5320.1 School Transportation Safety Program Guidelines


Grand Island Public School Transportation Plan

It is the policy of the Grand Island Public School District to provide transportation to eligible students as part of the educational program. The district is committed to ensure parents that procedures and guidelines are implemented to provide the highest level of safety for their child. This Safe Pupil Transportation Plan sets forth the District's Plan for providing safe transportation to students being transported in pupil transportation vehicles.

General Student Behavior Guidelines/Procedures
Students are expected to follow student conduct rules while in a pupil transportation vehicle. The pupil transportation driver is responsible for controlling behavior that affects safety, and for reporting rule violations to school administration.
   • All Students must ride facing forward and must travel in the upright position at all times.
   • All bus stops will be at designated facilities and residences approved by the office of transportation.
   • The bus driver is responsible for the safety and well being of all students on the bus. Seating arrangements and other rules on the bus are the responsibility of the driver, and will reflect necessary practices to assure a safe and orderly ride for the students. Emergency evacuation procedures are reviewed with students on a regular basis.
   • All persons occupying a school vehicle shall be required to wear seat belts whenever the vehicle is in motion and seat belts are available.
   • All traffic regulations are to be followed at all times.
   • Use of mobile electronic devices is prohibited while driving unless it is necessary to communicate in the case of emergency services.
   • Students should not be permitted to board the bus when they are visibly ill. If the driver is not able to inform the parent of such situation, call the transportation office and they will inform the parent that the student will need to remain at home.
   • Drivers should have information about any student who suffers from any chronic condition, such as seizures, asthma, or any allergies, and be briefed about the appropriate emergency procedures by the Health Specialists. Any such occurrence should be documented and parents should be notified.
   • Report and document discipline problems to the school administrator.
      o If a student's behavior on the bus creates a hazard for the student or other students, the driver is to notify the transportation office by radio or phone at the completion of the route if possible.
      o Park the bus and do not proceed until the driver is assured that the safety of all students can be maintained.
      o The bus should proceed to the nearest school where assistance from the principal's office can be obtained. The transportation office will need to be notified so the school can be contacted in advance.
      o If the driver determines additional assistance is required to remove the student, contact the transportation office immediately. If the radio is not operative, proceed to the nearest school. However, under no circumstances is the bus to be left unattended if students are still aboard.
   • No unauthorized individuals shall be transported.
   • No smoking is allowed in any school-owned vehicle.
   • No food or drinks are allowed on the bus as a safety precaution.

Emergency contact number(s):
• SPED Transportation office 385-5925
• GIPS Transportation office 385-5900 x. 1153

Wheelchair and Lift Guidelines/Procedures
   • Wheelchair brakes should be in good working order.
   • All students must have a metal locking seat belt that secures them to the wheelchair .
   • All students being transported in a wheelchair should have a head support. (Additional equipment will be determined by the physical and or occupational therapist and documented through the IEP to maintain the highest level of safety for the student)
   • It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to maintain their child's wheelchair
   • When loading and unloading children in wheelchairs, the driver is responsible for the correct and safe use of the wheelchair lift.
   • Keep all passengers/others away from the lift when operating.
   • Always insure that the student is secure in their wheelchair and that the wheelchair brakes/locks are engaged.
   • Be thoroughly familiar with the wheelchair lift and operating procedures before using.
   • All wheelchairs will be secured with an approved tie-down system in the bus.

Weapons
Upon becoming aware of a weapon aboard a pupil transportation vehicle, the driver will make every attempt to:
   • Contact the transportation coordinator and notify them of the situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone dispatch from a cellular telephone or from the nearest safe haven location. Examples of a safe haven include, but are not limited to, any school building site, emergency service station (law enforcement or fire department), community service agency, etc. If a cell phone is available and the situation warrants the driver can immediately call 911.
   • Pull vehicle over to safe and secure area.
   • Confiscate the weapon (if it does not jeopardize student or driver safety).
   • Give description of weapon and participating parties to the transportation office.
   • Transportation office will immediately notify appropriate law enforcement agencies and school administration.

Terroristic threats
A person commits a terroristic threat if the person threatens to commit a crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another or with the intent of causing evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or evacuation. Upon becoming aware of a terroristic threat relating to a pupil transportation vehicle, the driver will make every attempt to:
   • Contact transportation office and notify them of the situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone the transportation from a cellular telephone or from the nearest safe haven location. If a cell phone is available and the situation warrants the driver can immediately call 911.
   • Make every attempt to keep passengers calm (this may mean complying with the terrorist).
   • The transportation office will immediately notify appropriate law enforcement agencies and school administration.
   • The driver should wait for instructions from the transportation office, if possible.

Severe Weather
Procedures for Bad Weather/Road Conditions

Grand Island rarely closes school due to poor weather conditions, especially when we begin the day with students. However, this does not mean the roads are safe for our buses, even when school is in session.

   • Any cancellations will be announced through local media. If cancelled in the morning, we will not run any routes that day. Even if transportation is cancelled and school is in session, which should be very infrequent, you can decide if you can safely transport your student to and from school.
   • Often times, weather conditions deteriorate as the day progresses forcing us to start routes earlier than usual. If this is the case, we will typically start the after- school routes accordingly. Parents will be notified.
   • It is the policy of Grand Island Public Schools to recognize the right and responsibility of parents to use their discretion and judgment whether or not they should send their student to school and/or pick them up early even if school is in session

Severe weather while aboard a pupil transportation vehicle.
The driver will make every attempt to:
   • Contact transportation dispatch and notify them of situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone dispatch from a cellular telephone or from nearest safe haven location.
   • If less than five minutes away to the nearest school, return to the school and follow the directions of the school administrator.
   • If more than five minutes away from nearest school, or there is immediate danger, get to the nearest basement or underground shelter with all students.
   • If there is not shelter and there is immediate danger the driver and passengers are to follow evacuation procedures and get everyone off the vehicle into the nearest ditch or culvert at least 100 feet away from the vehicle.

Hazardous Materials
Upon becoming aware of a hazardous material aboard a pupil transportation vehicle, the driver will make every attempt to:
   • Contact transportation dispatch and notify them of situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone the transportation office from a cellular telephone or from the nearest safe haven location.
   • Pull vehicle over to safe haven location. Give description of hazardous materials in question to transportation office.
   • Prior to any notification being given, if the driver determines there is immediate danger on the bus, the driver will evacuate the bus, directing students out the safest exit, while avoiding the hazardous substance or object and will move them a safe distance from the bus. The driver will, as soon as possible, notify the transportation office or 911.
   • The transportation office will immediately notify appropriate law enforcement and school administration.
   • Driver should wait for instructions from the transportation office, if possible.

Medical Emergencies
Upon becoming aware of a medical emergency aboard a pupil transportation vehicle, the driver will make every attempt to:
   • Contact transportation office and notify them of situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone the transportation office from a cellular telephone or from the nearest safe haven location. If necessary due to the type of emergency, the driver has authority to immediately call 911, from the nearest telephone.
   • The transportation office will immediately notify appropriate medical agencies and school administration.
   • Driver should follow instructions from the transportation office, school officials, and parents when such information can be obtained quickly enough. If not available, follow emergency first aid procedures.
   • Only if necessary, the driver should move passenger, only enough to get them out of danger of traffic or fire. If moved, the driver and aide are to keep the student where placed until a medical agency arrives, unless a parent has taken charge of the student.
   • Driver should try to keep student passengers as calm as possible. All students will remain with (in or near) the bus until medical assistance arrives. If necessary, the driver determines that the bus can proceed to school or on its route. Students should only be allowed to leave scene with their parents when verification is provided.

Procedures in the Event of Mechanical Breakdowns
   • Activate emergency flashers and pull vehicle over to safe and secure area if possible
   • Radio the transportation office and notify them of situation if possible. If not possible, the driver will make every attempt to telephone transportation from a cellular phone or from the nearest safe haven location.
   • Activate emergency flashers and place warning flares/reflectors in accordance with safety guidelines, if not in secure area
   • Driver should try to keep student passengers as calm as possible
   • Transportation will arrange for assistance and a relief vehicle if needed

Procedures in the event the drop-off location is uncertain or appears unsafe to leave students
   • Radio transportation or otherwise communicate with dispatch to notify the of the situation if possible
   • Release children only if an adult responsible for the children is present. If not, keep children who are to be released in the vehicle, continue with route, and return children who were to be released to the school
   • Dispatch will notify appropriate law enforcement agencies and school administration if appropriate given the circumstances

Documentation under Safe Pupil Transportation Plan
Each pupil transportation driver is required to complete and submit to the school administration a bus conduct report or incident report involving the pupil transportation vehicle operated by the driver or any pupils transported in it. Documentation is to include the occurrence of any of the following events: weapons, student behavior that affects safety, terroristic threats, severe weather, hazardous materials, or medical emergencies. Documentation of such events shall be completed and submitted as soon as practicable after the incident.

Transportation of Unsafe Items
Drivers shall not permit pupil transportation vehicles to transport any items, animals, materials, weapons or look-a-like weapons or equipment which in any way would endanger the lives, health or safety of the students or other passengers and the driver. Look-a-like weapons associated with a school-sponsored or approved activity may be transported only with written permission of a school administrator. Any item that would break or could produce injury if tossed about inside the pupil transportation vehicle when involved in an accident or sudden stop shall be secured.

Supplemental Information
A copy of this plan shall be placed in each pupil transportation vehicle, kept at each school building, and made available upon request. Supplemental information with respect to operational procedural guidelines used to administer this plan can be found in the District's safety and security plan adopted pursuant to 92 NAC 10 and in the Nebraska Department of Education Pupil Transportation Guide.

Revised: 4-12-2011
Revised: 09.24.2014
Reviewed: 08.13.2015