ASD20 Guidelines for Safe School Bus Riding
Welcome to Academy School District 20. We ask that you review these guidelines for safe bus riding with your student(s).
Statistically, children riding in a school bus are much safer than those who go to and from school in a privately owned car, walking or riding a bicycle. Federally regulated requirements have resulted in the school bus being the safest means for your students to travel to and from school.
In District 20, we believe the school bus is an extension of the classroom. Therefore, the same rules apply, except students are allowed to talk to their fellow riders in a soft tone of voice. The school bus is not an extension of the playground, lunch room, or the hallways during passing period. Students who ride the bus in the afternoon are not considered out of school until they leave the bus at their assigned bus stop. The bus typically has twice the number of students than a classroom. In this, the bus "classroom", the adult has his/her back to the students and the classroom is moving at 40 miles per hour down a congested street.
In Colorado, school bus transportation is a privilege. There is no state requirement for school districts in Colorado to provide bus transportation for regular education students. Consequently, if a student repeatedly or seriously disregards the safety guidelines, they could lose their bus riding privileges. As we are in the business of providing a service to the community, we will work hard with parents to resolve issues as they arise.
We hope you and your student(s) have a safe and fun school year.
Director for Transportation
Safety Rules - Waiting for / Departing the Bus
- Be on time at your designated bus stop - Students shall be standing outside at their assigned stops FIVE minutes before the bus is scheduled to depart. The bus cannot wait for those who
are tardy. To synchronize your time with ours, call the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock at 567-6742 for the correct time.
- Students may ride only their assigned bus, to their assigned stop - The parent or guardian may notify the school 1-2 times per semester if the student needs to use a different bus or stop, and the school will issue a one-time bus pass. If a different or additional transportation assignment is needed, please contact Transportation. If a bus is too full or a situation exists where taking students with a pass is not possible, riders will be notified of that fact. Drivers will drop off and pick up at District 20 designated bus stops only, as required by regulation.
- Do not play in the street or on private property - Wait for your bus in a safe place, well off the roadway. Respect other's property; do not play in yards near the bus stop.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before entering - Once the bus has come to a complete stop and the door is opened, enter in an orderly manner and take your seat immediately.
- Loading at school in the afternoon - When loading at school, all students must be on their bus by departure time. For safety reasons, once the driver has closed the door and buses have started to roll, students will not be allowed to get on their bus. Do not run after the bus.
- Be alert to traffic when leaving the bus - Cross ten feet in front of bus. Do not cross the street behind the bus. Follow the instructions of your driver for safe procedures when crossing the street or leaving the bus drop-off location. With motorist's increased cell phone usage while driving, the need to pay attention to the bus driver and follow their instructions is critical to student safety.
Safety Rules - On the Bus:
- Follow the instructions of your school bus driver - Treat everyone (bus driver, motoring public, and fellow passengers) with courtesy and respect. District 20 considers the bus ride an extension of the classroom, orderly conduct is expected. The driver, transportation staff, or the school has full authority to assign seats. INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT, USE OF OBJECTIONABLE LANGUAGE, OR ABUSE OF OTHERS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
- Due to allergies and other health concerns, there will be NO EATING OR DRINKING ALLOWED ON THE BUS.
- Keep your head and arms inside the bus at all times - serious injury could result.
- Keep your belongings in your backpack - Items NOT allowed on the bus: Balloons, animals, knives, glass containers, firearms or explosive items, any tobacco products, matches, lighters or any item that is a health or safety hazard. No sharp instruments such as pencils, etc. shall be carried where they might cause damage to the bus or injury to others. Skateboards and portable scooters may only be brought on board if they are completely enclosed or secured to a fabric bag (i.e. backpack). The driver has authority to require objects that may be unsafe or a hazard, to be placed in a safe area or secured in the student's backpack.
- Use of Cell Phones & iPods/MP3 Players – Students may use their cell phones and iPods/MP3 players while on the bus provided their use does not cause a distraction for the driver, in which case the driver will ask the student to put the device away until they depart the bus. Students with devices that are capable of accessing the internet, taking pictures or able to download/upload data to include pictures must follow the districts IT users agreement and will be disciplined for inappropriate use.
- Large Items (band instruments & props, athletic items, school projects, etc.) – such items are routinely allowed on route buses ONLY if they are small enough to be held in the student's lap, or can be placed on the floor between the student's legs. An item not meeting the description above will not be allowed without individual approval by Transportation. Parents are asked to call 719-234-1410 at least one week in advance if they are considering having their student carry a large item on board a route bus.
The following considerations will always prohibit a large item on a route bus:
1. No large item may take up an entire seat; it must sit next to the window in the seat with the student.
2. No item may protrude into the aisle at all. No item may protrude more than 4 inches above the seat back. The space between the seat and the seatback in front of it is 7-9 inches, and the height of bus seats from the floor is 40-44 inches. Please measure your student's item if needed!
3. Flags may not be transported unless they break down and fit completely in a closed bag.
4. Drill Rifles are not allowed, whether model or decommissioned. Please note: EVEN APPROVED LARGE ITEMS CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED WHEN A BUS IS OPERATING AT OR NEAR FULL CAPACITY. Such items may be denied entrance onto a route bus at any time, because student safety always has priority over equipment!
- School projects - The school bus can be a very crowded and confined area. Small (lap held) projects can be transported. It is recommended that parents transport their students who have larger/fragile projects as the driver/school district cannot be responsible for damage to these items.
- To enhance safety on school buses, video and audio recording devices have been installed and may be in operation at any time.
- Violations of bus rules will be handled on an individual basis between rider and driver. If a problem continues, the driver will contact parents, and progressive actions will be initiated by the Transportation Department or the school administrator. Immediate loss of transportation may occur depending on the severity of the violation. Parents are reminded that school bus transportation is a privilege, not a right and school bus transportation can be suspended or discontinued indefinitely for willful misconduct or endangering the overall safety of the school bus and its occupants.
Results when safety rules are not followed:
- First Incident - The driver will counsel the student. The driver will contact the parent and request assistance in correcting the student's misconduct.
- Second Incident - The driver will counsel the student. The driver will contact the parent and request assistance in correcting the student's misconduct.
- Third Incident - The driver will counsel the student. A Transportation Supervisor will contact the parent and request assistance in correcting the student's misconduct. On this, the third reported incident and request for assistance, the student will lose all district provided transportation privileges for up to 5 school days. Parents are responsible for their child's transportation to and from school during this time.
- Fourth Incident - The driver will counsel the student. A Transportation Supervisor will contact the parent and request assistance in correcting the student's misconduct. On this, the fourth reported incident and request for assistance, the student will lose all district provided transportation privileges for up to 10 school days. Parents are responsible for their child's transportation to and from school during this time. Additionally, a conference will be conducted by a Transportation Supervisor at the District Bus Terminal prior to reinstatement of bus riding privileges. The following individuals shall be in attendance: the parent / guardian, the student and the bus driver.
- Additional incidents may result in removal from the bus for the remainder of the school year. End of year violations / disciplinary actions may carry over to the beginning of the following school year. Parents are then responsible for their child's transportation to and from school.
Immediate loss of transportation privileges may occur depending on the severity of the violation. Such violations may include but are not limited to: weapons on the bus, drugs, physical violence, bullying, vandalism, actions that may adversely impact the safety of others, etc. These violations may be subject to additional school / district administrative and/or disciplinary action.