a school bus or leave waste material on the bus. 
  12. There shall be no eating on school buses. 
  13. The use of obscene or profane language is strictly forbidden. 
  14. Students disembarking buses on the opposite side of the road from their homes should cross in front of the bus and walk at least ten feet away from the bus bumper.  When they reach the roadside they must stop, look up and down the road for cars approaching from either direction, and proceed only on a signal from the bus driver.  Exceptions for safety reasons may be allowed. 
  15. Students shall not bring any items on the school bus that can endanger others, or that could disrupt the environment necessary for proper bus safety. 
  16. Violation of any of these regulations will be reported by the appropriate school administrator to parents or guardians.  If bus safety violations continue, parents or guardians will be advised that a loss of bus transportation or suspension from school may be a consequence under student disciplinary.
D.    Loading and Unloading 

First consideration shall be given to the safety of the students when establishing bus stops, loading and unloading buses, and in all other phases of school bus transportation. 

Supervision for loading and unloading buses will be provided under the direction of the building principals at the elementary schools, the 5/6 school, and the middle school. The high school will only provide supervision for loading buses.  

E.    Picking Up and Discharging Passengers 

Bus routes will be designed to pick up and discharge children in a safe and appropriate manner. 

F.    Eligible Riders 

Only students and individuals designated by the administration may ride on school buses. 

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
            10 186 Duties of local and regional boards of education 

            10 220 Duties of boards of education.

            14-275 Equipment and color of school buses

            14 275a Use of standard school bus required, when.

            14 275b Transportation of handicapped students.

            14 275c Regulations re school buses and motor vehicles used to transport special education students.

            14-276a (c) Town/school district may require its school bus operators to have completed a safety training course.

            14 280 Letters and signals to be concealed when not used in transporting children. Signs on other vehicles.

            20 U.S.C. NCLB Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, Title I, Section 1116

            McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 42 U.S.C., Sections 11431-11435


Regulation approved:    April 4, 2017    NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Regulation revised:    August 31, 2018    Newtown, Connecticut

 
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