Transportation: Rules & Safety

Rules

In order to provide adequate, equitable services to eligible students based on the Transportation Rules of Conduct and the NISD Student Code of Conduct in Section C of the Student Handbook, certain criteria have been established to determine where authorized bus stops will be located on regular routes within the District boundaries. Regular bus stops are designed to ensure optimum route efficiency and resource utilization based on District-wide driver and bus availability. Special Needs Routes will be established based on the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee in conjunction with parental/guardian input. This will determine special needs transportation requirements based on the respective student’s needs.

Route Management

Certain criteria are used to determine the use of various locations for bus stops within District boundaries. These stops must be synchronized to ensure optimum route efficiency for all eligible students and resource utilization (driver crew/vehicle availability), district wide. Therefore, each route has its unique composition and certain walk-to-bus distances as provided below are used to facilitate a timely and an effective route system.

Category Walk-to-Bus Stop Distance

  • Pre-Kinder/Elementary .35 mile
  • Middle/High School .5 mile
  • Students Walking to Bus Stops: Parents must assume the responsibility for their students traveling back and forth from home to the bus stop. Additionally, students should be at the designated bus stop for the AM run (pick-up) at least five (5) minutes before the designated pick-up time.

Student pick-up Order

Northside Transportation Department utilizes a “three tier transportation system” consists of staggered start and dismissal times at each elementary, middle and high school to serve the maximum number of students possible per bus.

Video Camera on Bus

Northside ISD installs video cameras on buses (assigned/rotational basis) to enhance student safety, pursuant to Texas

Education Code 26.009(b), which permits schools to videotape students without parent permission for purposes of maintaining order and discipline. The videos assist drivers, station managers, and school administrators in monitoring student activity. Student awareness of this program provides an incentive to exhibit appropriate behavior, which in turn, results in a much safer environment while traveling on the bus.

However, under FERPA, the parent may only view the video if his or her child is the only student in the video. Typically, the video would reveal the behavior of other students who cannot be viewed by any parent.

The Texas Attorney General has addressed this issue and determined that videotapes made on school buses, on which the driver addresses some students by name and which “show the faces, bodies, and behavior of students of the District” are education records under FERPA and are exempted from disclosure (Texas Attorney General ORD 95-821 (1975).

Student Behavioral Management

Students who ride buses to and from school will be expected to conduct themselves in a courteous/proper manner. Any student who cannot abide by the transportation rules of conduct and the NISD Student Code of Conduct in Section C of the handbook will be subject to disciplinary action that could result in loss of bus riding privileges.

Safety tips

  • Getting on the bus
    • Be at the bus stop early—several minutes before your bus is scheduled to arrive.
    • Leave home with plenty of time to get to the bus stop so you don’t have to run in the street.
    • While you’re waiting for the bus, stay off the roadway and wait in a safe place. Your parents can tell you where to wait.
    • Once you are sure the driver can see you, walk toward the bus in a single line.
    • Stay out of the “Danger Zone” areas around the school bus. The “Danger Zone” is a 10-foot area (about 10 big steps) around the bus on all sides. If you’re up close to the bus, it’s actually harder for the driver to see you than if you’re a safe distance away. When you’re waiting to get on the bus, stay far enough away from the bus so that you can clearly see the bus driver’s face—if you can’t see them, they can’t see you!
    • Don’t push or horse around while getting on the bus. Remember: getting on and off the bus is the most dangerous time for someone to get hurt.
    • Go directly to an available (or your assigned) seat and sit quietly.
    • Get on and off the bus at the designated bus stop nearest your residence.
    • If you miss the bus, never chase after the bus after it has pulled away from the bus stop—the driver can’t necessarily see you!
    • Cooperate with the transportation staff at all times.
    • Do not behave in any manner that may jeopardize the safe operation of the bus.
       
  • While on the bus
    • Don’t throw or pass objects to anyone outside the bus.
    • Do not allow large objects (like backpacks, musical instruments or athletic equipment) to block the aisles or emergency exits.
    • Remain seated in a safe manner at all times while the bus is in motion.
    • Keep arms, head, and/or other parts of the body out of the bus windows. Clothing or other articles should not be extended through the bus windows.
    • Ride the route to which assigned. In genuine hardship (emergency) situations, i.e., hospitalization of a single parent, the school administrator may approve a temporary assignment of an eligible student to a different route until the family can make other arrangements. Such assignments may not exceed five (5) school days.
    • Bring a signed note from the parent/guardian for permission to get off the bus at a stop other than that previously designated as the regular stop. A school official must authorize this note with a signature, initial, etc. The note must be presented for authorization on the morning of the requested day to allow sufficient time for parent verification.  
       
  • Getting off the bus
    • Again, don’t push or horse around while getting off the bus.
    • As soon as you get off the bus, move out of and away from the “Danger Zone” so the bus driver can see you. Remember: if you can’t see them, they can’t see you!
    • Wait for the driver to signal that it is safe before you attempt to cross the street.

Consequences for Violation of School Bus Rules and Regulations

First Offense: (Verbal Warning)
The bus driver/assistant will warn the student(s) verbally for the first incident of misconduct. (Exception: See Major Offense, below.)

Second Offense: (1st Written Offense)
The bus driver/assistant will submit a Bus Safety Report (written report) to the school principal or designee. The document signifies the second warning of misconduct. The administrator will take appropriate action, which may include removal of bus privileges. Copies of the Bus Safety Report will be sent to parents and the Transportation Department to provide information for imposed corrective action.

Subsequent Offenses
Subsequent Offenses may result in extended or permanent removal of transportation privileges.

Major Offense
Regardless of sequence, any offense considered major will result in a written report (Bus Safety Report) by the driver and/or I immediate removal of bus privileges by the school administrator at his/her discretion as well as discipline sanctions.

Removal of Transportation Privileges
Students removed from bus service for any offense shall not be allowed to ride another school bus for transportation to and from school during the removal period. The student may also be denied transportation on special trips during this time.