File EEA: Student Transportation Services

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Services Provided:
1. Walking distance to school or bus stop: Kindergarten, up to three-tenths (3/10th ) of a mile; Grades 1-5, up to approximately one-half (1/2) mile; Grades 6-12, up to approximately one (1) mile, unless there is a safety issue as determined by the Transportation Director. Exceptions to this policy made by the Transportation Director, the Superintendent, the Board or its Transportation sub-committee will be duly recorded, noting the specific safety issues causing the exception and setting a timeframe for review of the decision.
Transportation shall be provided for any handicapped student as deemed necessary by the Superintendent of Schools. Application for such transportation shall be made through the Director of Special Services.
Late buses: Late buses are provided for Mt. Ararat Middle School and Mt. Ararat High School students involved in after-school activities. These buses are only intended to provide a ride back to a point in the community for those students taking part in afternoon activities. Students are dropped at established locations in each community where they can be picked up by their parents. If students live on the established route, they can be dropped at or near their homes.
Field trips and school-sponsored club trips:
Extended trips for school-sponsored activities are discouraged. Permission for such trips will be limited and granted for special circumstances only. Each request will be submitted for approval to the Superintendent of Schools.
(A) School buses will not normally be utilized to transport students to out-of-State activities.
(B) Trips of greater than 125 (one hundred twenty-five) miles are discouraged and will require the approval of the Board of Directors.
(C) Trips of fewer than 125 (one hundred twenty-five) miles may be approved, providing:
(1) Spare buses are available.
(2) Trips will not interfere with normal scheduling.
(D) All requests for bus trips must be made in writing and submitted within the specified guidelines through the Transportation Director for approval.
(E) Athletic functions: The Athletic Director of Mt. Ararat High School and the Athletic Director of Mt. Ararat Middle School will coordinate and schedule all Mt. Ararat High School and Mt. Ararat Middle School transportation requests for athletic trips. He or she will, one (1) week in advance, submit a transportation request to the Transportation Director for the following week's scheduled activities. (Requests for elementary school athletic functions will be handled in the same manner as a field trip.)
(F) The Board has established charging policies for transportation costs for school-related activities based on the following:
(1) The cost per mile based on average fuel consumption of the vehicle used and current cost per gallon of fuel,
(2) Cost per hour for the driver based on the current Merrymeeting Employees Association Salary Schedule for a Step B bus driver.
(3) Cost calculation for all trips will start and end at the bus garage.
(G) Non-school use of school buses: All requests for non-school use of school buses must be made in writing and submitted to the Superintendent of Schools for approval. Use of school buses is acceptable under the following conditions.
(1) Such use does not interfere with or limit normal school programs.
(2) The using agency pays for the direct costs of operation, such as fuel, oil, operator's fee and insurance, and reimburses the District for a charge per mile to help cover depreciation and maintenance as required by the Department of Education.
 
BUS STOPS:
 
1. Bus stops shall be designated by the Superintendent of Schools through the Transportation Director.
 
2. Designated bus stops will be chosen with concern for the safety of the children involved.
 
3. For pupils in Grades K-5, a bus driver shall transport only those students who are assigned to his/her bus.  When returning home, students shall be transported only to the original pick-up point and shall not be permitted to disembark at other points or to ride other buses, unless an exception has been granted under the provisions of other sections of this policy.
 
4. Pupils shall not be picked up at places other than designated bus stops.
 
5. Once on board the bus, a pupil will not be discharged for disciplinary reasons before reaching the school or his/her designated bus stop.  However, if in the judgment of the driver, the driver or any passenger is endangered by physical harm, a second district vehicle shall be dispatched to transport the student to the pupil's designated stop.
 
6. Due to the rural and sometimes isolated locations of some of our bus stops, pupils in Kindergarten and First Grade will not be dropped off without a parent or designated guardian there to meet them.  Exceptions to let older siblings, neighbors or non-family members meet children at their home bus stop must be made in writing and submitted to the school administrator and bus driver.  In the event that there is no one to meet the student at his/her designated bus stop, the Transportation Department will attempt to contact the parents and the student will be returned to the school.
 
Drivers:

1. New drivers:  Prior to being assigned to drive a school bus, newly-hired drivers will become thoroughly familiar with the policies of M.S.A.D. No. 75.

III. DRIVERS 
 
2. Health:  School bus operators are required to pass a yearly physical examination as administered by a district doctor.  If the school bus operator wishes to have his or his yearly physical administered by a physician of the driver's choice, then he or she is responsible for paying for the examination.  Bus drivers who have reached their 65th (sixty-fifth) birthday will be evaluated more frequently by the Administration, in order to assure that proper health and physical standards are being met.
 
WAIVERS AND EXCEPTIONS:
 
1. Any person in disagreement with a decision made by the Transportation Director or a principal relating to this policy may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools.  If the person is in disagreement with the Superintendent's decision, the issue may be appealed to the Board of Directors.  In the event of an appeal to the Board of Directors, the Superintendent shall include the matter on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.
 
2. Requests for exceptions to the mileage limited described in Section I of this policy shall be made through the Transportation Director and the Superintendent of Schools.  A record of all exceptions made under this section shall be maintained by the Transportation Director.
                                   
3. Parental requests for exceptions, appeals, complaints:  Exceptions to the limits established by this policy or related administrative procedure may be requested of the building administration by parents.
 
4. Requests for exceptions to this policy may be granted by the building administrator under the following circumstances after consultation with the Transportation Director.
 
a. K-5 pupils must ride the bus they have been assigned.  Exceptions will be made only if a written request is submitted to the School Principal and an overload situation do not exist.
 
b. A student is permitted to take different buses to and from school, provided it is done every day, to accommodate childcare arrangements.  However, the District will only transport children within the geographical area serviced by their respective schools.
 
c. To allow for emergency situations, family crises, and unusual circumstances that require a bus change for a single day or a short term.
 
d. In all instances, transportation will only be provided on a space available basis.  A record of all exceptions made under this section shall be maintained by the building administrator.
 
5. Parents must provide transportation for their children if large objects or pets are to be taken to school.
 
a. Parents of K-5 pupils who wish to have their child get off the bus at a place other than their home or regular bus stop must provide a written notice to the building administrator and bus driver.
                                                                                                                             
b. Students suspended out-of-school or from riding a bus shall not be allowed to ride school buses during the suspension period.
 
c. Drivers shall not permit any person other than a pupil, teacher, chaperon, school official, mechanic, police or security officer to ride the bus without written consent from the Transportation Director.

ADOPTED:  September 25, 1980
AMENDED:  January 9, 1987
ADOPTED:  February 28, 1991
AMENDED (FIRST READING):  April 12, 2001
AMENDED (SECOND READING):  April 26, 2001
AMENDED (ADOPTED):  April 26, 2001
AMENDED (FIRST READING):  November 21, 2002
AMENDED (SECOND READING):  December 12, 2002
AMENDED (ADOPTED):  December 12, 2002
AMENDED (FIRST READING):  October 8, 2009
AMENDED (SECOND READING):  November 5, 2009
AMENDED (ADOPTED):  November 5, 2009
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