STUDENT ELIGIBILITY AND SCHOOL BUS SAFETY GUIDE
Riding a school bus is a privilege provided by Decatur Independent School District and should be treated as such.
This eligibility and safety guide will help provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who rides the school bus. Parents/guardians, please take the time to read and discuss this important information with your children.
Misconduct on the bus or at the bus stop may result in a student losing this privilege.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR TRANSPORTATION?
To be eligible for transportation, a student must:
1. Be attending their zoned schools of attendance and reside two or more miles (as measured along the shortest route that may be traveled on public roads or public access) from their assigned campuses. Additionally, selected areas with students less than the 2 mile limit have been designated as hazardous areas by DISD Board policy. Students within these areas will also be provided bus service. Hazardous areas are evaluated based on Region standards taking into account major thoroughfares, railroad crossings, sidewalks and traffic controls.
2. Be a special needs student, age 3 through 21, whose disabilities prevent the use of regular transportation. Transportation for a student with a disability shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP).
Transportation is NOT provided for:
· Any regular educational student who is assigned to DAEP program.
· Students who do not qualify for bus transportation wanting to ride a bus to another campus or to specific address.
· Students who transfer through Open Enrollment or an Administrative Transfer.
BUS STOP LOCATION
1. Bus stops will be located on primary residential streets only. Each of our bus stops is designed after careful study of demographics, walking distances to stops and ridership in your area. The overall safety of stop placement is the most important factor considered.
2. Elementary students may be required to walk up to .30 miles (1584 feet) to a bus stop. Secondary students may be required to walk up to .5 miles (2640 feet).
GENERAL SAFETY RULES
1. Obey the instructions of the bus driver
2. Behavior on the bus should be the same as in the classroom.
3. Board and leave the bus at designated stops only
4. Do not ask the driver for permission to ride home on another bus with a friend or to be dropped off at a different location.
PROCEDURES WHEN WAITING FOR THE BUS
1. All students who ride a school bus to school must be at their bus stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled stop time. When the bus arrives at the stop, it is NOT REQUIRED to wait for students who are not standing at the stop. This includes students who wait inside a house or in a vehicle until the bus arrives. Decatur ISD drivers ARE NOT ALLOWED to stop a bus for any student other than at a scheduled stop. All school buses are on a set schedule. Waiting unnecessarily at any stop causes the bus to run late for other students. The bus does not stop if students are not present at the stop.
2. Stand on the sidewalk or back from the roadway while waiting for the bus.
3. When the bus approaches, form a line and be prepared to load immediately.
4. Stand clear of the bus until it comes to a complete stop.
5. Do not litter or disturb landscaping of private property near the bus stop.
LOADING THE BUS
1. Do not push or shove.
2. Use the handrail and steps.
3. Go to your seat. The bus will not move until all students are seated.
4. Bus drivers may assign seats to the students and may change seating assignments as needed.
5. To ensure the safety and security of all students on Decatur ISD buses, parents may not board a school bus at any time.
If a student misses the bus, it is the parents’ or guardians’ responsibility to provide transportation to and from school. Parents/guardians, please instruct your children on procedures to follow if they miss the bus.
1. If the bus is missed in the morning, go home immediately.
2. If the bus is missed in the afternoon, go to the Principal’s office.
Once the bus starts moving, it will not stop to pick up a late student. Do not run after a moving bus at the bus stop or at school.
CONDUCT ON THE BUS
REMEMBER: Misconduct on the bus may result in a student not being allowed to ride on the bus.
1. Remain properly seated (facing forward keeping feet on the floor in front of them) at all times and not block the center aisle.
2. Once seated, do not change seats.
3. Seatbelts must be worn when available.
4. Normal conversation is allowed; any loud noises may distract the driver and create an unsafe condition.
5. Use of profane or vulgar language is not permitted.
6. Keep your arms and other parts of your body inside the bus.
7. Do not throw an object inside or out of the bus.
8. Do not mark, cut or scratch any part of the bus. Vandalism costs will be paid by the person who is responsible. Failure to reimburse the District will result in loss of riding privileges plus other penalties deemed appropriate by the district.
9. The emergency door and exit controls should be used by students only during supervised drills or actual emergencies.
10. Do not engage in any other conduct which might distract the driver from watching the road or disrupt the safe operation of the bus.
GETTING OFF THE BUS
1. Stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop
2. Use the handrail and take one step at a time when leaving the bus.
3. Wait for your turn to leave the bus; pushing and crowding will only slow your exit and may cause an accident.
4. If you need to get off at a different stop than the one you are assigned to, you must have a signed note from your parent/guardian to give to the Principal. The Principal will sign off on the note if the request is acceptable, and you will give the note to the driver when you board the bus.
5. Stay clear of the bus when the engine is started. Do not chase or hang onto the bus.
6. If an article drops or rolls near or under the bus, do not go after it. Go the door of the bus and ask the driver for help.
GO STRAIGHT HOME
Go straight home or to your designated caregiver as soon as you get off the bus. Do not go anywhere else without parent’s or guardian’s permission. The District’s custodial responsibility ends when you leave the bus. Your parents/guardians are now responsible for your behavior/actions.
CROSSING THE STREET OR HIGHWAY
1. When crossing the street or highway, always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus, never behind the bus.
2. Check for traffic in both directions and WALK-do not run-across the road.
3. Caution! Be alert for vehicles that do not stop when the bus is loading and unloading.
REMEMBER: Cross all street at intersections. Obey all traffic signals and signs on your way home. If you cross an intersection manned by a crossing guard, obey directions given by the crossing guard.
Do NOT bring the following items on the bus:
1. Tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
2. Live animals or insects
3. Glass containers
4. Alcoholic beverages
5. Skateboards without written permission from both the Principal and Transportation Director
6. Lighters or flammable materials which include helium balloons.
7. Weapons, explosive devices, harmful drugs or chemicals
8. Any object (musical instrument, shop project, athletic equipment, skateboard, etc) too large for you to carry yourself and hold in your lap. Large items may not take up seat space designed for students.
9. Items which block the view of the driver.
ACCIDENTS OR EMERGENCIES
1. Follow the driver’s instructions.
2. If you must leave the bus, stay in a group.
3. The following procedures will be used for evacuation in an emergency situation:
· The student nearest the door will open the door, exit and hold the door open until all students have exited the bus. Evacuation will start with the seat closest to the door.
· Leave the bus in single file as quietly as possible.
· Once outside the bus, follow the driver’s instructions completely.
1. Bus rider rules apply to all school-sponsored events.
2. Discipline will be the responsibility of the campus Principal and the trip sponsor/chaperone.
3. Strict loading and unloading time schedules will be followed.
If school is in session, the buses will run. School will be dismissed only upon instruction from the Superintendent of Schools. Area radio stations will be asked to announce instructions before classes start.
ARTICLES LEFT ON THE BUS
Drivers are NOT responsible for a student’s property. Articles left on the bus will be turned in to the Transportation office.
The driver is responsible for discipline on the bus. Misconduct is reported to the Transportation Director and Principal, who assumes responsibility for taking proper disciplinary actions.
In general, the following disciplinary procedures will be used:
FIRST VIOLATION: The driver fills out a Bus Conduct Report and keeps it. The driver gives the student a verbal warning.
SECOND VIOLATION: The driver adds information to the first Bus Conduct Report which is submitted to the Transportation Director’s office who will contact the Principal’s office. The Principal will have a conference with the student.
THIRD VIOLATION: The driver fills out a second Bus Conduct Report which is submitted to the Transportation Director’s office who will contact the Principal’s office. The Principal will have a conference with the student and may include the parents. Suspension from the bus is at the discretion of the school Principal, not the bus driver.
FOURTH VIOLATION: The driver fills out a third Bus Conduct Report which is submitted to the Transportation Director’s office who will contact the Principal’s office. The Principal will have a conference with the student and may include the parents. The student may be suspended from the bus for a duration of 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or the remainder of the year.
If, in the judgment of the bus driver and Principal, a student engages in misconduct that is extreme and/or dangerous to other students or district staff, the district may choose to waive the measures outlined under First and/or Second violation and immediately invoke a suspension for part of or the remainder of the school year. Discipline will be consistent with the DISD Code of Conduct and can include normal disciplinary processes.