AP 810: Safety and Code of Conduct on School Buses
To maximize safety for all who use the transportation system, it is paramount that students, parents/guardians, bus operators (drivers) and principals shall adhere to their roles and responsibilities associated with student transportation. The following list is not intended to be exhaustive as there may be other applicable statutes and regulations related to the safety of students on school buses.
With respect to student responsibilities, students shall:
1. Respect and follow the direction of the bus operator at all times.
2. Scan their bus pass every time they board and exit the bus.
3. Dress adequately for current and anticipated weather conditions.
4. Choose the safest walking route to and from the bus stop, and keep well clear of the travelled roadway and private property.
5. Arrive at their assigned bus stop 5 minutes prior to the scheduled pick up time. The times indicated by the bus driver are departure times, not arrival times.
6. Maintain respect for public and private property while waiting at the bus stop and riding on the bus.
7. Stay on the sidewalk/roadside at all times while waiting for the bus.
8. Line up and board the bus in an orderly manner.
9. Watch their step and use the hand rail when getting on and off the school bus.
10. Follow rules of classroom conduct, with the allowance of ordinary quiet conversation. The bus driver shall separate students or groups of students who do not comply with this rule.
11. Go promptly to their designated school bus after dismissal from class. School buses will wait for 10 minutes after dismissal. Students who are repeatedly late and hold up the school bus will be reported to the Principal and may be removed from the bus.
12. Be seated promptly and safely in their assigned seats for the duration of the ride.
13. Face forward with all body parts and possessions remaining inside the bus and out of the aisle.
14. Place nothing in the aisle.
15. Place books, lunch boxes and other items on their lap or on the floor under the seat.
16. Not carry skates on the bus unless they are equipped with skate guards or placed into a reinforced carrying bag or securely wrapped.
17. Not carry sports equipment, such as toboggans, hockey sticks, skis, skateboards, scooters on the bus.
18. Leave equipment in the area designated by the bus driver. The bus driver shall refuse to carry large items that would obstruct aisles or doorways.
19. Not throw wastepaper or other rubbish on the floor of the bus or out the window.
20. Not bring prohibited items (e.g. tobacco, e-cigarettes, firearms, knives, etc.) on to the school bus.
21. Not engage in fighting or horse playing.
22. Use the rear door for emergencies only.
23. Inform the bus operator or Transportation Services when an absence is expected from the bus.
24. Behave responsibly and respectfully by avoiding conflict with other students, refraining from disrupting the bus driver and using appropriate language and behavior.
25. Exit the bus at their designated stop unless they have been approved temporarily to get off at the alternate location.
26. Cross the road in front of the bus only when it is safe to do so and under the guidance of the bus operator.
With respect to the Student Discipline Process
27. The bus driver may report minor student misconduct to the Principal. A student who continues to misbehave shall be reported by the bus driver to the Principal, in writing, by completing a Student Conduct Form.
28. The Principal may suspend any student, under the provisions of the Education Act, from riding on any bus and report the circumstances, in writing, to the parents/guardians, the bus driver, and the Superintendent or designate.
29. The Principal may reinstate a student suspended from riding the bus.
30. If a student shall not be reinstated within five (5) school days of the date of suspension, the Principal shall immediately report, in writing, all the circumstances of the suspension and provide a recommendation to the Superintendent.
31. The Superintendent shall make a decision to either reinstate or expel the student from riding the bus.
32. For causing willful damage to a school bus, a student shall be held fully accountable for the cost of repairs to the bus, at the discretion of the Superintendent or designate.
With respect to parents/guardians responsibilities, parents/guardians shall:
33. Be responsible for student safety and conduct prior to pick up and after departure from the school bus.
34. Understand that a school bus shall be treated as an extension of the classroom.
35. Ensure that students choose the safest walking route to and from the bus stop and keep well clear of the travelled roadway and private property.
36. Ensure students obey all transportation rules for students and scan their bus pass upon boarding or exiting the bus.
37. Acknowledge that improper student conduct may result in suspension of riding privileges by the school principal or designate.
38. Understand that student/parent shall be held financially responsible for damage to the school bus resulting from improper behavior or carelessness.
39. Ensure students are properly dressed for the prevailing or anticipated weather conditions.
40. Notify Transportation Services of any pertinent medical condition.
41. Acknowledge that in situations when a school bus delay exceeds 15 minutes, the student shall return to their residence and contact Transportation Services.
42. Notify the bus operator or Transportation Services when students no longer require the bus.
43. Collaborate with the Principal and bus driver to correct any problem their students may be experiencing while on the bus.
44. Contact Transportation Services a minimum of 24 hours in advance for student(s) who require to use a different bus. Approval is at the discretion of the bus operator, based on space availability.
45. Notify Transportation Services in writing of change in address and/or change in emergency contact.
46. Not attempt to negotiate special transportation arrangements with the bus operator, bus driver or school principal directly.
With respect to bus driver’s responsibilities, bus drivers shall:
47. Be in full charge at all times.
48. Be responsible to the Principal for any situation that arises concerning students riding their buses.
49. Comply with all applicable Division procedures, the Education Act, applicable Alberta Transportation regulations, National Safety Code and the Highway Traffic Act.
50. Adhere to the bus schedules that have been established by the Division.
51. Pick up and drop off students only at the bus stops designated by the Division.
52. Follow the routes that have been planned and approved by the Division.
53. Not make changes in the routes, except in unavoidable situations. Such occurrences shall be reported to the Transportation Services.
54. Notify Transportation Services about any unsafe bus stops and suggest a more appropriate alternative.
55. Complete passenger lists as requested by Transportation Services.
56. Ensure no student is left behind on the bus.
57. Keep their vehicles clean and free of hazards.
58. Check at the end of each trip for any personal objects that may have been left behind and report them to the Division.
59. Be polite and courteous to passengers at all times. Use an appropriate tone of voice and vocabulary when speaking to students; refrain from shouting, swearing or using offensive and/or aggressive language.
60. Allow students aboard the vehicle to speak to each other in the language of their choice;
61. Ensure all students are informed about the bus safety rules.
62. Notify the school Principal in writing about any inappropriate or unsafe behavior by students using the Student Infraction Form;
63. Support any disciplinary action on the bus as assigned by the principal.
64. Not allow the photography of students unless approved by the Division.
65. Check the convex rear-view mirrors and ensure that all areas are clear before moving the vehicle.
66. Ensure that students remain seated until the bus comes to a full and complete stop at its destination.
67. Drive in a considerate manner at all times and avoid sharp braking, fast cornering and harsh acceleration.
68. Not move the bus with a student out of their seat or standing.
69. Not leave the vehicle when the motor is running.
70. Not leave the bus without stopping the motor, removing the keys, setting the brake and closing the door. Bus Drivers shall use hazard lights where appropriate;
71. Immediately notify Transportation Services in the event of a breakdown or an emergency.
72. Have no physical contact with students (including their backpacks) except in emergency situations.
73. Ensure that early learners and kindergarten students are not released from the bus unless a parent/guardian or appropriate aged sibling comes to the door of the bus.
74. Refuse to allow any unauthorized persons to board the vehicle, and report any incidents of unauthorized persons attempting to board the vehicle to PSD Transportation Services immediately.
75. Not fill the fuel tank of the bus when passengers are on the bus.
76. Maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Privacy of Protection Act.
77. Give students a signal to indicate when it is safe to cross the roadway and wait for the students to finish crossing before deactivating the crossing gate and stop arm.
With respect to principal responsibilities, the principals shall:
78. Be responsible for seeing that bus loading and unloading zones at school sites are supervised.
79. Have the authority to inspect a bus for cleanliness and sanitation and have the authority to direct the bus driver to clean up an untidy or unsanitary bus. All such cases shall be reported to the Director of Transportation Services.
80. Ensure that students are dismissed with sufficient time to get on the bus to prevent any bus delays.
81. Suspend a student from riding the school bus for violation of the rules established by the Division.