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Bus safetyBus safety

Parent Information

Please review this important information pertaining to the rules, policies, and procedures for transportation of students in the School District of Palm Beach County.

When is transportation provided for public school students?

Florida Statutes and Rules of the Florida State Board of Education establish when students are eligible for transportation on public school buses:

Ø  Students who are attending their designated home/residence school and who live more than two (2) miles from the school will generally be eligible for transportation.  However, this rule does not apply to students in Choice Programs nor to most other students who are attending a school other than their designated home/residence school.

Ø  Special needs students shall receive transportation in accordance with the provisions of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or “504” Plan.  However, this does not apply to students who have been enrolled in Choice Programs.  All such students will receive transportation on the same basis as regular education students, regardless of what may be included in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or “504” Plan.

How far can my child be required to walk to his/her bus stop?

Ø  Per Rule 6A-3.001 of the Florida State Board of Education, students may be required to walk up to one and one-half (1½) miles from their home to their assigned bus stop.  The Palm Beach County Public Schools Department of Transportation Routing Department makes every effort to keep walk distances between student’s homes and their bus stops as short as possible and practical. Regular education students are assigned to a neighborhood stop that serves your child’s school. The safety of students is the first consideration when determining bus stop locations, and the School Bus Routing Offices use several criteria for selecting locations. For example, we do not place school bus stops in locations where students would have to walk across certain multi-lane roads in order to get on or off a bus. We do not change stops based on the proximity of the stop to a residence, the parent’s ability to see a stop from their residence, the fact that a bus passes a house to get to a stop, the lack of sidewalks, or that it may be dark outside.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS OF STUDENTS WHO ARE TRANSPORTED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE

Rule 6A-3.0121 of the State Board of Education addresses the responsibilities of parents and guardians of students who are transported at public expense.  It states:

a.    Parents and guardians shall ensure the safe travel of their students during the portions of each trip to and from school and home when the students are not under the custody and control of the school district, including during each trip to and from home and the assigned bus stop when the school district provides bus transportation.

b.    Parents and guardians shall ensure that students ride only in their assigned school buses and get off only at assigned bus stops, except when the district has approved alternative buses or arrangements.

c.    Parents and guardians shall ensure that students are aware of and follow the district’s adopted code of student conduct while students are at school bus stops and to provide the necessary supervision during times when the bus is not present.

d.    Parents and guardians shall ensure that, when the physical disability of the student renders the student unable to get on and off the bus without assistance, the parent or guardian provides the necessary assistance to help the student get on and off at the bus stop, as required by district policy or the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

e.    Parents and guardians are responsible to make sure their students are waiting at the assigned bus stop at least five (5) minutes before the scheduled pick-up time at the bus stop.  Drivers will not wait for students who are tardy.

f.     For parents and guardians of students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or “504” Plan that requires parental supervision at the bus stop:  Parents and guardians of such students must be at the bus stop at least five (5) minutes before the scheduled drop-off time.

g.    The Transportation Department Chaperons provide on board supervision to students traveling to and from Choice Program locations. Parents are responsible for supervision of student prior to boarding and leaving the train.

Bus Safety Rules and Responsibilities

IMPORTANT NOTE: Student must be aware of and follow rules concerning student transportation provided in School District Policy 5.186. Below are some, but not all, rules that apply to riding a School Bus.

Any violation of School Board Policy 5.186 or any rules noted above will be reported to the school principal and may result in temporary or permanent suspension from riding the bus. Be aware that video surveillance may be used on buses. Your signature indicates you have read, understand and discussed with your students all of the above.

a.    Students are expected to obey the driver at all time. The driver has full control of the bus and students at all time.

b.    Students are expected to treat the driver and attendant with respect and politeness at all times.

c.    Students must not distract the driver and remain quiet enough so the school bus driver’s attention is fully engaged on the road at all times.  At all times while riding the school bus, students must:

·         Refrain from shouting, yelling, and other boisterous activities.

·         Refrain from unnecessary conversation with the school bus driver.

·         Refrain from any activity that worries or distracts the school bus driver and which may put the student’s own safety and the safety of others at risk.

d.    Students may ride only in their assigned school buses and get on and off only at their assigned bus stops. 

e.    Students must be at their assigned bus stop at least five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time.  Drivers will not wait for tardy students.

f.     Students must stand off the roadway while awaiting the bus.

g.    Students must cross the road only in front of the bus when traffic has been completely stopped by means of the flashing red lights and the extended stop arms on the bus.  Students must NEVER cross the road in back of the bus. (A safe distance for students to cross in the front of the bus is 12 feet).

h.    Students must enter and leave the bus at schools and student stops in an orderly fashion without haste, pushing, shoving, or drifting to the bus. Every student must respect his/her own safety and the safety of others.

i.      Students, upon boarding the bus, must go directly to an open seat and sit down as soon as possible.  If specific seats have been assigned to students by the school principal (or the principal’s designee) and/or the school bus driver, students must sit only in their assigned seats.

j.      Students must remain seated for the entire trip to and from their school and bus stop.

k.     Students must NEVER extend hands, arms, heads, or other parts of the body out of the windows of the bus.

l.      Students must pay attention to the school bus driver and the school bus attendant (if one is assigned to the bus route) and always follow their instructions and directions.  They are responsible for the safety of the students entrusted to their care.  School bus drivers have been instructed to pull over to the side of the road and park the bus anytime the driver feels misconduct on the part of any student endangers the safety of the students and/or the safe operation of the bus.

m.   When crossing railroad tracks – students must remain absolutely quiet.

n.    Students may play music devices when riding on school buses only while wearing “ear buds” or headphones.

o.    Students may NOT, eat, drink, or smoke when on the school bus.

p.    Students must not throw or scatter waste paper or any other objects on the bus floor or out the windows of the bus.

q.    Students must keep book bags, lunch boxes, and other personal property on their laps.  If there is sufficient room, these items may be placed on the seat alongside the student or on the floor underneath the seat where the student is sitting.

r.     Students must not purposely mark, vandalize, damage, or destroy any part of the bus, the equipment on it, or the area surrounding the bus stop location.

s.     No signs may be displayed from the bus.

t.     The following items are prohibited on the bus: This includes but not limited to: balloons, large bulky packages,  live animals, sharp objects large school projects, skate boards and large musical instruments, which includes Tuba, French Horns, Drum Kit, Baritone and Trombone.

u.    The band instruments that are allowed on the school bus while transporting students to and from school includes the following: Trumpet and Alto Sax, Flute, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet.