Broadalbin-Perth Transportation Handbook

Introduction

The Broadalbin‐Perth Central School District Board of Education is pleased to make this transportation handbook available to parents and guardians of B‐P students. This document has been developed to provide district families with information appropriate to district transportation policies and procedures. In addition to this handbook, Transportation Department information is also available on the school district website.

The mission of the Broadalbin‐Perth Transportation Department is to provide safe and efficient transport of our students on a daily basis. In order to meet the expectation of this mission, it is essential that the district put into place a set of policies and procedures to guide the daily function of the department.

In addition to local policies and procedures, the Broadalbin‐Perth Transportation Department follows all guidelines set forth in New York State Education Law Section 3635. Education Law determines to whom the district must provide transportation, the manner by which a school district is to provide such transportation, and communicates necessary schedules and other appropriate information to the public.

It is the sincere hope of the Board of Education that this document proves useful to parents and guardians in our collective effort to transport B‐P students to and from school as safely and efficiently as possible.

Future updates and revisions of this document will be available on the Broadalbin‐Perth Central School District website, and can be made available in hardcopy by written request.

Eligibility

As documented in Board of Education Policy 5.2.1, “The intent of the transportation program is to provide for the safe and efficient transport of those students whose legal residence makes them eligible for transportation.”

Public School Students

The Transportation Department is responsible for transporting all in‐district students attending Broadalbin‐Perth Central Schools from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students attending the Pre‐Kindergarten program are considered ineligible, and district transportation of these students is not currently available.

Transportation will be provided for eligible students from one AM pickup location to one general PM drop‐off location. (Arrangements may be made for transportation to a day care provider when necessary. See Pick‐up / Drop‐off Locations, below, for further details).

The Broadalbin‐Perth Board of Education has instituted a “door to door” transportation procedure. According to this procedure, all eligible students can be picked up and dropped off at their place of residence (or other identified location) so long as this residence is located on a publicly owned and maintained road. The Transportation Department reserves the right to refuse to travel on a publicly maintained road if bus travel on a specific road creates what is considered an “unreasonably hazardous condition.” Similarly, travel on privately owned and maintained “dead‐end” roads is allowable at the discretion of the Board of Education, as a number of issues may prevent the execution of safe and efficient travel. Furthermore, Education Law does not require school districts to transport over privately maintained roads.

Special Needs Students

The district is responsible for the provision of special transportation of special needs students to an appropriate out of district placement, so long as this special transportation provision is specifically indicated on the students individualized education plan (IEP).

Non‐Public School Students

District transportation of resident students to private, parochial, and other non‐public schools is required up to a distance of 15 miles (Education Law Section 3635, (1)(a), (c)). Written request for transportation must be submitted by April 1 prior to the school year requested. For further details on non‐public school transportation, please see BOE Policy 5.2.1

Safety Guidelines

The importance of the safety of B‐P students cannot be understated.

As stated in Board of Education Policy 5.2.2 “School Bus Safety Program”, the district will provide the students with at least three (3) practice sessions for emergency disembarking. These drills are essential for the safety and security of district students.

Important Safety Notes:

  • Stand back from the road at least 15 feet while waiting for the bus. In the event of inclement weather, it is advised that students take an even greater approach to caution as they await the arrival of the bus.
  • Refrain from any horseplay while waiting for buses to arrive.
  • Cross the street only when the driver signals for you to do so.
  • Do not run toward or around the bus. Always walk and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Make sure the driver can see you.
  • Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner. Wait for the door to open.
  • Do not distract the driver.
  • Respond promptly to instructions.
  • Remain seated while the bus is in motion.
  • Windows can only be opened with permission of the driver.
  • Do not touch other students or their property.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or smoke on the bus.
  • No glass bottles are allowed on the bus.
  • Keep all items ‐ including your feet ‐ out of the aisles.
  • Don’t tamper with emergency exits.
  • If an item is dropped outside of the bus, it should be retrieved only with the driver’s or another adult’s supervision. Until that time, the student should not attempt to retrieve the item.

Pick‐up / Drop‐off Locations

The Broadalbin‐Perth Central School District Board of Education has authorized the Transportation Department to place significant restrictions on student pick‐up and drop‐off locations. This consistency will provide for maximum safety and security of our student body, as well as to respond in kind to the fiscal demand that bus transportation levies on the community. This change will be put into effect immediately at the start of the 2008‐2009 school year. In accordance with this new procedure, the Transportation Department will be responsible to transport a student between school and one of two pick‐up/drop‐off locations. These locations are limited to the student’s place of residence and one alternate day care provider. This represents a significant procedural change from prior years. Therefore, the Transportation Department will require each student to have a completed Student Transportation Request Form on file. This form is available on the Broadalbin‐Perth website and by request at each school building office.

Change in Transportation Requests

Permanent changes: Any request for a permanent change in pick‐up or drop‐off location (change in day care, etc.) for a student must include a completed Student Transportation Request Form. The form may be submitted to the main office of the appropriate school building. It is important that parents/guardians submit this form as soon as they are aware of the change, as it may take up to two school days for the request to be approved and implemented.

Temporary changes: Temporary transportation change requests can be made in the event of an emergency. Board of Education Policy 5.2.4 allows for temporary transportation changes to be allowed for events such as a death or serious illness in the family, a temporary absence of both parents from the home, or other circumstances where a temporary transportation change is in the best interest of the student.

Other temporary transportation changes may be made relative to injury or medical conditions (see Medical Conditions / Injuries, below).

Student Conduct on School Buses

Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner at all times on or around school buses. It is essential for parents/guardians to review the student conduct guidelines below with their child(ren) to ensure that they fully understand what is expected of them as they are transported to and from school. Permission to ride a school bus is a privilege. This privilege can be taken away from any students who do not conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. These guidelines are general rules for students to follow. However, they are not inclusive of all behaviors. The Code of Conduct must be followed by Broadalbin‐Perth students at all times.

  • Students must obey all instructions given by the bus driver.
  • No food or beverages are to be consumed on the school bus.
  • Students are to remain seated while the bus is in motion.
  • Students must keep their hands off of other students and their property.
  • Students must keep all body parts inside the bus at all times.
  • Students are expected to keep the bus clean.
  • Inappropriate language, horseplay, bullying, and fighting are prohibited.
  • Voices are to be kept at a reasonable level. Yelling and screaming are considered inappropriate behavior.
  • Students must not tamper with any school bus equipment, including seats, emergency exits, and other items. Students may be deemed financially responsible for damaged equipment or other items on the bus.
  • Smoking, chewing tobacco, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the bus or on school property at any time.

Responsibilities of the Transportation Department

The Broadalbin‐Perth Transportation Department has the sole responsibility of adhering to its mission of providing the safest and most efficient transportation possible for our student body. In order to maintain the highest level of performance, the Transportation Department will:

  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct and all school district discipline procedures.
  • Maintain all vehicles used to transport students in the best possible condition.
  • Recommend the replacement of such vehicles when required by safety and maintenance inspections.
  • Train all Transportation Department staff to exceed legal requirements for safety
  • Regard student safety as the first consideration in establishing bus routes and pick‐up and drop‐off points.
  • Periodically monitor video cameras, which are randomly placed on district school buses to help combat disciplinary problems and vandalism.
  • Explore and implement cost effective transportation procedures and practices.

Responsibilities of the Bus Driver

The school bus drivers maintain initial responsibility of the students on their bus run. It is essential that students understand and appreciate the authority of the bus driver on the trip to and from school.

  • Development and implementation of seating charts.
  • Maintenance of order and responsibility for student discipline (Bus driver will submit a discipline referral to appropriate school principal for additional disciplinary action if necessary).
  • Coordination with the physical education department in the implementation of school bus safety drills.

The bus driver may use his or her discretion in inclement weather in regard to the potential for impassable roads.

Responsibilities of the Parent and Student

In order for school transportation to be provided as safely and efficiently as possible, there are some guidelines that parents and students are requested to follow. Adherence to the guidelines below will prove beneficial to your student and the other students traveling on our district buses.

  • Students are to be ready at their pick‐up location 5 minutes prior to bus arrival.
    • If a student misses the bus, it becomes the responsibility of the parent or guardian to transport the student to school. In the event that a student misses a bus due to a fault of the Transportation Department, the district will return to provide transportation for that student.
    • If a student is to be absent from school on a given day, it is requested that a parent/guardian contact the Transportation Department at 518-954‐2570, so the appropriate bus driver can be notified.
  • If contact information (home or mobile phone numbers, etc.) changes for a parent or guardian, please contact the appropriate school office at 518-954‐2500 to inform the district of this change.
  • Students are to board only their assigned bus, unless emergency arrangements have been approved by the school office.
  • Students are to be appropriately dressed for the weather. Temperatures on the buses can be cold in the winter and very warm near summer.
  • Students should understand appropriate conduct (see Student Conduct on School Buses, above) and behave in a respectful manner at all times.
  • Students should not bring large objects or items of significant value on the bus.
  • A parent or other responsible adult must be present at the drop‐off location upon arrival of the bus in order for the student to be dismissed from the bus (Grades K‐6).
  • Parents/guardians are asked to communicate to the Transportation Department any observation of defective equipment on a bus (faulty lights, signals, etc.).
  • Parents are to communicate with the appropriate bus driver in the event of any incident of concern occurring on the bus. If this communication results in the need for further action, the parent is then to contact the dispatcher (518-954‐2570), and/or the director of district operations (518-954‐2512).
  • In the event that a student has his/her bus transportation privileges temporarily suspended, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to transport the student to and from school.

Transportation of Students by Parent/Guardian/Self

The Transportation Department asks for special cooperation from parents who transport their children to school. If your child(ren) will not be riding the assigned bus (i.e. drives own car, parent transports), please notify the transportation office at 518-954‐2570.

Dropping off and picking up of students in the bus loop is not allowed during bus pick‐up times. These times are posted on signs at the entrance to these bus loops. Additionally, pick‐up/drop‐ off locations for parents/guardians are marked at each school campus.

It is illegal to park in the designated fire lanes of each building at any and all times. Such fire lanes are clearly marked with signs that say “No Parking.” Cars parked or “standing” in these locations, even for a short period of time, are subject to ticketing by authorities.

Medical Conditions / Injuries

The health and safety of Broadalbin‐Perth students are best maintained when appropriate communication exists between all affected parties. The B‐P Transportation Department strives to provide consistent communication with school staff and parents/guardians regarding any medical conditions or injuries that may exist.

Appropriate medical records regarding any student with a medical condition with the potential of affecting the student during bus travel should be forwarded to the appropriate school nurse prior to the student riding the bus. This information will then be provided to the Assistant Superintendent. The Assistant Superintendent will communicate necessary information with the appropriate bus drivers and ensure that the bus drivers are aware of how these conditions can affect the student as he/she travels on the bus.

If a special transportation request must be made for a student due to an injury or other medical condition, written communication from the student’s physician and a completed Student Transportation Request Form must be on file in the district office. The physician is responsible for estimating the duration of the special transportation request. The school offices are responsible for forwarding copies of this information promptly to the Transportation Department.