Series8000 Sub Series:
8100 HEALTH AND SAFETY Policy Number:
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Transportation shall be provided to and from school at District expense to those students who are eligible as provided in law and authorized by the Board of Education. Transportation is also provided for District approved extracurricular activities to all students enrolled in out-of-District occupational education programs and for summer programs required by the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), but only to and from the designated school building or the program location.
The goals of the student transportation program are to:
- Provide efficient, economical, effective and safe service;
- Ensure that all students whose disabilities, or distance from school requires them to receive necessary transportation do, in fact, receive it;
- Adapt the system to the demands of the instructional program;
- Review at least once a year school bus schedules and routing plans to ensure that efficiency and safety are maintained; and
- Review at least once a year the eligibility for transportation of students residing in the District, to ensure that all entitled to the services receive them in a manner prescribed by law and Board of Education policy.
The Assistant Superintendent for Support Services shall be responsible for administering the transportation program. Some of these duties include determining student eligibility for transportation services consistent with law and Board of Education policy, establishing bus stop locations, providing for safe and efficient bus routes, and administering all reviews and directions necessary for the oversight of the transportation program provided by the District’s transportation service contractor(s). The program shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and policies established by federal, state and local authorities.
- There are no designated mileage limits for transportation services for students in grades K-5. All students in grades 6-12 who reside more than one (1) mile from the school attended are eligible for District transportation. All non-public school students, who reside within 15 miles of their designated non-public school are eligible for District transportation, in accordance with the following rules:
- Parents/Guardians must apply to the District in writing by April 1st preceding the ensuing school year, or within 30 days of establishing residence in the District. Late requests will be reviewed by the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, and transportation services will be provided if no additional cost to the District will be incurred. If a reasonable excuse for the late transportation request is provided, as determined by the Board of Education, transportation services will be provided.
- Students residing beyond the 15 miles from the school attended will be transported only if a student residing within the 15 miles is receiving transportation to the same school. The student residing beyond 15 miles must be transported from a centralized pickup point, which will be a District public school building The District will provide transportation between a student’s home and the centralized pickup point only where the student’s home is located on an established route leading to the centralized pickup point and where such transportation does not result in an additional cost to the District.
- Measurements for determining eligibility for transportation will be made over the nearest available publicly maintained road between home and school.
- Late bus service for nonpublic students is not required unless such service is provided to the public school students “in like circumstances”.
- Transportation to nonpublic schools shall be provided according to the nonpublic school calendar.
- Special Education Students
Special education students transported to out-of-District locations will follow the calendar of the out-of-District school or agency.
- Transportation to School Sponsored Events
- Transportation will not be provided on Saturdays for field trips or extracurricular activities, except for interscholastic athletic contests.
- If the District provides transportation for student athletes participating in interscholastic competition and students attending District sponsored field trips, students will not be authorized to use any other means of transportation when participating in these events, unless the principal or his/her designee authorizes such alternate transportation in advance. The principal shall require written application from each student’s parent/guardian prior to consideration for approval.
- Where the District has provided transportation to students enrolled in the District to a school sponsored field trip, extracurricular activity, or any other similar school event, it shall provide transportation back to either the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District unless the parent or legal guardian of a student participating in such event has provided the District with written notice, consistent with District policy, authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for such student unless intervening circumstances make such transportation impractical. In cases where intervening circumstances make transportation of a student back to the point of departure or to the appropriate school in the District impractical, representative of the School District shall remain with the student until such student’s parent/guardian has been contacted and informed of the intervening circumstances which make such transportation impractical; and the student has been delivered to his or her parent/ guardian.
- When the District is using motor carriers and drivers such as charter coaches, the following guidelines shall be followed:
- The NYS Department of Transportation must be contacted beforehand for information regarding the charter coach company’s equipment and maintenance record.
- The driver of the charter coach must be in compliance with Article 19A, Section 509 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
- The charter coach company must provide to the District the names of a sufficient number of drivers and recent driver license abstracts for a “pool” of drivers that can be assigned to the charter trip.
- Drivers must be checked to ensure that they are “school bus qualified” as required by Article 19A, Section 509 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law.
- All adult chaperones/school personnel assigned to the trip must follow both guidelines and protocol developed by the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services through Administrative Regulations before starting out on the trip. These individuals will be authorized to take definite steps to ensure the safe transportation of the students, including terminating the trip if the condition of the equipment or the driver poses a significant threat to the safety of the students.
- Transportation will not be provided on Sundays without the prior approval of the Superintendent of Schools. Such approval will be provided only under extenuating circumstances.
- Transportation will be provided between school and a before/after school childcare location for children in Grades K-8 only if the childcare location is within the District.
- A child care location shall mean a place situated within the School District, other than the child’s home, where care for less than 24 hours a day is provided on a regular basis. This includes but is not limited to a variety of child care services such as licensed day care centers, family day care homes, and in-home care by relatives and non-relatives. Childcare locations shall not include non-District sponsored activities for which care is not the primary function, such as private or group lessons, (e.g., music, dance, tutoring, horseback riding, etc.), community activities, scout meetings, non-District sponsored student employment worksites, etc.
- Upon request, the District may transport a student to his/her child care location some days and his/her home on other days where both locations are within the District’s mileage limitations and represent a regular and consistent schedule. The District will not provide for irregular pick-up/drop-off schedules.
- The child’s parent/guardian must request childcare transportation in writing on a form provided by the District no later than August 1st of each school year for which transportation to a childcare location is requested. Where a family moves into the district later than August 1st, or has other change of circumstances, the request must be made within 30 days from that situation. Transportation requests to childcare locations or requests for changes in childcare locations after August 1st will be considered on a space availability basis and only if there are no additional costs to the District.
- Bus pass requests are for changes in a pick-up or drop-off point other than on a regular basis. These requests will be reviewed and approved by the building administrator only if there is available seating on the bus, if it will not create additional time for other students on the bus route, or if it will not result in additional cost to the District, and is at an already established bus stop.
Bus passes for middle school/high school students to ride the late bus from BMS/RHS to the elementary school and then to their designated drop-off point will be provided to each student by the staff member supervising the after-school activity in which the student has participated that afternoon or by the building administrator, on an as needed basis.
- Special transportation for students with temporary physical disabilities or limitations
- The District may provide special transportation for students who have temporary physical disabilities or limitations which may create safety problems for such students when going to and from school. Special transportation may be granted by the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services upon recommendation of the student’s physician. A temporary physical disability or limitation is defined as an injury or illness which can be medically treated and remediated.
- Requests for such transportation must be submitted in writing by the parent/guardian to the appropriate building principal. The parental request must be accompanied by a written statement from the student’s physician indicating the type of disability or limitation, predicted length of disability or limitation, and the special safety considerations which would justify granting the request.
- The building principal shall submit his/her recommendation with the attached documentation to the Business Official for a final decision. If needed the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services may consult with school physician for verification for special transportation requirements.
Parents/guardians will be notified in writing of the decision with a copy sent to the building principal. The transportation contractor will receive notification from the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services authorizing such temporary transportation with information limited to what is needed to provide the transportation service.
School Bus Scheduling and Routing
The Assistant Superintendent for Support Services shall be responsible for the establishment of safe and efficient bus routes and bus stop locations.
- Authorized bus stops shall be located at appropriate intervals in places where students may embark and disembark the buses, cross highways, and await the arrival of buses allowed by safe road conditions.
- Bus routes will be established to minimize, as much as possible, the amount of time that students spend on a bus from the time of loading to the time of discharge.
- Fixed bus stops will be established using the following guidelines:
- Generally, dead-ends. Cul-de-sacs, and loop streets will not be serviced by school buses;
- Numbers of students at bus stops will be varied according to the concentration of riders in an area, the degree of traffic, during the 15 minutes surrounding the pick-up/drop-off, the presence of traffic controls, speed limits, and the existence of any factors that limit the number of students at the bus stop location.
- The maximum of 25 students at a stop will be acceptable only where there is adequate waiting space away from heavy traffic areas. No more than 15 students will be the usual number scheduled for pickup at any one point;
- Walking distances to pickup points may be varied according to grade level. Grade levels K-5 will not be required to walk distances in excess of three-tenths (.3) mile and grades 6-12 will not be required to walk distances in excess of one (1) mile; unless there is no safe location within said limits, in which case, the bus stop will be located at the safest close location
- An effort will be made to minimize crossing of the road by students. However, when doing so is determined not to pose a safety risk, the bus driver will indicate with the appropriate hand signal to the student embarking toward and/or disembarking from the bus that it is safe to cross the road, at which time the student will comply by doing so.
- Transportation will be provided on side roads that are maintained by town highway departments unless the lack of maintenance makes it unsafe for drivers and students to be traversing these roads. Examples of unsafe road conditions are roads with unsafe shoulders, roads that are so narrow that a school bus and another vehicle cannot safely pass each other, and roads with steep grades that buses cannot safely negotiate.
- Transportation will not be provided on private roads that are unsafe or have not been dedicated and/or maintained by town, county, and/or state highway departments.
- Turnarounds and pull-offs will not be established unless adequate space is available and this space is properly maintained by town, county, and/or state highway departments.
- Safety of the students is of significant importance and will be considered primary in assigning all routes and bus stops. When considering safety, distinctions will be made between grades K-5 students and grades 6-12 students. Distinction will also be made between various road and traffic conditions on each route and at each bus stop. The School Bus Stop review and evaluation forms will be utilized in this process. Parents shall be responsible for the safety of their children getting to and from their assigned bus stop, and waiting at their assigned bus stop.
- Digital maps are used to determine the transportation requirements necessary to satisfy the needs established by State law, Board of Education policy, and voter mandate. These maps clearly show student location, loading and unloading locations, and routes traveled. The maps will be reviewed annually.
- All school buses and other vehicles transporting Rhinebeck students will be equipped with radios to enable communication among and between the vehicles, between vehicles and the bus company’s dispatcher, and between vehicles and the District and school offices.
Reviews and Appeals of Bus Stop Locations, route design or structure, and special transportation applications.
- Requests by parents/guardians for changes in bus stop locations must be made in writing initially to the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services who will utilize the School Bus Stop Review and Evaluation forms established in the administrative regulations to this policy. The written request for a change in the bus stop location must identify the existing bus stop, the reason(s) for the requested change, and the suggested new bus stop location(s).
- The review of the bus stop by a three-person review team must be made within ten (10) business days of the parent/guardian’s written request. A written response to the parent /guardian must be made within ten (10) business days.
- Appeals of the decision of the three-person Bus Stop review team can be made to the Board of Education upon notification to the Board of Education through the District Clerk at least five (5) business days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting. The appeal to the Board of Education must be made within 30 calendar days of the receipt of written notification of the decision by the three-person Bus Stop review team. The Board of Education will provide a written response to the parent or guardian no later than the next regularly scheduled meeting.
- Requests by parents/guardians for changes in a route structure or design and denial of special transportation applications must be made in writing initially to the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.
- The Assistant Superintendent for Support Services will render a decision within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the request.
- Appeals of the decision of the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services can be made to the Board of Education upon notification to the Board through the District Clerk at least five (5) business days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting. The appeal to the Board of Education must be made within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the decision by the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services. The Board of Education will provide a written response to the parent or guardian no later than the next regularly scheduled meeting.
- In reviews of all requests for changes every effort must be made to insure that all students in like circumstances are treated equitably.
Code of Conduct
Education Law §§305(14); 1501-b; 1807; 3602(7); 3623; 3635 et seq.
Matter of Handicapped Child, 24 EDR 41 (1984)
Matter of Zakrezewski, 22 EDR 381 (1983)
Matter of Nowak, 22 EDR 91 (1982)
Matter of Fox, 19 EDR 439 (1980)