The purpose of a transportation policy will ensure that each school committee offering student transportation services complies with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws and Regulations of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Registry of Motor Vehicles pertinent to transportation of students, as well as govern any areas not covered by specific declaration of policy.
All children in grades kindergarten through six who reside more than two miles from the school they are entitled to attend and the nearest school bus stop is more than one mile from their residence and all children residing in regional school districts in grades kindergarten through twelve. Exceptions to this policy may be made when road conditions do not provide for the physical safety of the children and when the health of students make this service essential.
Bus routes are established under the direction of the superintendent in cooperation with bus contractors so as an authorized bus stop is available within a reasonable walking distance of the home of every student entitled to transportation, and that distance does not exceed one mile.
Bus routes are structured so the total time a student spends on the bus is minimal.
Authorized bus stops are located at convenient intervals in places where students maybe loaded and unloaded, cross highways, and await arrival of buses with the utmost safety allowed by road conditions.
The superintendent of schools is responsible for execution of transportation policy and regulations adopted to implement the policy.
Transportation contractors must submit a list of bus drivers and substitute drivers to the Superintendent of Schools for approval by the school committee.
Bus contractors are subject to all statutes of Massachusetts governing buses, drivers, inspections, and licensing.
Bus drivers are responsible for the safety of children riding to and from school. Bus drivers have full authority over the bus and its passengers in route to and from school and during loading and unloading.
A copy of the bus route should be placed in each bus prior to the beginning of school. Emergency numbers such as police, school, garage, hospital, etc., must be posted each bus. Drivers are expected to keep their buses clean at all times.
Any violations of the rules and regulations for student behavior on school buses must be reported at the end of each trip to the staff member in charge, who must obtain all pertinent information and report it to the school principal. The report should be forwarded to the school principal no later than the following day of the occurrence of the incident. The report will be returned to the staff member showing the action taken by the principal who in turn will show the bus driver what action has been taken.
Drivers must not remove any child from a bus as a disciplinary measure.
Bus drivers have no authority to appoint students as bus monitors and must not do so. If repeated misbehavior problems arise, the should report each incident to the designated authority.
Suspension of a student from riding the bus must be administered by the proper authority, usually the school principal.
School principals must administer punishment when rule infractions are reported. Reports must be prompt, and punishment should be administered as soon as possible after it has been reported. All punishments must be reported to parents and noted on the copy of the Bus Behavior Report, which is returned and shown to the bus driver.
In spite of all precautions, the possibility of accidents cannot be entirely eliminated. Drivers should be trained so, if any accidents do occur, they know how to meet the emergency. The following procedures are suggested to drivers:
To ensure that your school transportation program is operating efficiently, it is recommended that an assessment and evaluation of the program is done on a regularly basis. The following is a minimum list of essential information which can be used in designing an evaluation guide.
School Committee Policy
The school committee has adopted specific policies regarding student transportation. All policies are in writing form and include but are not limited to the following:
A separate transportation accounting system is in place and maintained which includes the following:
Parents and Students
Possible Steps To Help Reduce Transportation Costs
Last Updated: August 1, 1996
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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