Enlace Academy Bus Transportation Policy

I.               Purpose

It is the policy of Enlace Academy to provide transportation to students in a manner that will protect their health, welfare, and safety. We, the administration of Enlace Academy, recognize that transportation is an essential part of the school’s service to students and parents. This policy is to inform students, parents, and bus drivers of the rules and regulations of school bus transportation at Enlace Academy.

 

II.              Conduct on Bus

  1. Enlace Academy’s school bus safety rules are to be posted on every bus. If these rules are broken, the Enlace Academy’s discipline procedures are to be followed. Consequences are progressive and may include suspension or termination of bus privileges. It is the school bus driver's responsibility to report unacceptable behavior to the school principal or assistant principal using the bus referral form.
  2. Bus Stop Rules

a.    Arrive at your bus stop AT LEAST five minutes before the scheduled pick up time. The school bus driver will not wait for late students. Do not wait on the porch or inside the house.

b.    Respect the property of others (homes, lawns, etc.) while waiting at your bus stop.

c.     Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.

d.    Use appropriate language. No fighting, harassment, intimidation or horseplay.

e.    Stay away from the street, road or highway when waiting for the bus.

f.      Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before approaching. Once the bus driver signals you, you may cross the street to get on the bus, if necessary.

g.     After getting off the bus, move away from the bus.

h.    If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you and signal oncoming traffic.

3.     Rules on the Bus

a.     Immediately follow the directions of the driver the first time.

b.     Sit in your seat facing forward with your feet on the ground.

c.      Talk quietly and only to those in your seat – students should not yell across the bus.

d.    Be courteous.

e.    Use appropriate language and actions.  No pushing, kicking, swearing, or yelling.

f.      Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.

g.     No fighting, harassment, intimidation or horseplay.

h.    No throwing objects, inside or out of bus.

i.      No eating, drinking, or use of tobacco or drugs.

j.      Do not bring any dangerous objects on the school bus.

k.     Do not damage the school bus.

 

III.        Consequences

1.     Consequences for school bus/bus stop misconduct will be applied using Enlace Academy’s bus discipline procedures, but note that some situations may cause for alternative consequences. The Enlace administration team will notify parents or guardians, students, and bus drivers of any suspension of bus privileges. The bus driver does not determine if a student is suspended from the bus.

2.     Before writing a referral, the bus driver should try 3 strategies to redirect the behavior.

a.    Have a private conversation with the student about their actions and review expectations.

b.    Talk to the parent in person, phone, or sending a letter home.

c.     Move the student’s seat on the bus.

d.    Conduct acts of kindness on the bus (after morning drop-off).

e.    Give students logical students (e.g. you may talk at a voice level 1 or be silent, you may put your food in your backpack or throw it in the trash, etc.)

3.     Bus Referral Protocol

a.     1st Referral: Repeated offenses that violate the bus rules. Student will get a warning and complete acts of kindness during choice time for the bus or bus driver. Parent will be notified.

b.     2nd Referral: Repeated offenses that violate bus rules. Student will perform acts of kindness during choice time for the bus or bus driver for 3-5 days.

c.      3rd Referral: Repeated offenses that violate bus rules. Student will be suspended from the bus for one day.

d.     4th Referral: Repeated offenses that violate bus rules. Student will be suspended from the bus for three days. Parents will need to come in for a meeting with the administration and bus driver prior to the student returning to the bus.

e.    5th Referral: Repeated offenses that violate bus rules. Student will be suspended from the bus for five days. Parents will need to come in for a meeting with the administration and bus driver prior to the student returning to the bus.

f.      6th Referral: Repeated offenses that violate the bus rules. Student will no longer be able to ride the bus for the remainder of the school year.

 

4.     Depending on the nature of the offense, consequences such as suspension or expulsion from school and/or bus also may result from school bus/bus stop misconduct.  The following could result in a suspension or expulsion from school or school bus:

a.    Fighting

b.    Destroying property

c.     Physical altercation that involves hitting, pushing, and/or punching.

d.    Possession or use of drugs and/or weapons

 

IV.     Parent and Guardian Responsibilities

 1.     Provide the school office with proper student information including the home address, the home telephone number, and the telephone number at which the parent/guardian may be reached in the event of an emergency.  

2.     Instruct your children to be at the school bus stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Under no circumstances should students arrive at the bus stop more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time. In addition, students need to waiting at the bus stop and not in the house or on the porch.

3.     Students that are in grades K-3 need to have a parent meet them at the bus stop during drop-off.  Students in grade 4-6 may get off the bus on their own and walk home. In addition, 4th -6th grade students may escort younger students home with the permission of the parent or guardian.  

4.     All changes in transportation must go through the front office – changes reported to teachers or other staff will not be accepted. All transportation changes must be made no later than 1:30 p.m. on the day of the scheduled change. Transportation changes will not be accepted after 1:30 p.m.

 

V.         SCHOOL BUS DRIVER RESPONSIBILITIES

1.     Relations with Students: Bus drivers will treat students with respect and will refrain from any conduct, which is intended or could be perceived as demeaning, intimidating or harassing.

2.     Relations with School Officials: School officials can and will be of considerable assistance to drivers. They are trained in the education of students and it is in their best interests that control and discipline be maintained on the bus. Therefore, it is very important drivers have good relationships with the school officials and give them full cooperation.

3.     Relations with Parents: Drivers must deal with students and parents in a polite, professional and considerate manner.

4.     Student Discipline: Although drivers are responsible for maintaining order on the bus, drivers must always remember that the types of actions they may use are governed by school district policy. Drivers must never, under any circumstances, use corporal punishment. Drivers have no authority to deny a child the privilege of riding the bus, or drop the student at other than the designated stop. Any denial of bus riding privileges can come only from the school authorities.

5.     Discipline Referrals: Drivers must follow the bus referral protocol. All referrals are to be submitted to an administrator. The behavior must be continuous and the driver must have implemented three strategies to redirect behavior before submitting a referral.

6.     Bus Stop: If a student(s) are not at their bus stop at the appropriate time, the bus driver may continue on with their route. For example, if a bus stop time is 6:45 and it is 6:46, the bus may continue.  If a parent of a K-3 student is not at the bus stop to retrieve their child or children and there is no sibling whom is a 4th -6th grader to escort the child or children, they will be returned to the school at the end of the route and place in after-care.

7.     Bus Driver Training: All bus drivers will attend a 1-hour training session with the school administration.  Training will focus on the following:

a.    Creating a positive attitude on the school bus

b.    Oral and visual communications skills between the driver and the passenger

c.     Dealing confidently with a disruptive student

d.    District discipline policy

e.    Developing and enforcing workable rules

f.      Bus referrals

g.     Appropriate driver behavior

h.    Sensitivity to a diverse student population

i.      Relations with parents and school staff

 

VI.        Student Responsibilities

1.     Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to follow the same behavioral standards while riding school buses as are expected on school property or at school activities, functions or events. All school rules are in effect while a student is riding the bus or is at the bus stop.

2.     All students that ride the bus will participate in a transportation safety training the first two weeks of school. Students will be responsible to attend these trainings in order to ride the bus. Training will take place from 3:00 to 3:30. Upon completing the training, a student shall be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of at least the following competencies and concepts:

a.    Transportation by school bus is a privilege not a right;

b.    District policies for student conduct and school bus safety;

c.     Appropriate conduct while on and waiting for the bus;

d.    The danger zones surrounding a school bus;

e.    Procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus.