Student Transportation Handbook

         This handbook has been prepared by the Transportation Office under the direction of the School Board.  Our goal is to provide information pertaining to the mutual responsibility of the district and parent/guardian in seeing that each child travels to and from school in a safe manner.

After reading this booklet, please discuss it with your child.  It is important for them to be aware of the reason his/her proper behavior on the bus influences its safe operation.

Every attempt has been made to make this booklet as complete as possible in explaining the rules and regulations of riding a school bus in detailing specific areas of concern.  Riding a school bus is a privilege and should be viewed as a continuation of the classroom.  All relevant school policies are enforced on the bus.   If a question concerning the transportation of your child(ren) arises that is not covered; feel free to contact the Transportation Supervisor at (989) 834-2271 or (989) 862-4237, ext. 1561.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

General Conditions

        

The primary purpose of the transportation program is to provide transportation to                                

eligible students in the Ovid-Elsie School District from the vicinity of their homes to the school they attend in the district.

All applicable statutes, rules and regulations of the State of Michigan or its agencies shall be strictly adhered to, and all recommendations and suggestions shall be carefully considered.

Statement of Eligibility

Transportation to and from school shall be considered a privilege to be enjoyed by a student only as long as he/she accepts responsibility for his/her conduct, carefully follows all the rules and regulations, and responds to the directions and requests of the bus driver.

Ovid-Elsie Area Schools shall be responsible for the transportation from the assigned bus stop of the student to school and then from the school to the assigned bus stop.  Assigned bus stop means the home address or that of the daycare provider.

Example:  One address could be AM pick-up at home and the PM drop-off at the daycare provider.  This must be the same Monday through Friday.  Daycare providers must be located in the Ovid-Elsie School District and live on our registered routes.

 

Routes will be planned to keep individual riding distance and time to a minimum.

Student(s) may be transported for extracurricular after-school activities.  

In an emergency, please contact the Transportation Department with any changes.

BUS STOPS

Hollister Road Bus Stops:

Due to the volume of traffic on Hollister Road from M-21 North to the Elsie city limit sign, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools will only do curbside pick-ups and drop-offs.  This means that no child will cross the road to be picked up or dropped off.

Town Bus Stops:

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian or daycare provider to get their child(ren) to and from the town bus stop.

All town stops are established so that no child will have to cross a main street in the towns of Ovid or Elsie.

Group Bus Stops:

Group Stops are defined as a stop where more than one family is picked up and dropped off.

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get their child(ren) to and from such stops.  

Due to the number of students at these stops, all students, regardless of age or grade level,  will be released without visually witnessing that a parent/guardian is present.

Out-of-District Students:

Out-of-district students are defined as any student that does not live in the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools boundary lines.  The Ovid-Elsie area map may be viewed at the bus garage, if there are any boundary related questions.

All out-of-district students will be given a designated pick-up and drop-off point.  These points will be determined after in-district students are placed on routes to determine seat availability.

Ovid-Elsie Area Schools reserves the right to deny busing to out-of district students for the reason of seat availability.

 

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS

Accept joint responsibility  with school authorities for proper conduct of your child(ren) while riding the bus and at the bus stop.

Make certain that your child(ren) arrives at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive and be responsible for your child(ren)’s behavior until the bus arrives.  Parent/guardian is responsible for their child(ren) going to, from and at the bus stop.

If parent/guardian requests their student(s) be dropped off at another location, the following is required:     

Parent must make request in writing or via a telephone call to the Transportation Department.

The Transportation Department must be notified at least 6 hours in advance.

Ovid-Elsie Area Schools will not be held responsible for student(s) dropped off at alternate locations.      

All notes will have to be rewritten each school year.

Ensure that payment is made for damages resulting from vandalism to the bus from their child(ren).

Respect the rights and privileges of others.

Have a family emergency plan if the child(ren) arrive home early or if parent/guardian is not present at the time of their arrival.

Dress child(ren) appropriately for the season.

Parent/Guardian behavior around a bus while it is the process of picking up or discharging children is also important.  If your child(ren) misses the bus, it is not proper to chase the bus down and let the child(ren) out to walk alongside the bus from the rear.  Take your child(ren) directly to school!

Please note that pick-up and drop-off times may vary depending on the participation of other riders.

Be aware that a parent/guardian waiting at a bus stop for a small child may be a distraction as a young child has a tendency to run to the parent/guardian.

Pets may also cause a problem when children are loading and unloading since pets may be a distraction and may run near, in front of, or under the bus.  This could result in injury or death to the pet.

All bus drivers are required to visually witness a parent, guardian or daycare provider when dropping off children in the third grade and under, unless the child(ren) have an older sibling present at the time of drop-off.  If an adult/older sibling is not present, the child(ren) will be returned to Leonard Elementary to the Kids Club Daycare at the parent/guardian’s expense.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENTS

Buses cannot wait for tardy students:  Be at the bus stop FIVE (5) minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.  Students misbehaving on the bus or at the bus stop could cause a driver to be distracted at a critical time.  If this happens, the possibility of an accident greatly increases.

Always cross fifteen (15) feet in front of the bus.  Wait at least ten (10) to fifteen (15) feet back from the roadway before boarding the bus.  Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop (and the bus driver motions for you to cross, if crossing the road) before trying to enter the bus.  Remain seated and facing front while the bus in in motion.  Some routes require students to sit three in a seat.  Never walk up and touch a bus driver or throw anything at a bus.  Never walk behind the bus.

Avoid unnecessary loud noises and do not shout or scream on the bus or out a window.  Talk to your seat partner(s) only.  Remain seated, face forward and sit erect with both feet on the floor, not on the seat, and no arms on seat backs.  Open windows only two (2) notches with permission.  Extend nothing, including head, hands and feet out of the bus windows and throw nothing out windows.

Students boarding buses at the Middle School and High School are asked to wait on the sidewalk until all buses are parked.  Students should stay in line; no pushing or shoving.  Parents picking up students from buses should wait until all buses are parked before approaching a bus and the aide has dismissed students.  Students will board their assigned bus at their school of attendance.  This includes shuttles.

Limit objects that are brought onto the bus to those items that can be held by the student(s) on their laps.

Items not allowed on bus:  scooters, live or dead animals, laser pointers, balloons, glass items, etc.

Items allowed, but must remain in bag or backpack:  cell phones, electronic devices, balls, toys, cans, plastic bottles, stuffed animals, skateboards, all cosmetics including lipstick, chapstick, perfume, hair spray, hand cream, deodorant or any other personal items.

All students must wear and keep footwear on at all times while on the bus.

Eating, chewing gum, drinking, smoking and possessing illegal substances, weapons, or obscene materials are not allowed on the bus.

Be aware that ANY driver distraction is potentially hazardous to the safety of all passengers.

All students must remain quiet at railroad crossings until the bus has cleared the railroad tracks.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BUS DRIVER

The driver may assign or supervise seating on the bus.

The driver is to maintain order on the bus.

The driver will permit a child to leave a bus only at the regular bus stop, except with written permission.

The driver will issue a bus discipline slip to any child that is unwilling to be responsible, courteous, considerate and cooperative.

Drivers are to transport only their regularly assigned passengers unless, due to emergency situations, other authorization is received from the Transportation Office.  If a student goes home or to school with a regular bus rider, he/she must have a note from an adult requesting permission to ride that bus.  If possible, notify the bus

driver two (2) days in advance.

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CELL PHONES/ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES

Students shall not use a cell phone or other electronic communication device while being transported on a school vehicle as a communication device for calls or texts or as a recording device.  A ECD may be used to listen to music or play games while riding the bus.  If listening to music, the student must utilize an ear bud.  An ear bud may be placed in one ear and the other ear left unobstructed to be able to hear the driver’s instructions.   Violations of this rule will be documented in the Transportation Office with the following penalties:

1st Violation:         Verbal warning of the cell phone/ECD rule.

2nd Violation:        Confiscation of the cell phone/ECD.  Parent/guardian must pick up phone/ECD from the                                  

                                Transportation Office.

3rd Violation:        Confiscation of the cell phone/ECD for the remaining school year.

DISCIPLINE NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS

BUS DRIVERS HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE A DISCIPLINE SLIP FOR VIOLATION OF ANY RULES.

Rules and regulations shall be developed cooperatively with Transportation Personnel and School Principals, then approved by the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Ovid-Elsie Area Schools.

Notification by phone or written messages will be sent home to inform parent/guardian of a disciplinary incident on the school bus.

Notification will be:

1st Warning        Student must return discipline slip to the driver, signed by the parent/guardian.

2nd Warning        Student will not be allowed to ride the bus until a conference with the parent/guardian, bus

driver, and the supervisor is held.  The Transportation Department may choose to wait up to ten (10) days before holding the meeting.

3rd Warning         Student will be suspended from riding the bus for a period of time determined by the supervisor

                                and will not gain bus privileges without a conference with parent/guardian, bus driver, and

supervisor.

NOTE:                If weapons, fights, threats or illegal substances are involved, a student may lose bus privileges

with the 1st warning.  Board policies and legal ramifications may apply.

VIDEO CAMERA POLICY

The Transportation Department is using video surveillance camera systems on district buses.  This is a positive approach in maintaining appropriate student behavior and less distraction for drivers.

FIELD TRIPS AND SHUTTLES

The same rules that apply for regular trips also apply to extra school and athletic trips.  If a student has a 2nd and/or a 3rd discipline slip, he/she will be unable to ride any bus to school and/or athletic trip until a conference is held.

It is recommended that teachers and/or chaperones on the bus be responsible for the students’ behavior.  If the chaperones do not take charge, then the bus driver will stop the bus to restore order.  If the student(s) continue to be disorderly and distracting to the driver, they will return to school and the trip will be cancelled.

ATHLETIC TRIPS-POLICY

The same rules that apply for regular trips also apply to athletic trips, with the exception that coaches are in charge of students and students are allowed to do homework on the bus.  Cell phones are only allowed ten (10) minutes before arrival time of the bus to the school, for the convenience of notifying parents.  If the student(s) behavior is inappropriate and the coach does not take charge, then the bus driver will stop the bus and restore order.  If the student(s) continue to be disorderly and distracting to the bus driver, they will return to the school and the trip will be cancelled.

Food will be allowed on the bus, with the agreement that the bus will be clean and free of food and trash.  This is the responsibility of the coach and team.

Water is the only drink allowed on the bus.

If these guidelines are abused, the team that abused them will no longer have the privilege to eat or drink on the bus.

PUPIL TRANSPORTATION FACTS

There is no specific distance any age child may be expected to walk to a bus stop.

The law on bus stops is 400 feet of visible clearance and 200 feet between each stop.

There is no maximum riding time for a child on a bus route.

It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to see that the child(ren) get to and from the bus stop.  It is also the parent/guardian’s responsibility for the child(ren)’s conduct at the bus stop.

The local school district has authority, in keeping with the law, to locate school bus stops and design routes.  Each will be calculated with time and miles in mind.  Pick-up and drop-off points will be Monday through Friday at one address.  This could be one address for all AM and one address for all PM stops.

SCHOOL CLOSING INFORMATION

During the school year, it may be necessary to close or delay school due to weather conditions.  School delays will always result in the following: Buses will pick up students two (2)hours later than normal time and classes will start two (2) hours later than normal school time.  One Call Now will notify parents/guardians.

For closing and delay announcements, refer to the Ovid-Elsie Facebook page, Twitter or Ovid-Elsie webpage.  Residents may also listen to one of the following stations:

WOES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….91.3 FM

WJSZ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..92.5 FM

WLNS-TV…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Channel 6

WILX-TV……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Channel 10

WJRT-TV…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……..Channel 12          

WLAJ-TV……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Channel 25

WSYM-TV………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….Channel 47