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Transportation Safety Plan
Berean Christian High School’s Director of Transportation shall ensure that the Transportation Safety Plan is updated and that all drivers and passengers in school owned vehicles are compliant with the standards described in the plan. Parents and students are required to read and sign off the school handbook, which includes school bus rules. When applying to be a regular school bus rider, parents and students also sign a contract which requires passengers to comply with all school bus safety rules and regulations. The plan is as follows:
Authority of the Driver
Pupils transported in a school bus shall be under the authority of, and responsible directly to, the driver of the bus, and the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the pupils while they are on the bus or being escorted across a street, highway or road. Continued disorderly conduct or persistent refusal to the authority of the driver shall be sufficient reason for a pupil to be denied transportation. (5 CCR 14103)
School Bus Drivers – Responsibilities
The school bus driver’s primary responsibility is to safely transport students to and from school and school activities. He/she shall follow procedures contained in the school’s transportation safety plan. The driver shall not require any student to leave the bus en route between home to school or other destination. (5 CCR 14103) The driver’s responsibility starts approximately at the point where the driver can recognize the pupils as the bus approaches or leaves a bus stop.
Child Check Procedures
Prior to exiting the school bus after each scheduled run or while on a field trip, the school bus driver will walk to the back of the bus and check for students that may have been left on the bus. The driver will then press the button that is located at the rear of the bus to turn off the Child Check System.
General Passenger Safety
Only authorized bus riders are permitted to ride the school bus, and they are required to get on and off at their designated bus stop or other trip designation. An authorized bus rider who desires to get off at a stop other than the normal stop is required to have a note signed by his/her parent and endorsed by the school office. The bus rider may also show the driver a text message from their parent granting permission to go to a different bus stop.
School Bus Stop
The school bus driver shall stop to load or unload only at a school bus stop designated for pupils by the school district superintendent or person authorized by the superintendent. (VC 22112(b) In the case of Berean, the authorized person is the Director of Transportation.
School Bus Signal and School Bus Stops
On approach to a school bus stop when pupils are loading or unloading, the school bus driver shall activate an approved amber warning light system, if the school bus is so equipped, beginning 200 feet before the school bus stop. The school bus driver shall deactivate the amber warning light system after reaching the school bus stop and immediately activate the flashing red light system and stop arm, as required on the school bus, at all times when the school bus is stopped for the purpose of loading and unloading pupils. The flashing red lights signal system, amber warning light system, and the stop signal arm shall not be operated at any other place. (VC 22112(a))
Procedures for Student Loading
Students shall wait at designated bus stops and they shall arrive 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Students will not run towards the bus when the bus is approaching. Students shall wait twelve (12) feet back from the street/bus or roadway. Students will wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and will not approach the bus until the front door is opened. Students will walk to the nearest available seat and be seated or be directed to a seat by the driver of the bus. All Berean busses are equipped with seat belts, and each passenger is responsible to fasten their own seat belt.
Procedures for Student Unloading
No pre-kindergarten or kindergarten student will be allowed to exit the bus unless there is a parent or guardian present to receive that student. If no parent or guardian is present, the student will be returned to the school. Students shall unload the bus one seat at a time starting from the front of the bus. Students are to depart the bus and go straight home, not cross road to check mailboxes, go to store or to a friend’s house. Students are not to cross the road unless the stop is a red light escort stop and only in front of the bus. Students are not to play around the bus or go behind the bus. Students are not to crawl under the bus to retrieve papers, balls, etc.
The school bus driver shall escort all pupils in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, who need to cross the highway or private road upon which the school bus is stopped. The driver shall use an approved hand-held "STOP" sign while escorting all pupils. The driver shall keep current on their route sheet stops that require an escorted crossing. In the case of Berean, the daily routes are exclusively for high school students, and our policy is to remain in the driver’s seat during a red light escort. The driver must communicate with the students who need to cross in front of the bus to wait for the driver to give the “thumbs up” signal before they step beyond the sidewalk to begin crossing the street. Students also need to be reminded to look both ways before crossing the street, as some motorists fail to stop even when red lights are flashing.
Rules of Conduct at the Bus Stop
Horseplay is not permitted at the bus stop. Respect other people’s property. Don’t run across or play in people’s yards or climb on their trees, fences, or walls. Stay on the walk path and out of the road. Wait completely off the road for the bus, standing twelve (12) feet to the front of the bus as it pulls towards the curb or edge of roadway. DO NOT Approach the bus until the door to the bus is opened. Bus riders need to arrive at their bus stop five minute before the schedule time of pick-up. Bus drivers will not depart from bus stops before the schedule time.
The bus driver will make every effort to arrive at the bus stop at the schedule time for pick up. If the bus arrives early, the driver will wait until the schedule time before departing. In order to remain on schedule, the driver cannot wait at any stop beyond the schedule pick up time. In the PM take home, some students might be delivered to their stops earlier than scheduled. This could occur when a student is absent and the driver bypasses the stop. All AM and PM stops are on the Berean web site under “Bus Schedules”.
Emergency Procedures and Passenger Safety
All pupils in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in public or private school that are transported in a school bus or school pupil activity bus shall receive instruction in school bus emergency procedures and passenger safety. The county superintendent of schools, superintendent of the school district, or owner/operator of a private school, as applicable, shall ensure that the instruction is provided as follows:
Upon registration, the parents or guardians of all pupils not previously transported in a school bus or school pupil activity bus and who are in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, shall be provided with written information on school bus safety. The information shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
A list of school bus stops near each pupil's home.
General rules of conduct at school bus loading zones.
Red light crossing instructions.
School bus danger zone.
Walking to and from school bus stops.
At least once in each school year, all pupils in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, who receive home-to-school transportation shall receive safety instruction that includes, but is not limited to, proper loading and unloading procedures, including escorting by the driver, how to safely cross the street, highway, or private road, instruction on the use of passenger restraint systems, proper passenger conduct, bus evacuation, and location of emergency equipment. Instruction also may include responsibilities of passengers seated next to an emergency exit. As part of the instruction, pupils shall evacuate the school bus through emergency exit doors.
Instruction on the use of passenger restraint systems, when a passenger restraint system is installed, shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
Proper fastening and release of the passenger restraint system.
Acceptable placement of passenger restraint systems on pupils.
Times at which the passenger restraint systems should be fastened and released.
Acceptable placement of the passenger restraint systems when not in use.
Prior to departure on a school activity trip, all pupils riding on a school bus or school pupil activity bus shall receive safety instruction that includes, but is not limited to, location of emergency exits, and location and use of emergency equipment. Instruction also may include responsibilities of passengers seated next to an emergency exit.
Berean school bus drivers shall instruct their daily riders in proper emergency evacuation procedures at least once a year, and shall document the results of the evacuation drills.
In the case of fog, smoke, snow, rain, or poor lighting where visibility becomes limited to 200 feet or less, Berean bus drivers shall pull over when safe, and contact the Director of Transportation and the school office. If the bus is so equipped, fog lights shall be used. Once the fog has cleared or conditions have improved, transport may continue. The driver has the discretion and permission to slow down and if necessary, pull over to a safe location if visibility becomes too limited.
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