Transportation Information and Forms
- IMPORTANT Information for Parents
- School Bus Rules Poster
- School Bus Safety Brochures
- School Bus Safety Video
- Transportation Registration Form
- Transportation Policies
- Staff Transportation Request Form
To all students, staff, parents and other interested parties:
In light of the recent tragedy experienced by Riverside Schools in Western Iowa, I thought it might be of interest to provide you with some information so that you may more fully understand the policies and processes your bus driver and/or your students are trained in.
THE BUS DRIVER:
Every school bus driver is required by law to obtain a commercial driver’s license, ranging from a chauffer’s license to a Class B CDL. Following that, they are required to obtain an Iowa School Bus Driver’s Authorization. This involves taking a 17 hour combination on-line/classroom instruction and a three hour annual in-service thereafter. Besides their training, they must hold a current D.O.T. physical, which must be renewed every 2 years or less. They are also required by the Federal D.O.T. to have their background checked every time their license is renewed.
As far as driving their bus, the law requires that drivers do a pre-trip inspection, followed by a post-trip inspection for each and every trip. On a normal school day, this would involve 4 inspections per day. While driving their bus, the most important aspect of their position is to get the students safely to and from school each day. While they should have their attention fixed on the road, they must also pay attention to student behavior, vehicle performance and multiple exterior influences, ranging from wildlife on the road to passing motorists, especially while stopping to load or unload students. Bus drivers are discouraged from using reverse on their buses, unless absolutely necessary. Routes are designed to be as efficient as possible, with as few turn arounds as possible, thereby eliminating the need for backing out of a driveway.
Students also play a vital role in safely riding a bus to school every day. First and foremost, they should be on time, so the bus can stay on schedule and also not have to wait on the roadway, tying up traffic. Before crossing the road, either getting on the bus or getting off, always wait for the bus driver’s signal to cross the road and also stop and check the road yourself. While riding the bus, there is a list of bus rules that students should follow, to insure that the driver can do his/her job properly and contribute to a safer ride.
Students are also instructed two times each year in the proper and most efficient ways to evacuate a school bus. The new model buses have at least 8 emergency exits available to get out as quickly as possible. These would include the front and rear doors, 4 emergency side windows and two roof hatches. The students are instructed as how to operate these exits and procedures to follow to help keep them safe.
All school buses in the state of Iowa are inspected 2 times per year by state certified inspectors. Most buses have in excess of 150 inspection points, including tires, brakes, lights, seats and fans. Infractions can usually result in 3 different outcomes. A “note”, indicating that some item is technically acceptable, but will need some attention soon. A “30 day repair” indicates that an item is not acceptable, however it is not an immediate safety issue, giving the driver use of the bus for up to 30 days, until the item gets repaired. An “OOS”, means that a bus is out of service immediately. Any bus will be removed from service for anything as minor as a light bulb to something obviously dangerous as a bad tire or brakes. Besides mechanical issues, buses are also inspected for cleanliness and general deterioration.
If at any time, there is any question as to the operation of a school bus, the superintendent , Mark Schneider, or transportation director, Teresa Hartley, should be notified ASAP. The goal of school bus drivers is to provide the safest means of transportation to school and home for all students.
Please feel free to contact me at any time.
Teresa Hartley, Mid-Prairie Transportation Director
We are pleased to be transporting your child to and from school each year.
We are very proud of the safety record of our school buses and the professionalism of our transportation team.
Please help us ensure your child’s safety by following these simple but important procedures:
- Provide your child with a backpack or book bag. Loose papers or other items are dangerous as children get off the bus.
- Check your child’s clothing for the presence of long drawstrings or other dangling items. Long drawstrings or other dangling items could get snagged in the bus door as the child gets off the bus, and should be removed from clothing.
- Make sure your child arrives at the designated bus stop five minutes early each day. The bus will wait for a few seconds if they don’t see anyone coming/waiting. Children who are late for the bus may panic and chase it, or run into the road.
- Insist that your child wait for the bus safely in an orderly fashion, back from the roadway. Behavior problems at the bus stop can create hazardous conditions for children.
- When the bus arrives, your child should wait for the bus driver’s signal before boarding. Children should board in single file.
- Teach your child to sit quietly on the ride to and from school. Behavior problems could distract the bus driver and result in an accident.
- IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CALL THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICE IF YOUR CHILD IS NOT RIDING, OR HAS CHANGE OF PLANS.
It is important that our drivers are able to concentrate on driving the route safely. If anything makes your child feel unsafe at the bus stop or on the bus ride, please contact us at the transportation department, rather than trying to discuss it at the bus stop.
We are deeply committed to the safety of your child as well as all our community’s children.
Bus Riding is a privilege, which may be suspended. Your support in preventing further disciplinary incidents will be greatly appreciated. Complete bus rider rules are given at the beginning of the school year.
- 1st Report: Please review bus rider rules with your child. Principal or designee will speak with student.
- 2nd Report: Driver gives written warning. Student, parent, bus driver and transportation director hold a conference. Student may be removed for 1 day.
- 3rd Report: Riding privileges may be revoked for 3-5 days upon administration decision.
- Each additional report after 3 reports may result in riding privileges being revoked for up to 9 weeks upon administration decision.
BEHAVIORS WHICH WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE BUS SUSPENSION:
- Fighting (Pushing, Tripping, Pinching, Poking, Grabbing
- Racial Slurs Hitting, Twisting, Spitting, Head/Body Locks)
- Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, Weapons
- Destruction of Property (Including Payment for Repair)
- Possession or Use of Matches/Lighters
DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN FOR SERIOUS OFFENSES: One of the following consequences will occur immediately if a serious violation occurs:
1. Student removed from bus immediately.
2. Riding privilege suspended for up to 9 weeks upon administrative decision.
You can read the entire school bus discipline policy, approved by the school board, below.
No Food Policy
We are being notified more frequently of students with allergies, many of which are VERY severe. Even the residue left on the seats from food items and packaging can cause severe reactions. This is the reason for this email. Peanut and latex allergies are the big ones right now. You would be SHOCKED what all has latex in it.
For the protection of ALL students, we will not be allowing eating on our buses. As for athletics and eating on the bus, we will allow athletes to eat approved foods on the bus, however, the coach or students will be responsible for wiping down the seats and surrounding areas with a disinfecting wipe. These wipes will be placed in both HS and MS travel training bags. This needs to be done anytime, anyone on the bus eats food. Floors need to be cleaned of all food and packaging, as well as the trash being emptied off of the buses at the end of the trip.
In regards to cleaning--The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis website states:
The good news is that allergens can be readily cleaned from hands and body parts, cookware and utensils, and environmental surfaces.
Following are helpful tips to prevent environmental contamination:
• When cleaning surfaces (such as desks, counters, tables, airline seats or tray tables, etc.), use a wipe that contains a commercial detergent (e.g., Clorox®, Lysol®, etc), or apply a spray-on detergent (e.g. Formula 409®, Fantastic®, Windex® Multi-Surface, etc.) and vigorously wipe the area that has come into contact with the allergen. In a 2004 study, dish soap did not remove peanut allergen.
• Run contaminated pots, pans, and utensils through a normal dishwasher cycle or wash them by hand with hot, soapy water and scrub the surfaces thoroughly. Use a sponge, scouring pad, or dish rag that has not come into contact with the allergen. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. Avoid just wiping down a knife or common utensil with a rag after touching an allergen (a common practice at sandwich shops).
• For washing hands or face, use warm/hot, soapy water or a commercial “tidy” wipe. Hand sanitizing gel is not sufficient to remove allergens. This is important in the healthcare setting, as most healthcare facilities have moved to near-exclusive use of hand sanitizing gels for infectious purposes. Please be aware that many of the buses used for activity trips are also used for bus routes -- so we all need to be very careful we are doing our part in helping the students who ride these buses on a daily basis.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Teresa Hartley, 319-646-6881 or firstname.lastname@example.org