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Transportation » Transportation Procedures

Transportation Procedures

Transportation Procedures
Student Carry-On Regulations
The following guidelines have been established by state and school officials to insure rider safety.  These apply at all times while on the bus whether regular bus run, sports trips and/or field trips.
   1:  Potentially dangerous items may not be carried on a school bus.  This includes items such as skies, ski poles, golf clubs, bats, hockey sticks, weapons, ammunition, flammable liquids, animals, large sized packages and boxes over 1 cubic foot, large presentation boards, items made out of glass (regardless of size), and pressurized containers such as insect repellents and spray paints (unless special permission is obtained by the Transportation Supervisor).
   2:  Large size musical instruments such as drums, tubas, cellos and bass fiddles may not be transported inside school bus carrying students.
   3:  Musical instruments such as clarinets, flutes, trumpets, violins, trombones, and guitars may be carried on a bus providing:
            a.  They are not stored in the center aisle.  The center aisle must be free of obstacles at all times.
            b.  The instruments do not jeopardize the safety and comfort of the students carrying the instruments or any other rider on   the bus.
Implementation of these safety regulations requires sound judgment by bus drivers.  Their decisions will be influences by the availability of space and the number of students riding on a school bus at any given point in time.
Student Bus Riding Rules
A student who is granted the privilege of riding a school bus must assume certain safety responsibilities the "Rules".  Students and parents are reminded that bus transportation is a privilege which may be suspended due to student's violation of the rules set forth herein. The following rules of conduct will apply to ALL students riding on school buses.
Students should be ready for the bus at least 10 minutes prior to pick up time.  Students will cross the highway following correct procedure, and driver instructions. Upon entering or exiting the bus, students will go in turn and avoid pushing, will take their assigned seats promptly and remain seated until the bus arrives at their stops.  Students will keep their feet and other items out of the center aisle; keep their hands off other students and property not belonging to them.
Students will not lower windows without prior approval of the bus driver, will not shout, call, or throw anything out the windows, or put any part of their bodies out the windows.  Students will avoid excess noise which might distract the driver, will be respectful to all staff members, and will respond promptly to the bus driver's instructions.  Students will not eat or drink on the bus or use or possess any tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on a school bus at any time.  Students will not use obscene language at any time.
Cell phone use is strictly prohibited on the bus for making phone calls and/or taking pictures.  Cell phone use will be allowed ONLY for reporting and emergency or arranging parents transportation after a sports run or a late arriving field trip.  The bus driver must provide authorization for cell phone use.
Unless permission has been granted by the principal or bus driver, students will not be allowed to use electronic devices (including accessories) be allowed to have electronic/music devices or accessories on the school bus.  Once in the school building, ALL electronic/music devices and accessories must be turned off and placed in lockers.  The school will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Bus Safety 
 "Is my child safe on the school bus?" That question is one that every parent has a right to ask. The answer, according to the Federal Department of Transportation, is an emphatic "yes." Statistically speaking, the school bus is one of the safest means of transportation - even safer than the family car.
Several factors combine to give school buses their reputation for safety. Chief among them are the extensive licensing and education credentials required of school bus drivers. Another is the fact that school buses themselves are sturdy vehicles.
Our bus drivers do their best to maintain order and ensure a safe trip. But they cannot do the job alone - it takes the cooperation of children, parents, and staff.
So what can parents do to make their children’s bus ride a safe experience?
• Make sure your child gets to the bus stop at least ten minutes before the bus is supposed to arrive and dress them properly in the event of bad or inclement weather. Above all else, tell your children never to run after a missed school bus - doing so can be dangerous!
• If your child has to cross a street either before getting on or after getting off the bus, instruct him or her to wait for the driver to give the crossing signal.
• Talk to your child regarding staying a safe distance from the bus when waiting to board and when departing the bus. Students should stay back at least 15 feet from the road as the bus pulls up to their stop. If they need to cross the road to board and after departing the bus, cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus. Students should always cross in front of the bus and NEVER cross behind a bus.
• Stress safety over forgotten clothing or lost homework. Children should never reach for anything (i.e. a dropped homework paper, book, glove, etc.) that has fallen beneath the bus. Likewise, they should not attempt to go back on the bus for a forgotten item. Many children will do this because they are afraid they will be in trouble. Parents can help by assuring them that it’s more important to be safe.
• Keep safety in mind when choosing children’s clothing. Items with drawstrings or straps can get caught on handrails and door mechanisms as children enter or exit a bus. This is especially true during fall and winter, when children wear bulkier clothing.
• Remind children to obey the bus driver - stay seated when the bus is in motion, talk quietly, keep the aisles clear of books, arms and legs, and show respect to the driver and their fellow passengers.
Remember - a safe and enjoyable bus ride makes for a great start and end to any school day.
Bus Conduct Reports
Violations of rules of bus transportation may require the driver to issue a bus conduct report, which shall be sent to the student's administrator. The administrator shall then investigate the precipitating cause for the student's violation of the rules set forth herein.
If the administrator determines that the student's behavior is in violation of the rules set forth herein and or his/her behavior endangers the safety of himself/herself or others, the administration shall notify the superintendent and the student's parents or guardian and may arrange a conference, the administrator and or superintendent of schools, the bus driver and/or the transportation supervisor, the student and his/her parent/guardian. The administrator or the superintendent of schools may temporarily suspend the student from riding the bus pending the conference of the above-named parties and the administrator shall notify the student's parent or guardian prior to such suspension.

If the administration determines that the driver or another individual is the cause of the incident, the Superintendent of schools shall be notified by the school administrator and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. The student and his/her parents or guardian will be notified of the school administrator's determination.


Motorist’s Responsibilities

When approaching a school bus motorist must:

Be Prepared: be prepared to stop if the school bus stops for a pickup or drop off.

Slow down: Flashing yellow lights warn that the bus is about to stop. You should begin to slow your vehicle and prepare to stop.

Stop: Red lights signal that all traffic must stop from either direction.

Proceed: Only when the red lights are turned off.

Be aware: Children may be approaching a stopped school bus from any direction or they may need to cross the road after exiting a stopped school bus.

Remember: School buses cannot turn right on red while transporting students and must stop at all railroad crossings.

NOTE: It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus on a road, on school property, or at any location when its red lights are flashing. If convicted of passing a stopped school bus, the minimum fine is $250–400 and/or 30 days in jail for the first offense. Drivers convicted of passing a stopped school bus will also receive a 5-point infraction on their license for each violation. This law is strictly enforced and all violators will be fully prosecuted.
Passing a School Bus
Overtaking or passing a stopped school bus with red lights flashing is illegal at any time.  State law also forbids overtaking or passing a stopped school bus in any school parking area when red lights are flashing.
Bus Passes

When a student requires transportation to a location other than that which is registered with the school, the following requirements must be met for the safety of the student:  Students must have a signed note from his/her parent/guardian as well as the parent/guardian of the alternate location. The note must be given to the school office to be stamped/initialed and then given back to the student to provide to the bus driver or a bus pass must be completed. This is subject to administrative approval.


Temporary Change of Drop Off or Pick Up for Your Child

Please follow the information listed below to submit changes to your child's pick-up and/or drop off locations:


Permanent or Long Term Changes
Please submit all permanent changes in your child’s pick-up and/or drop-off locations in writing to your child’s school directly. You must complete and submit a Childcare Transportation form available at all Massena Central school offices or on the school website under the District tab / Transportation.


Changes for a Day or Short Term
If your child has a change in drop-off location for one day or short term, parents/guardians must submit a note to the child's teacher and a bus pass will be issued accordingly.

Elementary Students
A written request will be presented to the appropriate school level office by 10:00AM each morning.  The request must include the person's name, the correct 911 address and an emergency contact phone number for the requested location.  Once these requirements are met, the office will issue the bus pass.
Verbal requests will not be accepted for bus passes,  Exception to the rule would be, on a case by case basis; sudden sickness/illness, family emergency and to a traffic mishap.
Aside from the above listed exceptions, no request will be accepted after 2:00PM on a normal release school day, or 10:00AM on and early release school day.
Elementary Bus Stop Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of each and every parent/guardian, or designee, to be in attendance at the drop off bus stop location of all K-6 students of the Massena Central School District as referenced by Transportation Law 30:57.
A parent or guardian must be visible at the drop-off point.  If no one is visible at the drop-off point, the Bus Driver will not be allowed to drop students off.  The student will be transported back to the campus and transferred to the appropriate School Administrator.  The parent/guardian will then have the responsibility to transport the student home after signing the student off campus from the appropriate administrator.
A parent/guardian may request in writing an exemption to this requirement.  The written request must be made for each individual student.  The request will be reviewed by the appropriate School Administrator and filed in the office.  A copy of the signed request will be forwarded to the Transportation Department. The School District requires annual updates to this exemption; arrangements from previous school years will not be honored without re-authorization.
Bus Safety Tips for Parents of Kindergartners
  • There are several ways you can teach your child how to become a safe rider:

    1. Make sure your child knows to stay far away from the bus. They should maintain a distance of 10-15 feet from the curb/road side while they are waiting for the bus to stop. They should also maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet away from the bus when exiting and in front of the bus when they need to cross the road after exiting.

    2. Put all papers, snacks, toys and other belongings in a backpack or school bag. This keeps items together and helps prevent items from falling on the ground around the bus where the youngster might be tempted to retrieve them.

    3. If you escort your child to the bus stop and bring toddlers along, be sure to keep the younger children far away from the bus with a firm grip on them. Many toddlers are strongly attracted to the bus and may run toward it.

    4. Make sure your child knows to get off of the bus ONLY at his/her stop or at school. It is easy to confuse names and faces of these youngsters, especially at the beginning of the school year. If your child is going to someplace else after school, be sure a note is presented to the school teacher.

    6. Make sure your child knows his or her full name and address and can repeat it to another adult.


    Is Your Child’s Bus Late?

    We work very hard to keep our buses on schedule. Under normal circumstances your student can expect the bus within 1-2 minutes of its normal time. If your student’s bus is late it is most likely for one or more of the following reasons:

    1. Traffic delays
    2. Weather and/or road conditions
    3. Delays caused by the bus waiting for students not ready at their bus stop
    4. Delays due to a substitute driver not familiar with the route
    5. Delays caused by mechanical problems

    Please do not call the bus garage unless your student’s bus is more than 10 minutes late. 
    You and your student can help keep buses on time: In order to shorten transportation time for students and make sure buses keep on schedule, students should be outside at the bus stop five minutes before their bus is supposed to arrive.

    A one-minute delay at one stop waiting for a student makes the bus one minute late for the rest of the run. Should this occur at 20 stops this adds 20 minutes to the bus ride for the students on the bus and would make the bus 20 minutes late for school!



    What Training Does Your Bus Driver Have?

    To become a school bus driver, drivers must acquire a Commercial Drivers License with a School Bus, Passenger and Air Brake endorsement. To gain and maintain this license and endorsement they must:

    1. They must pass 4 extensive written tests to get their permit. These tests included knowledge of school buses, air brakes, NYS driving laws, commercial vehicles, safety, and more.

    2. They must pass a NYSDOT physical and initial drug test.

    3. They must receive fingerprint clearance through BCI and FBI.

    4. They must take an Article 19-A road test using a full size (65 passenger) school bus.

    5. They must take a 3 hour pre-service training.

    6. They must pass a DOT School Bus Physical Performance Test.

    7. They must take a 30 hour NYSED School Bus Driver Training Course.

    Continuing requirements, some annual and some biennial:

    1. Two NYSED Bus Driver Refresher courses annually.

    2. DOT Physical annually.

    3. NYSED School Bus Physical Performance Test biennially.

    4. An Article 19-A Behind-the-Wheel Driving Test biennially.

    5. An Article 19-A Defensive Driving Test annually.

    6. Take a Article 19-A Written Test biennially.

    7. Submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

    8. Article 19-A Driving Record Review annually.
    Follow the links below to see the regulations: