PARENT / STUDENT
This handbook is an informational guide for students and parents. It outlines the basic policies, rules and regulations governing student transportation.
The Safe and Efficient Transportation of ALL Eligible Riders
For us to meet our mission it requires several things:
- SAFE AND EFFICIENT BUSES
- SAFE AND COURTEOUS BUS DRIVERS
- POLICIES, PROCEDURES, REGULATIONS & RULES
- PARENT SUPPORT AND COOPERATION
In addition to the above, and just as important, we must have good order and discipline on the buses. To achieve this, we have rules students must adhere to. We also have policies and procedures to deal with students who violate the rules.
The transportation department uses a bus pass system to assist in accounting for the whereabouts of students on buses. It also informs the drivers of a new student on their bus or when a student changes bus assignments. A parent/guardian must request a bus pass through the appropriate school office in writing or in person. The request must include the following specific information:
- Student’s name
- Effective date(s) for the bus pass. “As required or as needed” is not an acceptable effective date.
- Full street address where the student is going
- Contact phone number of either the parent, guardian or the responsible person where the student is going
Students can have 2 bus assignments, a Primary and an alternate. When a student rides the alternate bus, a bus pass is required to board the bus. A bus pass can be written for the day, for the week, or according to the time frame the student needs to ride the alternate bus. Please specify, in the note to the secretary, the days the student will ride the alternate bus.
When a student registers, the school office will provide approximate pick-up and drop-off times as well as location. All pick-up and drop-off times are approximate. Due to trains and other traffic issues the times could vary 5-10 minutes, give or take. Most stops in the city limits are at the nearest corner of the residence.
Kindergarten and new students unfamiliar with bus riding is a serious concern for drivers. It is suggested that a parent or guardian accompany young students to their bus stop for boarding and unboarding the bus. Drivers are instructed to return students to school if they consider an unattended drop off unsafe.
New Routes/Route Changes
Occasionally changes must be made to routes. Changes are carefully made for the purpose of overcrowding or to improve the route the bus travels. When a change is made the parent, student and building administration is notified of the bus change.
In order to provide safe and timely service, bus routes will not travel dead end roads, cul-de-sacs, or driveways. Exceptions to normal pick-up/drop-off locations will be considered on a case by case basis dependent on student age, safety and road conditions.
Bus drivers report any road that is unsafe or is causing undue wear and tear on the bus to the transportation office. The transportation office will contact the agency responsible for the road maintenance and request the necessary repairs. If the road is in such disrepair, that the bus is unsafe or causing undue damage to the bus, the district will cease travel on the road until satisfactory repairs are completed.
Inclement weather conditions could cause a bus not to travel certain roads on a route. Parents are contacted if a bus is unable to travel such roads.
Student Illness/Accident While On the Bus
Bus drivers are instructed to take prompt action to minimize the effects of an accident or illness and to provide first-aid as necessary. The driver will determine if an ambulance or other emergency personnel should be called. As soon as practical, a school employee will contact the parent/guardian and inform them of the situation. PLEASE update any emergency contact numbers with the school office. It is very important in case of an emergency that we have correct information for your child.
When enrolling students or move to a different address, please notify the school office with the new address and phone number.
Every student who rides a bus has certain obligations and responsibilities to insure they have a safe ride and do not lose their bus riding privileges. Those obligations and responsibilities are:
From the National Safety Council:
Getting on the bus:
- Be at the designated stop 5 minutes prior to the designated time.
- When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behaviors that can lead to carelessness. Do not stray onto the street.
- Line up away from the street or road as the school bus approaches.
- Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and the door opens before stepping onto the roadway.
- Before crossing the street, wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross the street.
- Look left-right and left again when coming to the edge of the roadway to make sure traffic is stopped. Be sure to watch for traffic when crossing.
- Use the handrail when stepping onto the bus.
Behavior on the bus:
- When on the bus, find a seat and sit down. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver.
- NEVER put your head, arms, or hands out the window.
- Keep aisles clear--books, bags or backpacks are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency
- Before you reach your stop, get ready to leave your seat by gathering your belongings.
- At your stop, wait for the bus to come to stop completely before getting up from your seat.
Getting off the bus:
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, until you can turn around and see the driver.
- Make sure the driver can see you.
- Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing the street.
- When the driver signals, walk across the road, keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
- Do not cross the centerline of the road until the driver has signaled it is safe for you to begin walking.
- Stay away from the bus’ rear wheels at all times.
- NEVER CROSS BEHIND THE BUS!!!!!
The school district encourages parents/guardians to discuss the above obligations and responsibilities with their student(s). Any violation or disregard for the above or rules posted in the front of the bus could result in a loss of riding privileges. The “10 Rules of the Bus” are:
- Observe the same conduct as in the classroom
- Be courteous, do not use profane language
- Do not eat or drink on the bus
- Keep the bus clean
- Cooperate with the driver
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
- Do not be destructive
- Stay in your seat
- Keep all body parts inside of the bus at all times
- Bus drivers are authorized to assign seats and will establish and maintain a seating chart
SAFE SCHOOLS ACT
In 1996, the Missouri Legislature enacted the Safe Schools Act to address the issue of violence and violent behavior in our schools. The Safe Schools Act contains specific wording to extend the Safe Schools Act to the school bus.
The Safe Schools Act defines violent behavior as “the exertion of physical force by any student with the intent to do serious physical injury to another person.” It goes on to include “the threat of physical force to do serious physical injury to another person.”
ACTS OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE ON THE BUS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Riding a bus is a privilege. Any student who displays violent behavior while on the bus will lose riding privileges at the discretion of the building principal.
TRANSPORTATION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, SKATEBOARDS, BALLS, ETC.
Only those musical instruments which can be kept with the pupil and which do not occupy an unreasonable amount of space may be transported.
Prohibited from route transportation are:
- Large musical instruments (If you have questions, contact the Transportation Director).
- Basketballs, soccer balls, etc.
- Sleeping bags
- Weapons of any kind
- Glass containers
- Food or drink
- Other unnecessary items as determined by driver or administration
Transportation Department Discipline Procedures
Eligible students may utilize the school’s bus transportation system. The importance of proper conduct on school buses cannot be overemphasized: the potential for accidents is ever present. The following regulations for pupils safety will serve as a guide: obey the bus driver at all times, remain seated while the bus is moving, talk quietly while on the bus, be kind and courteous to others and place trash in the trash cans when exiting the bus. Since each incident is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the disciplinary action may be determined at the discretion of the principal. The discipline offenses are as follows:
- First offense: Warning, parent notification, ASD, bus contract, assigned seating, ISS
- Second offense: Bus suspension, parent notification, ASD, bus contract, ISS, assigned seating
- Third offense: Bus suspension, parent notification, ASD, bus contract, ISS, assigned seating Alternative School placement
- Fourth offense: Parent notification, suspension, permanent suspension of bus riding privileges, Alternative School placement
All regular route buses are equipped with digital video equipment which records activity on school buses. The technology is used to monitor bus activity of students as well as drivers. The information is strictly controlled and access is limited to authorized school officials and law enforcement due to the laws of confidentiality.
All district policies are located on the school website: www.dexter.k12.mo.us and in the administration office.
If you have any questions regarding the bus passenger handbook, please contact Mr. Gavin Miller at 573-614-1000 x 1605 or Tim Fowler at 573-614-1000 x 1701.