School Board Policy Manual

Nevis Public Schools

Independent School District 308

 
 

Table of Contents

School Board Policy 709

709 STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY POLICY

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide safe transportation for students and to educate students on safety issues and the responsibilities of school bus ridership.

II. PLAN FOR STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY TRAINING

A. School Bus Safety Week

The school district may designate a school bus safety week. The National School Bus Safety Week is the third full week in October.

B. Student Training

1. The school district shall provide students enrolled in grades prekindergarten (preK) through 10 with age-appropriate school bus safety training of the following concepts:

a. transportation by school bus is a privilege, not a right;

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

c. appropriate conduct while on the bus;

d. the danger zones surrounding a school bus;

e. procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus;

f. procedures for safe vehicle lane crossing; and

g. school bus evacuation and other emergency procedures.

2. All students in grades K through 6 who are transported by school bus and are enrolled during the first or second week of school must receive the school bus safety training by the end of the third week of school. All students in grades 7 through 10 who are transported by school bus and are enrolled during the first or second week of school must receive the school bus safety training by the end of the sixth week of school, if they have not received school bus training in grades K through 6. Students in grades K through 10 who enroll in a school after the second week of school, are transported by school bus, and have not received training in their previous school districts shall undergo school bus safety training or receive bus safety instructional materials within four weeks of their first day of attendance.

3. The school district must provide students enrolled in grades K through 3 school bus safety training twice during the school year.

4. Students in grades 9 and 10 must receive training in the laws and proper procedures for operating a motor vehicle in the vicinity of a school bus.

5. The school district must conduct a school bus evacuation drill at least once during the school year.

6. The school district will make reasonable accommodations in training for students known to speak English as a second language and students with disabilities.

7. The school district may provide kindergarten students with school bus safety training before the first day of school.

8. The school district may provide student safety education for bicycling and pedestrian safety for students in grades K through 5.

9. The school district shall adopt and make available for public review a curriculum for transportation safety education.

10. Nonpublic school students transported by the school district will receive school bus safety training by their nonpublic school. The nonpublic schools may use the school district’s school transportation safety education curriculum. The nonpublic school must certify to the school district’s school transportation safety director that all students enrolled in grades K through 10 have received the appropriate training.

11. Nevis Public School will provide students with school bus safety training as described by law. The training will be results oriented and will consist of classroom training and practical training using a school bus. Upon completion of training, students will be able to demonstrate:

a. School transportation is a privilege, not a right

b. District policies for school bus safety and student conduct

c. Appropriate conduct while on the school bus

d. The danger zone around the school bus

e. Safe loading and unloading procedures

f. Procedures for safe vehicle lane crossing

g. School bus evacuation and other emergency procedures

All students in grades K-10 will complete school bus safety training within the time limits prescribed by law. Students who fail to demonstrate that they understand these concepts may lose their bus riding privileges.

III. CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR MISBEHAVIOR

A. Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. The school district’s general student behavior rules are in effect for students on school buses.

B. Consequences for school bus/bus stop misconduct will be imposed by the school district under adopted administrative discipline procedures. In addition, all school bus/bus stop misconduct will be reported to the school district’s transportation safety director. Serious misconduct may be reported to local law enforcement.

1. School Bus and Bus Stop Rules. The school district school bus safety rules are to be posted on every bus. If these rules are broken, the school district’s discipline procedures are to be followed. In most circumstances, consequences are progressive and may include suspension of bus privileges. It is the school bus driver’s responsibility to report unacceptable behavior to the school district’s Transportation Office/School Office.

2. School Bus Safety Guidelines.


a. Elementary students will sit in the front of the bus, Jr. High students will sit in the middle of the bus and high school students will sit in the back of the bus as determined by the bus driver.

b. Be on time for buses. Load and unload from buses at authorized locations only.

c. Approach bus stops by always walking on the left side toward oncoming traffic and by watching at all times where moving vehicles are going and how fast they are traveling.

d. When crossing a roadway to enter or after exiting a bus, be sure you walk only when bus lights are flashing red and the stop arm is out. Stay clear of the bus.

e. Sit in assigned seat if the driver directs you to do so. Keep the aisles clear and avoid all behaviors which may divert the driver's attention from their important job of driving safely. Respect for the driver and other students will be expected at all times.

f. Do not wear clothing or other accessories, which might get caught on the bus when entering or exiting.

g. Obey the driver and all rules of the handbook. Discipline policies will be enforced.

h. Do not stand up on the bus.

i. Refrain from loud shouting.

j. Keep your head, arms and hands inside the bus at all times.

k. Be courteous.

l. Come directly into the building from the bus and go directly to the bus when dismissed. No student will be allowed to leave school grounds once they have arrived at school.

m. Keep the bus neat and clean.

n. All school rules and penalties for misbehavior apply to students while on the bus as it does for regular school hours.

3. Loading Zone Safety Guidelines.

    a. Boarding the Bus:

    1. Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the scheduled stop, dressed appropriately for the weather

    2. Respect other’s rights at the bus stop

    3. Respect private property while waiting for the bus

    4. Never play in the street or on snow banks

    5. Use appropriate language

    6. The use of alcohol, tobacco or any controlled substance is prohibited

    7. As the bus approaches, stand at least five feet away until the bus stops. If you can touch the bus, you are too close

    8. When crossing the street, always cross at least ten feet in front of the bus, after receiving the signal from the driver that it is safe to do so

    9. Board the bus one at a time, avoid crowding or pushing

    b. Exiting the Bus:

    1. Remain seated until the bus has made a complete stop, avoid crowding or pushing

    2. After exiting the bus, move at least ten feet away, out of the danger zone

    3. When crossing the street, cross only after the driver signals it is safe to do so. Cross at least ten feet in front of the bus

    4. Never cross behind the bus

4. Items not allowed on school buses:

a. Animals or insects

b. Hazardous materials

c. School projects such as hammers or fishing spears

d. Roll-up sleds*

e. Skis*

f. Golf Clubs*

g. Baseball bat*

h. Rakes*

i. Balloons

*Items may be transported if approved as a school district sport or activity.

j. Perfumed items such as hair spray (including pumps and/or aerosols), fingernail polish, etc. may be carried but not used inside the bus.

5. Parent Responsibilities Include:

a. Becoming familiar with district transportation policies and procedures

b. Recognize their responsibilities for the actions of their students

c. Assist students in understanding safety guidelines and encourage them to comply

d. Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts

e. When appropriate, assist students in safely crossing local streets before boarding and after leaving the bus

f. Have students ready and at the designated bus stop at least five minutes early

g. Support all efforts to improve school bus safety

h. Plan ahead for day care arrangements and make sure the school has written notification of your plans

i. Communicate, in writing, any medical condition their student has that may need attention on the school bus

j. Provide written notification to the school for all changes

k. Communicate safety concerns to school administrators

l. Plan ahead for late starts or early dismissals of students

6. Consequences:

a. Discipline Guidelines --

1. Verbal warning – seat assignment

2. First referral: Conduct report issued and sent home to parent as a warning.

3. Second referral: Conduct report issued, parent notified, and one to three day suspension from the bus.

4. Third referral: Conduct report issued, parent notified, and three to five day suspension of riding privileges.

5. Additional referrals: Conduct report issued, parent notified, and suspension of riding privileges for up to the full school year. Conference scheduled with parent, transportation representative and principal.

Offenses that are dangerous or destructive will result in immediate suspension of riding privileges and may include notification of law enforcement officials. The length of suspension and further disciplinary measure will be determined by the degree of the offense. Students damaging school buses will be responsible for the damages. Failure to initiate payment for such damages within three days will result in loss of riding privileges until damages are paid.

Any incident of racism, violence, and/or harassment will be investigated and resolved at the district level by the principal and a transportation representative

The following are examples of serious behavior that may result in automatic suspension of riding privilege for up to the full school year.

1. Use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs

2. Threat, harm, or harassment of any persons on the bus. The transportation supervisor will notify the Human Rights Officer, principal and may involve law enforcement.

3. Possession or use of any dangerous objects. Law enforcement will be notified.

4. Defying the bus driver

5. Unauthorized exit from any emergency exit

6. Throwing articles in and out the school bus or throwing articles at the driver

Records of the school bus violations will be given to the principal.

b. Records --

Records of school bus/bus stop misconduct will be forwarded to the school office and will be retained in the same manner as other student discipline records. Reports of student misbehavior on a school bus or in a bus-loading or unloading area that causes an immediate and substantial danger to the student or surrounding persons or property will be provided by the school district to the Department of Public Safety in accordance with state and federal law.

c. Vandalism/Bus Damage --

Students damaging school buses will be responsible for the damages. Failure to pay such damages (or make arrangements to pay) within two weeks may result in the loss of bus privileges until damages are paid.

d. Notice --

School bus and bus stop rules and consequences for violations of these rules will be reviewed with students annually and copies of these rules will be made available to students. School bus rules are to be posted on each school bus.

e. Criminal Conduct --

In cases involving criminal conduct (for example, assault, weapons, possession or vandalism), the appropriate school district personnel and local law enforcement officials will be informed.

IV. PARENT AND GUARDIAN INVOLVEMENT

A. Parent and Guardian Notification

The school district school bus and bus stop rules will be provided to each family. Parents and guardians are asked to review the rules with their children.

B. Parents/Guardians Responsibilities for Transportation Safety

1. Become familiar with district transportation policies and procedures

2. Recognize their responsibilities for the actions of their students

3. Assist students in understanding safety guidelines and encourage them to comply

4. Support safe riding practices and reasonable discipline efforts

5. When appropriate, assist students in safely crossing local streets before boarding and after leaving the bus

6. Have students ready and at the designated bus stop at least five minutes early

7. Support all efforts to improve school bus safety

8. Plan ahead for day care arrangements and make sure the school has written notification of your plans

9. Communicate, in writing, any medical condition their student has that may need attention on the school bus

10. Provide written notification to the school for all changes

11. Communicate safety concerns to school administrators

12. Plan ahead for late starts or early dismissals of students

13. Students are not to switch buses or ride home with friends without permission from their parents and the main office. Bus passes must be obtained from the office to ride the bus to any stop other than the regular authorized bus stop.

14. If an elementary child will not be riding the bus home on any given day, we must have a note signed by a parent indicating the change. A phone call to the office before noon will be sufficient in an emergency. Students not having a note will be placed on the bus. If the bus driver determines that a young student is left in an obviously dangerous situation when the student is being delivered to their bus stop, the driver may return an elementary student to the school and the student will be placed in After School Age Care and the parent will be billed.

V. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. School bus drivers shall have a valid Class A, B, or C Minnesota driver’s license with a school bus endorsement. A person possessing a valid driver’s license without a school bus endorsement, may drive a type III vehicle set forth in Sections VII.B. and VII.C., below. Drivers with a valid Class D driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may operate a “type A-I” school bus as set forth in Section VII.D, below.

B. The school district shall conduct mandatory drug and alcohol testing of all school district bus drivers and bus driver applicants in accordance with state and federal law and school district policy.

C. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-1 school bus or type III vehicle, who has a commercial driver’s license and who is convicted of a criminal offense, a serious traffic violation, or of violating any other state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, in any type of motor vehicle in a state or jurisdiction other than Minnesota, shall notify the Minnesota Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (“Division”) of the conviction within 30 days of the conviction. For purposes of this paragraph, a “serious traffic violation” means a conviction of any of the following offenses:

1. excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of 15 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit;

2. reckless driving;

3. improper or erratic traffic lane changes;

4. following the vehicle ahead too closely;

5. a violation of state or local law, relating to motor vehicle traffic control, arising in connection with a fatal accident;

6. driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license or without having a commercial driver’s license in the driver’s possession.

D. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-1 school bus or type III vehicle, who has a commercial driver’s license and who is convicted of violating, in any type of motor vehicle, a Minnesota state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation, shall notify the person’s employer of the conviction within 30 days of conviction. The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment A accompanying this policy.

E. A school bus driver, with the exception of a driver operating a type A-1 school bus or type III vehicle, who has a Minnesota commercial driver’s license suspended, revoked, or cancelled by the state of Minnesota or any other state or jurisdiction and who loses the right to operate a commercial vehicle for any period or who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for any period shall notify the person’s employer of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification. Such notification shall be made before the end of the business day following the day the employee received notice of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification. The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment B accompanying this policy.

F. A person who operates a type III vehicle and who sustains a conviction as described in Section VII.C.1.g. (i.e., driving while impaired offenses), VII.C.1.h. (i.e., felony, controlled substance, criminal sexual conduct offenses, or offenses for surreptitious observation, indecent exposure, use of minor in a sexual performance, or possession of child pornography or display of pornography to a minor), or VII.C.1.i. (multiple moving violations) while employed by the entity that owns, leases, or contracts for the school bus, shall report the conviction to the person’s employer within ten days of the date of the conviction. The notification shall be in writing and shall contain all the information set forth in Attachment C accompanying this policy. This provision does not apply to a school district employee whose normal duties do not include operating a type III vehicle.

G. Additional driver duties and responsibilities include:

1. Report to work on time, rested and prepared to drive defensively, in an alcohol/drug-free condition

2. Perform a daily pre-trip inspection of the vehicle and report any deficiencies to the transportation coordinator

3. Perform daily routes as prepared by the transportation coordinator and DO NOT make any changes without prior approval

4. Never exceed the vehicles rated passenger capacity

5. Drive defensively and faithfully obey all traffic laws

6. Check the seats of the vehicle after each run for sleeping or hiding children, lost items and vandalism

7. Avoid physical contact with passengers at all times unless to prevent injury or harm to themselves or others

8. Unload passengers only at designated stops unless given prior approval from the school or transportation coordinator

9. Never unload any student when there is doubt about the student’s bus stop or personal safety after they exit the bus

10. Follow the student discipline procedure established by the school board and work with the office on all problems relating to safety transportation of students

11. Address all students parents, and school staff with respect and avoid the use of profanity at all times

12. Refrain from using tobacco on or near the bus at all times and to remain with the bus during loading and unloading

13. Make sure the bus is properly fueled and clean at all times

14. Attend and participate in all continuing education workshops arranged by the district

15. Be at least 21 years of age, maintain a valid Minnesota CDL/School Bus Drivers license and immediately notify ISD 308 of any interruption or revocation of licensure

16. Will not operate a district-owned vehicle while using a cellular telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion

17. Complete a mileage report for each trip taken

18. Maintain the vehicle’s interior in clean condition

19. Never drive at a speed that is faster than reasonable under existing conditions

20. Never exceed the posted speed limits

21. Wear seat belt at all times while driving

22. Maintain current route on file with the district office

H. Driver responsibilities and duties on co-curricular and extra-curricular trips include:

While assigned to an activity trip, all previously stated duties and responsibilities apply with the addition of the following:

Report to the bus barn for a pre-trip inspection at least 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time

1. Be at the disposal of the coach/advisor of the trip. Follow his/her directions unless they are contrary to state laws, school policy or creates an unsafe environment for the passengers of vehicle

2. If the activity does not require the bus or driver to stay with the group, drop them at the specified site and return to the site at the time required by the coach/advisor

3. Communicate intentions to the coach/advisor prior to leaving any site for fuel, meals, etc. On overnight trips, make sure to communicate to the coach/advisor your lodging arrangements and how you can be reached

4. Be ultimately responsible for the safety of the passengers and the condition of the vehicle. Be aware not all coaches/advisors help control passengers on the trip

5. Abstain from using tobacco products on or near school vehicles at all times

6. Post-trip fuel, clean and close windows on the bus after each trip

7. Keys, credit cards, and charge slips must be returned to the district office/transportation coordinator when the trip is completed

VI. SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TRAINING

A. Training

1. All new school bus drivers shall be provided with pre-service training, including in-vehicle (actual driving) instruction before transporting students and shall meet the competency testing specified in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual. All school bus drivers shall receive in-service training annually. The school district shall retain on file an annual individual school bus driver “evaluation certification” form for each school district driver as contained in the Model School Bus Driver Training Manual.

2. All bus drivers operating a type III vehicle will be provided with annual training and certification as set forth in Section VII.C.1.b., below, by either the school district or the entity from whom such services are contracted by the school districts.

B. Evaluation

School bus drivers with a Class D license will be evaluated annually and all other bus drivers will be assessed periodically for the following competencies:

1. Safely operate the type of school bus the driver will be driving;

2. Understand student behavior, including issues relating to students with disabilities;

3. Ensure orderly conduct of students on the bus and handling incidents of misconduct appropriately;

4. Know and understand relevant laws, rules of the road and local school bus safety policies;

5. Handle emergency situations; and

6. Safely load and unload students.

The evaluation must include completion of an individual “school bus driver evaluation form” (road test evaluation) as contained in the Model School Bus Driver Training Manual.

VII. OPERATING RULES AND PROCEDURES

A. General Operating Rules

1. School buses shall be operated in accordance with state traffic and school bus safety laws and the procedures contained in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual.

2. Only students assigned to the school bus by the school district shall be transported. The number of students or other authorized passengers transported in a school bus shall not be more than the legal capacity for the bus. No person shall be allowed to stand when the bus is in motion.

3. The parent/guardian may designate, pursuant to school district policy, a day care facility, respite care facility, the residence of a relative or the residence of a person chosen by the parent or guardian as the address of the student for transportation purposes. The address must be in the attendance area of the assigned school and meet all other eligibility requirements.

4. Bus drivers must minimize, to the extent practical, the idling of school bus engines and exposure of children to diesel exhaust fumes.

5. To the extent practical, the school district will designate school bus loading/unloading zones at a sufficient distance from school air-intake systems to avoid diesel fumes from being drawn into the systems.

6. A bus driver may not operate a school bus while communicating over, or otherwise operating, a cellular phone for personal reasons, whether hand-held or hands free, when the vehicle is in motion. For purposes of this paragraph, “school bus” has the meaning given in Minn. Stat. § 169.01, Subd. 6. In addition, “school bus” also includes type III vehicles when driven by employees or agents of the school district. “Cellular phone” means a cellular, analog, wireless, or digital telephone capable of sending or receiving telephone or text messages without an access line for service.

B. Type III Vehicles

1. Type III vehicles are restricted to passenger cars, station wagons, vans, and buses having a maximum manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of 10 or fewer people including the driver and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. A van or bus converted to a seating capacity of 10 or fewer and placed in service on or after August 1, 1999, must have been originally manufactured to comply with the passenger safety standards.

2. Type III vehicles must be painted a color other than national school bus yellow.

3. Type III vehicles shall be state inspected in accordance with legal requirements.

4. A Type III vehicle cannot be older than 12 years old unless excepted by state and federal law.

5. If a Type III vehicle is school district owned, the school district name will be clearly marked on the side of the vehicle. The Type III vehicle must not have the words “school bus” in any location on the exterior of the vehicle or in any interior location visible to a motorist.

6. A “Type III vehicle” must not be outwardly equipped and identified as a Type A, B, C, or D bus.

7. Eight-lamp warning systems and stop arms must not be installed or used on Type III vehicles.

8. Type III vehicles must be equipped with mirrors as required by law.

9. Any Type III vehicle may not stop traffic and may not load or unload before making a complete stop and disengaging gears by shifting into neutral or park. Any Type III vehicle used to transport students must not load or unload so that a student has to cross the road, except where not possible or impractical, then the driver or assistant must escort a pupil across the road. If the driver escorts the student across the road, then the motor must be stopped, the ignition key removed, the brakes set, and the vehicle otherwise rendered immobile.

10. Any Type III vehicle used to transport students must carry emergency equipment including:

a. Fire extinguisher. A minimum of one 10BC rated dry chemical type fire extinguisher is required. The extinguisher must be mounted in a bracket, and must be located in the driver’s compartment and be readily accessible to the driver and passengers. A pressure indicator is required and must be easily read without removing the extinguisher from its mounted position.

b. First aid kit and body fluids cleanup kit. A minimum of a ten-unit first aid kit, and a body fluids cleanup kit is required. They must be contained in removable, moisture- and dust-proof containers mounted in an accessible place within the driver’s compartment and must be marked to indicate their identity and location.

c. A Type III vehicle must contain at least three red reflectorized triangle road warning devices. Liquid burning “pot type” flares are not allowed.

d. Passenger cars and station wagons may carry a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and warning triangles in the trunk or trunk area of the vehicle if a label in the driver and front passenger area clearly indicates the location of these items.

11. Students will not be regularly transported in private vehicles that are not state inspected as Type III vehicles. Only emergency, unscheduled transportation may be conducted in vehicles with a seating capacity of 10 or fewer without meeting the requirements for a Type III vehicle. Also, parents may use a private vehicle to transport their own children under a contract with the district. The school district has no system of inspection for private vehicles.

12. All drivers of Type III vehicles will be licensed drivers and will be familiar with the use of required emergency equipment. The school district will not knowingly allow a person to operate a Type III vehicle if the person has been convicted of an offense that disqualifies the person from operating a school bus.

C. Type III Vehicle Driven by Employees with a Class D Driver’s License

1. The holder of a Class D driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may operate a type III vehicle, described above, under the following conditions:

a. The operator is an employee of the entity that owns, leases, or contracts for the school bus, which may include the school district.

b. The operator’s employer, which may include the school district, has adopted and implemented a policy that provides for annual training and certification of the operator in:

(1) safe operation of a type III vehicle;

(2) understanding student behavior, including issues relating to students with disabilities;

(3) encouraging orderly conduct of students on the bus and handling incidents of misconduct appropriately;

(4) knowing and understanding relevant laws, rules of the road, and local school bus safety policies;

(5) handling emergency situations;

(6) proper use of seat belts and child safety restraints;

(7) performance of pretrip vehicle inspections; and

(8) safe loading and unloading of students, including, but not limited to:

(a) utilizing a safe location for loading and unloading students at the curb, on the nontraffic side of the roadway, or at off-street loading areas, driveways, yards, and other areas to enable the student to avoid hazardous conditions;

(b) refraining from loading and unloading students in a vehicular traffic lane, on the shoulder, in a designated turn lane, or a lane adjacent to a designated turn lane;

(c) avoiding a loading or unloading location that would require a student to cross a road, or ensuring that the driver or an aide personally escort the student across the road if it is not reasonably feasible to avoid such a location; and

(d) placing the type III vehicle in “park” during loading and unloading.

c. A background check or background investigation of the operator has been conducted that meets the requirements under Minn. Stat. § 122A.18, Subd. 8, or Minn. Stat. § 123B.03 for school district employees; Minn. Stat. § 144.057 or Minn. Stat. Ch. 245C for day care employees; or Minn. Stat. § 171.321, Subd. 3, for all other persons operating a type A or type III vehicle under this section.

d. Operators shall submit to a physical examination as required by Minn. Stat. § 171.321, Subd. 2.

e. The operator’s employer has adopted and implemented a policy that provides for mandatory drug and alcohol testing of applicants for operator positions and current operators, in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 181.951, Subds. 2, 4, and 5.

f. The operator’s driver’s license is verified annually by the entity that owns, leases, or contracts for the school bus.

g. A person who sustains a conviction, as defined under Minn. Stat. §609.02, of violating Minn. Stat. § 169A.25, § 169A.26, § 169A.27 (driving while impaired offenses), or § 169A.31 (alcohol-related school bus driver offenses), or whose driver’s license is revoked under Minn. Stat. §§ 169A.50 to 169A.53 of the implied consent law, or who is convicted of or has his or her driver’s license revoked under a similar statute or ordinance of another state, is precluded from operating a type III vehicle for five years from the date of conviction.

h. A person who has ever been convicted of a disqualifying offense as defined in Minn. Stat. § 171.3215, Subd.1(c), (i.e., felony, controlled substance, criminal sexual conduct offenses, or offenses for surreptitious observation, indecent exposure, use of minor in a sexual performance, or possession of child pornography or display of pornography to a minor) may not operate a type III vehicle.

i. A person who sustains a conviction, as defined under Minn. Stat. § 609.02, of a moving offense in violation of Minn. Stat. Ch. 169 within three years of the first of three other moving offenses is precluded from operating a type III vehicle for one year from the date of the last conviction.

j. Students riding the type III vehicle must have training required under Minn. Stat. § 123B.90, Subd. 2 (See Section II.B., above).

k. Documentation of meeting the requirements listed in this section must be maintained under separate file at the business location for each type III vehicle operator. The school district or any other entity that owns, leases, or contracts for the type III vehicle operating under this section is responsible for maintaining these files for inspection.

2. The type III vehicle must bear a current certificate of inspection issued under Minn. Stat. § 169.451.

3. An operator employed by the school district, whose normal duties do not include operating a type III vehicle, who holds a Class D driver’s license without a school bus endorsement, may operate a type III vehicle and is exempt from paragraphs VII.C.1.c. (background checks), VII.C.1.d. (physical examination), VII.C.1.e. (drug and alcohol testing), and VII.C.1. f. (annual license verification), above.

D. Type A-I “Activity” Buses Driven by Employees with Class D Driver’s License

1. The holder of a Class D driver’s license, without a school bus endorsement, may operate a Type A-I school bus under the following conditions:

a. The operator is an employee of the school district or an independent contractor with whom the school district contracts for the school bus and is not solely hired to provide transportation services under this paragraph.

b. The operator drives the school bus only from points of origin to points of destination, not including home-to-school trips to pick up or drop off students.

c. The operator is prohibited from using the eight-light system if the vehicle is so equipped.

d. The operator has submitted to a background check and physical examination as required by Minn. Stat. § 171.321, Subd. 2.

e. The operator has a valid driver’s license and has not sustained a conviction of a disqualifying offense as set forth in Minn. Stat. § 171.02, Subd. 2a(h) – 2a(j).

f. The operator has been trained in the proper use of child safety restraints as set forth in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Guideline for the Safe Transportation of Pre-school Age Children in School Buses” in addition to the training required in Section VI., above.

g. The bus has a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less and is designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.

2. The school district shall maintain annual certification of the requirements listed in this section for each Class D license operator.

3. A school bus operated under this section must bear a current certificate of inspection.

4. The word “School” on the front and rear of the bus must be covered by a sign that reads “Activities” when the bus is being operated under authority of this section.

E. Additional Operating Rules and Procedures

1. Buses shall be required to travel on improved public roads only. An improved public road, shall be one that is owned and is being maintained by the township, county or state

2. Buses shall not go off the main route to pick up students, unless the distance is one-half mile or more from the patron’s property line and it is an improved public road as defined above

3. Buses shall not drive on private driveways unless specifically authorized to do so by the transportation coordinator

4. Staff members desiring transportation for students will prepare a requisition for school transportation. The requisition must be made at least five days prior to the time the transportation is needed

5. Only students assigned to the school bus by the district shall be transported. Any additional students must have a bus pass issued by the school prior to being allowed to ride.

6. No person shall be allowed to stand when the bus in motion

7. Drivers are to enforce the school bus and bus stop rules as appropriate

8. Students who misbehave severely may be returned to school immediately and be reported to the principal

9. There shall be no students in the bus while the fuel tank is being filled

10. On leaving the vehicle when students are in the bus, the driver shall stop the bus, remove the ignition key, set the brakes and otherwise render the bus immobile

11. When arriving or leaving the school grounds, the driver must not follow closer than 50 feet from the vehicle in directly in front of the bus or closer than 500 feet when traveling on the highway

12. In case of an accident or breakdown of the bus, the driver shall contact the dispatcher using the two-way radio

VIII. SCHOOL DISTRICT EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

A. If possible, school bus drivers or their supervisors shall call “911” or the local emergency phone number in the event of a serious emergency.

B. School bus drivers shall meet the emergency training requirements contained in Unit III “Crash & Emergency Preparedness” of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual. This includes procedures in the event of a crash (accident).

 C. School bus drivers and bus assistants for special education students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition shall be trained in basic first aid procedures, shall within one month after the effective date of assignment participate in a program of in-service training on the proper methods for dealing with the specific needs and problems of students with disabilities, assist students with disabilities on and off the bus when necessary for their safe ingress and egress from the bus; and ensure that protective safety devices are in use and fastened properly.

D. Emergency Health Information shall be maintained on the school bus for students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition. The information shall state:

1. the student’s name and address;

2. the nature of the student’s disabilities;

3. emergency health care information; and

4. the names and telephone numbers of the student’s physician, parents, guardians, or custodians, and some person other than the student’s parents or custodians who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Key elements to handling emergencies:

1. Stay calm

2. Follow established procedures

3. File an accident/incident report

Accident/incident reports must be made by the employee involved and filed with the transportation coordinator at the end of the route. Reports must be in full detail. Accidents/incidents are to be reported for disturbances in or outside the vehicle, fighting, automobile accidents, damage to property, passenger or pedestrian falling, etc. This report does not replace any accident report required by local or state law enforcement or Workers Compensation Report.

Near-miss incidents shall also be documented on an accident/incident report. A near miss is a situation where no obvious damage has occurred. For example, you swerved to avoid an accident or road debris and no one appeared to be injured. It is important to document this situation in case of future allegations.

A. Injuries.

Any drivers receiving an injury in the course of employment, no matter how slight the injury may be, must report the injury to the transportation coordinator, as soon as possible.

Drivers should give assistance to injured persons in accordance to their first aid training. Devote full attention to the care of the most seriously injured passengers first until trained help arrives. Injured persons should not be moved, unless their current location could cause further injury.

Drivers should first contact the dispatcher to call 911 in the case of serious injuries. In the event an injured passenger is taken to the hospital, record the student’s name and name of the hospital where the student is sent.

B. Accidents.

The basic steps which a driver should perform, at the scene of an accident are:

1. Stop immediately in the safest area possible. Shut off engine and set brakes.

2. Notify the district office of the accident by radio. If unable to use the radio, write down the location, the assistance needed, and use a cell phone or have a bystander or older student (in that order) call the school.

3. Assist any injured person. Do not move any injured person unless it is absolutely necessary. Evacuate the bus if:

a. There is a fire or danger of fire.

b. The bus is in an unsafe position.

c. There is a danger of drowning

4. Provide your name, driver's license number and insurance information. Do not discuss the accident with anyone except police and school district personnel.

5. Record as much information listed on the forms located in the first aid kit.

6. Give a list of names and circumstances to the district office so they can begin calling parents.

7. Do not leave the scene of an accident until released by authorities and district personnel.

C. Hit and Run.

In the event a vehicle is involved in a hit and run accident, try to get the license number and a good description of the vehicle and the driver. Contact the dispatcher immediately and stay at the scene until you have been instructed to move by the police and the transportation coordinator or district office.

D. Law Enforcement involvement and Accident/Incident Reports.

All incidents of suspected criminal misconduct by students or employees will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. In addition, reports will be made to the Department of Public Safety as prescribed by law.

All vehicular accidents involving vehicles whose primary use is for the transportation of students will be reported to the Department of Public Safety in the manner prescribed by law. The district will keep complete records of all accidents and investigations.

E. Vehicle Fires.

Learn the causes of fire, how to prevent them, and what to do to extinguish them. If a fire should occur in the vehicle, do the following:

1. Activate 4-way flashers

2. Pull safely off the road

3. Notify dispatch of problem and location

4. Evacuate the vehicle-moving passengers well away from the vehicle

5. Shut off the master electric switch (if equipped)

6. Attempt to put out fire (according to training). With an engine fire, turn off the engine as soon as possible. Do not open the hood if it can be avoided. Shoot extinguisher through louvers, radiator or from other side of the vehicle. Aim at the source or the base of the fire, not up into the flames

7. Use the appropriate type of extinguisher on electrical fires and burning liquids.

8. Do not use water on an electrical or gasoline fire

9. A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water may be required

10. Wait for qualified fire fighters, if unsure of what to use

11. Stay as far away from the fire as possible

F. Evacuation Procedures.

Ordinarily, passengers are safer if they remain in the bus: evacuated passengers may wander onto the road and be hit by another vehicle. The driver, also maintains more control over what happens to the passengers if they remain in the bus. The driver must decide whether the passengers will be safer on the bus or off. Passengers, however, must be evacuated under these circumstances:

1. A fire or other condition (i.e. leaking fuel, etc.) making the bus unsafe. The position or location of the bus is unsafe. The driver is instructed to do so by a law enforcement official or fire fighter.

2. Tornado touch down, instruct passengers to lie down in the nearest ditch. Time and conditions permitting, tell the passengers that there is an emergency and explain what they are required to do. Tell them help is on the way, but for their safety it is best if they leave or be assisted from the vehicle.

If you must evacuate mobility impaired students:

1. Release passengers from their restraints or seat belts by unbuckling or cutting. If a passenger is in a wheelchair, do not waste time unbuckling or releasing the securement device: instead, remove the passenger then (if time permits) recover the wheelchair.

2. Move the passenger from the seat or wheelchair to floor level (if passenger can walk, assist to a standing position)

3. Move the passenger to the best useable exit

4. Move the passenger from floor level to ground level

5. Move the passenger away from the vehicle to a safe location (approximately 100 feet away from vehicle)

6. Assist the passenger back into their wheelchair if it can be safely recovered

G. Vehicle Breakdown.

1. Secure the vehicle in a safe location

2. Passengers should be kept comfortable

3. Contact dispatcher and inform them of the problem

4. Display warning triangles

H. After Hours Emergencies.

If drivers have an emergency situation after the office is closed or on a weekend, use the Emergency Contact Card issued by the district. In case of extreme emergency you can contact the Hubbard County Law Enforcement Center at (218) 732-3111 for assistance.

I. Passenger Illness.

One of the most frightening situations a driver can face is a passenger’s illness. In these situations the driver can literally be forced to make a life and death decision. The ability to act quickly under pressure and use common sense are a true test of a driver’s professionalism.

Following are some guidelines for you to follow in these situations:

1. Secure the vehicle.

2. Determine the nature of the passenger’s illness. Observe the condition. Is the passenger conscious or breathing properly? If possible talk to the ill passenger, also ask the other passengers what happened. See if anyone knows the medical history of the ill passenger and check for medical alert tags.

3. Life threatening situations may require first aid or CPR.

4. Notify the transportation coordinator/district as soon as possible. At that point the office may alert medical personnel. Keep the ill passenger as comfortable as possible while waiting for help.

Diabetes -Insulin reaction (Hypoglycemia) is easily treated with fruit or candy. Diabetics often keep them on hand in case of a problem. Symptoms are shaking, sweating, hungry, headache, dizzy, mood change, blurred vision, and pale. If you know that a passenger is diabetic and is experiencing any of these symptoms, they may need to eat or drink to raise their blood sugar level.

Seizures/Epilepsy -There are basically three kinds of seizures you may encounter.

1. Psychomotor Seizure - This is characterized by seemingly inappropriate or meaningless behavior, lasting from 2-5 minutes. The person suffering the seizure may not remember the episode.

2. Petit Mal Seizure- This is a staring spell similar to day dreaming and usually lasts a few seconds or less than a minute. This may also be followed by a grand mal seizure.

3. Grand Mal Seizure – This seizure is characterized by a full body spasm or convulsion. It involves violent shaking of the entire body with temporary unconsciousness, both lasting from 2-5 minutes. This seizure has the greatest potential for injury to the person with epilepsy.

The following are recommendations for dealing with persons suffering a grand mal seizure:

1. Clear all rough or sharp objects from the area around the person

2. Cushion the head and remove eyeglasses

3. Let the seizure run its course, do not attempt to restrain the person

4. DO NOT put anything in the person’s mouth

5. Keep other passengers from crowding in

6. Remember the person has expended a lot of energy during the seizure and may need to rest when it is over

Motion Sickness – Motion sickness is rarely a serious problem and does not require medical attention. The usual indications of motion sickness are: nausea, profuse sweating, hyperventilation, paleness and claustrophobia. To reduce claustrophobia and other symptoms seat the passenger in the first seat on the right side. Get the passenger some fresh air and have the person breathe deeply and slowly.

J. Weather Related Emergencies.

Living in northern Minnesota we face the potential of two types of weather-related emergencies: blizzards and tornadoes. Because blizzard season runs concurrently with the school year, we are likely to experience this hazard most often. Below are some precautionary and emergency measures to consider before blizzard season arrives.

1. Be aware of existing weather conditions and forecasts; listen for updates from the National Weather Service and the School District.

2. Whenever possible start each trip with a full tank of fuel.

3. Do not alter your route without prior authorization.

4. Do not allow anyone to leave the bus except at regular stops.

5. If the bus is stuck, radio for help if possible. Never leave your passengers. Use your lights to attract attention.

6. If the bus is running, check for exhaust fumes, you may need to open one or more windows slightly for fresh air.

7. If there is no heat in the bus, have the passengers clap hands or do exercises to stimulate circulation.

8. Do not over exert yourself, you are too important to your passengers to risk any incapacitating injury.

Tornadoes pose the most severe weather threat to you and your passengers. Fortunately the path of a tornado is rarely over a hundred yards wide, and the chances of you being directly involved are very small. Here are some precautions:

1. Know weather terminology.

a. Tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. Watch the sky closely when in a tornado watch situation.

b. Tornado warning means that a funnel cloud has actually been sighted. Take precautionary measures immediately. If at school, send the students back inside.

2. Upon first sighting a tornado, determine which direction it is traveling, and whether it will cross your path. If the tornado is moving toward the area you are driving, stop. If the storm is not nearby retreat at right angles to the storm’s path.

3. Do not attempt to outrun the tornado.

4. If you believe the tornado will hit your bus and there is no escape route or time available, evacuate the bus. Take the pupils to the nearest depression or ditch upwind of the bus and far enough away so the bus cannot roll over on them. Instruct them to cover their heads with their arms. If students are wearing coats or jackets, these can be used to provide additional protection for their heads and bodies. Take only jackets and the first aid kit.

5. If you are driving when you hear a tornado warning or spot a funnel and there is no time to move the children, have the children assume the protective position and remain in their seats with their heads below window level. Leave your lights on, shut the engine off, and get under the dash board away from the door.

6. If there is a house or building nearby which offers shelter and there is time to reach it, move to the basement of the building and crouch against the wall nearest the approaching storm. If there is no basement in the building, crouch against a central wall not exposed to windows that face the approaching storm.

Do Not:

1. Attempt to escape a tornado by outrunning it

2. Drive at unsafe speeds to escape a tornado

3. Take on pupils if a tornado is nearby or likely

4. Seek shelter in wooded areas

After a tornado has struck:

1. Remain calm and try to keep your passengers calm

2. Apply first aid where necessary. Call for help as needed

3. Transport children to school or alternate locations as appropriate

4. Continue to monitor your radios for additional information

K. Dangerous Weapons.

If a driver learns that a passenger may have a dangerous weapon on the bus:

1. Remain calm and call for assistance using the predetermined code

2. Give the district the location of the bus

3. Continue the route and wait for assistance

4. Do not inform the passenger suspected of having a weapon

a. If possible, school bus drivers or their supervisors shall call “911” or the local emergency phone number in the event of a serious emergency.

b. School bus drivers shall meet the emergency training requirements contained in Unit III “Crash & Emergency Preparedness” of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Model School Bus Driver Training Manual. This includes procedures in the event of a crash (accident).

c. School bus drivers and bus assistants for special education students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition shall be trained in basic first aid procedures, shall within one month after the effective date of assignment participate in a program of in-service training on the proper methods for dealing with the specific needs and problems of pupils with disabilities, assist pupils with disabilities on and off the bus when necessary for their safe ingress and egress from the bus; and ensure that protective safety devices are in use and fastened properly.

d. Emergency Health Information shall be maintained on the school bus for students requiring special transportation service because of their handicapping condition. The information shall state:

1. the pupil’s name and address;

2. the nature of the pupil’s disabilities;

3. emergency health care information; and

4. the names and telephone numbers of the pupil’s physician, parents, guardians, or custodians, and some person other than the pupil’s parents or custodians who can be contacted in case of an emergency.

IX.SCHOOL DISTRICT VEHICLE MAINTENANCE STANDARDS

A. All school vehicles shall be maintained in safe operating conditions through a systematic preventive maintenance and inspection program adopted or approved by the school district.

B. All school vehicles shall be state inspected in accordance with legal requirements.

C. A copy of the current daily pre-trip inspection report must be carried in the bus. Daily pre-trip inspections shall be maintained on file in accordance with the school district’s record retention schedule. Prompt reports of defects to be immediately corrected will be submitted.

D. Pre-Trip Inspection:

1) Engine Compartment

a) Oil level

b) Coolant level

c) Break fluid level

d) Power steering level

e) Belts and hose

f) Water pump

g) Alternator

h) Any leaks

i) Air compressor

2) Start engine, check gauges, and check all heaters, fans, wipers, etc.

3) Check horn, check steering wheel play

4) Check gear shift lever

5)Check break system

a) Air Breaks- warning buzzer, parking brake, and complete air system check.

b) Conventional brakes- test breaks, parking break, electrical assist.

6) Check mirror adjustment

7) Make sure first aid and body fluid kits are properly filled, fire extinguisher is properly charge, and that you have three warning triangles

8) Turn on 4-ways, headlights and activate amber 8-ways. Check front lights from inside bus or have someone help you

9) Walk to rear of bus checking seats, windows and roof exits if applicable. Open emergency door and check rear lights and door buzzers

10) Walk to front of bus, checking seats and windows. Turn on left signal and open door to activate red 8-ways

11) Exit bus for first walk around inspection

a) Check door, step light and courtesy light

b) Check right front tire for tread wear, tightness and proper inflation. Check inside of tire for break defects, axle seal leaks, fluid leaks, and slack adjusters (air breaks) check spring and shock absorber, check condition of mud flap

c) Check front headlights, signals, 8-ways, and mirrors

d) Check left front tire for tread wear, tightness and inflation. Check inside of tire for break defects, axle seal leaks, fluid leaks, and slack adjusters (air breaks) check spring and shock absorber, check condition of mud flap

e) Check general condition of left side of bus, windows, clearance lights, and rear tires for tread wear, tightness and inflation. Check inside tire for brake defects, axle seal leaks, fluid leaks, and slack adjusters (air breaks) check spring and shock absorber, check condition of mud flap

f) Check rear lights, open emergency door from outside and check buzzer

g) Check general condition of right side of bus, windows, clearance lights, and rear tires for tread wear, tightness, and inflation. Check inside of tire for break defects, axle seal leaks, fluid leaks, and slack adjusters (air breaks) check spring and shock absorber, check condition of mud flap

12) Check fuel tanks for leaks

13) Re-enter bus, turn on right signal, switch headlights to high beam, turn off 8-ways. Perform second walk around inspection checking right signal in the front and rear, high beams, check general condition of bus

14) Re-enter bus, turn off signal, and switch to low beams

Check maintenance card for service

E. Daily post-trip inspection shall be performed to check for any children or lost items remaining on the bus and for vandalism.

 X. SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY DIRECTOR

The school board has designated an individual to serve as the school district’s school transportation safety director. The school transportation safety director shall have day-to-day responsibility for pupil transportation safety, including transportation of nonpublic school children when provided by the school district. The school transportation safety director will assure that this policy is periodically reviewed to ensure that it conforms to law. The school transportation safety director shall certify annually to the school board that each school bus driver meets the school bus driver training competencies required by Minn. Stat. § 171.321, Subd. 4. The transportation safety director also shall annually verify or ensure that the private contractor utilized by the school has verified the validity of the driver’s license of each employee who regularly transports students for the school district in a Type A, B, C, or D school bus, Type III vehicle, or MFSAB with the National Driver’s Register or the Department of Public Safety. Upon request of the school district superintendent or the superintendent of the school district where nonpublic students are transported, the school transportation safety director also shall certify to the superintendent that students have received school bus safety training in accordance with state law. The name, address and telephone number of the school transportation safety director are on file in the school district office. Any questions regarding student transportation or this policy may be addressed to the school transportation safety director.

XI. STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SAFETY COMMITTEE

The school board may establish a student transportation safety committee. The chair of the student transportation safety committee is the school district’s school transportation safety director. The school board shall appoint the other members of the student transportation safety committee. Membership may include parents, school bus drivers, representatives of school bus companies, local law enforcement officials, other school district staff, and representatives from other units of local government.

Legal References:

Minn. Stat. § 122A.18, Subd. 8 (Board to Issue Licenses)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.03 (Background Check)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.42 (Textbooks; Individual Instructor or Cooperative Learning Material; Standard Tests)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.88 (Independent School Districts; Transportation)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.885 (Diesel School Buses; Operation of Engine; Parking)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.90 (School Bus Safety Training)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.91 (School District Bus Safety Responsibilities)
Minn. Stat. § 144.057 (Background Studies on Licensees and Other Personnel)
Minn. Stat. § 169.01, Subds. 6 and 92 (5) (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 169.443 (Safety of School Children; Bus Driver’s Duties)
Minn. Stat. § 169.446, Subd. 2 (Driver Training Programs)
Minn. Stat. § 169.451 (Inspecting School and Head Start Buses; Rules; Misdemeanor)
Minn. Stat. § 169.454 (Type III Vehicle Standards)
Minn. Stat. §169.4582 (Reportable Offense on School Buses)
Minn. Stat. §§ 169A.25-169A.27 (Driving While Impaired)
Minn. Stat. § 169A.31 (Alcohol-Related School Bus or Head Start Bus Driving)
Minn. Stat. §§ 169A.50-169A.53 (Implied Consent Law)
Minn. Stat. § 171.02, Subds. 2, 2a, and 2b (Licenses; Types, Endorsements, Restrictions)
Minn. Stat. § 171.168 (Notification of Conviction for Violation by a Commercial Driver)
Minn. Stat. § 171.169 (Notification of Suspension of License of Commercial Driver)
Minn. Stat. § 171.321 (Qualifications of School Bus Driver)
Minn. Stat. § 171.3215, Subd. 1(c) (Canceling Bus Endorsement for Certain Offenses)
Minn. Stat. §181.951 (Authorized Drug and Alcohol Testing)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 245C (Human Services Background Studies)
Minn. Stat. § 609.02 (Definitions)
Minn. Rules Part 7470.1000 – 7470.1700 (School Bus Inspection)
34 C.F.R. § 383.5 (Transportation Definitions)
49 C.F.R. § 383.31 (Notification of Convictions for Driver Violations)
49 C.F.R. § 383.33 (Notification of Driver’s License Suspensions)

Cross References:

School Board Policy 416 (Drug and Alcohol Testing)
School Board Policy 707 (Transportation of Public Students)
School Board Policy 708 (Transportation of Nonpublic Students)
School Board Policy 710 (Extracurricular Transportation)


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