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BC Elementary Handbook for Parents and Students

Student Transportation

The district provides transportation to and from school for all elementary students. Information on bus routes and pick-up times for each student are mailed home in late August each year. The route numbers are posted in the windows of the buses. (Numbers
painted on the buses are not the route numbers.) A child may be assigned one route number for pickup and another route number for return. Please note that during inclement weather your child’s bus may be delayed.

Children are only allowed to ride their designated bus. It generally takes about two weeks each fall to make adjustments
in the routes for a smooth operation. If your child will walk or bicycle to or from school, please send a note indicating your permission for him/her to do so. Additional information about walking or riding bicycles to school will be sent home. For safety reasons, we ask that all students ride the bus in inclement weather.

Bus Drills

A minimum of three bus drills are held each year. The first drill is conducted during the first week of the fall term. The drill includes instructions in the use of windows as a means of escape in case of fire or accident.

Bus Requests

We are not allowed to have standees on buses. Most students now ride our buses, making them at (or very close to) capacity. Since this is the case, we have very little leeway in allowing children to ride buses other than their own. We would ask that:

You not request this service unless really necessary.
You realize we may have to reject your request.

We will not honor, under any circumstances, requests for groups of children attending events such as birthday parties, scouts, and religion classes. We will continue to accommodate, when possible, the single requests.

Parental requests for all transportation changes must be in writing, in a separate note for each day affected by the short-term change. If the child is on the same bus but getting off at a different stop, a note is still required. Written permission slips in all of these instances should be given to your child’s teacher. The office staff will then write a bus slip for the bus driver on whose bus the child will be riding. Students are not allowed to make arrangements over the phone during the day except in cases of extreme emergency!

Lost articles

Articles left on the bus are normally kept on the bus so that students can reclaim them the next day. If not claimed, articles are returned to the bus garage. Students should label their clothes and other possessions. Articles not claimed within five working days are donated to local churches or charity organizations.

Medications on the bus

Medications (including Tylenol and other over-the-counter medicines and cold remedies) may not be transported on school buses. If a child needs medication, the parent should deliver it directly to the nurse’s office at their child’s school. Exceptions to this policy are handled on a case-by-case basis [e.g., carrying Epi-Pens and/or sweet packs] and must first be approved by a school nurse.

Transporting items to school

All items brought to school should be packed in a carrying case (e.g., a tote bag or backpack), which must be small enough to be held on the student's lap. Students riding on a school bus may not transport food for class parties.

Transporting large objects and musical instruments—New York State Department of Transportation and federal regulations PROHIBIT bringing large items and musical instruments on school buses. This prohibition is designed to prevent the blockage of seats and aisles in the event of an accident. Large items not allowed on the bus include, but are not limited to: alto clarinet, bass clarinet, contra bass clarinet, trombone, baritone saxophone, cello, guitar, tenor saxophone, tuba, baritone horn, string bass, large school projects, skateboards, bikes, fishing poles, hockey sticks, skis and poles and sleds. Placing large items on the floor of the bus and holding them in between one's legs is not permissible.

The following is a partial list of items allowed on the bus if held on the student's lap: piccolo, oboe, flute, soprano clarinet, bassoon, snare drum, alto saxophone, French horn, trumpet, violin and viola.

Other items not allowed on the bus—These include, but are not limited to: any weapons (real or play), pets or any live or preserved animals [except service animals], glass containers, aerosol cans, coloring paints, play putty and other arts & crafts items, especially sharp objects or objects with points. Many of these items can be used as weapons, can cause injuries to passengers or can be used to deface the interior of a school bus.

Wearing cleats aboard a school bus is also prohibited. Cleats can damage the interior of the bus and they also create an unsafe condition for our student athletes (i.e., they can be slippery on wet surfaces).

Transporting service animals

Several state and federal laws govern the accommodation of service animals (e.g., guide dogs or companion dogs/animals) and require that such animals be allowed access everywhere. The school district is obligated to allow these animals on school buses. If this situation ever occurs, the best place for the animal while on the bus is between the student and the wall of the bus where practical. Common sense must prevail with respect to the safety of all students and the animal in question. Accommodations must be made for students who may be allergic to animal dander.

Transportation to day care

Day care and summer school location information must be resubmitted to the transportation department each and every year to ensure your child's transportation needs are met.

Security

New York State law strictly forbids any person from boarding a school bus without the express consent of the bus driver. This includes parents. If any time a student tells a bus driver that his or her safety is being threatened by another student(s) or by another person, the driver will immediately notify his or her supervisor(s) and ask the supervisor(s) to immediately meet the bus and help diffuse the situation and to follow up with a bus referral. School principal(s) will be notified immediately about any incident that threatens the safety of students or the bus driver.

Bus & Pedestrian Safety

Children are to follow rules of safety outlined by the district. Children who have a continuous problem on practicing safety rules on the bus might need to find an alternate way of getting to and from school.

At the start of each school year, it is helpful to review bus safety tips, rules and procedures with all students and drivers in your family and encourage everyone to follow them. Some of them-such as stopping when encountering a school bus with flashing red lights (whether you are on the road or in a school parking lot) and obeying school zone speed limits-are state laws. They were established for the safety of everyone on the roads, especially our children!

Proper Crossing Procedures

Please review these procedures with your children; if they must cross the road in front of the bus, knowledge
of safe crossing procedures is vital.

Crossers get off the bus first. When discharging passengers, the school bus driver will discharge the crossers first. Once they have safely crossed to the other side of the street, the bus driver will discharge non-crossers.
W Waiting for the signal to cross. A student getting off the bus should walk to the front of the bus to a place where he/she can see the bus driver and the bus driver can see him/her. When all is clear, the driver will signal to the student that it is OK to cross, but as a precaution, the student should always look both ways before crossing.
T The horn warns of danger. If the driver blows the bus horn, the student should immediately return to the starting point.
When parents meet the bus—Parents meeting the bus should wait on the side of the road where the child will get off and then follow the above procedures for crossing. Parents need to discourage their children from running across the road to greet them.
Parents' Safety Responsibilities

As parents, you should carefully review these policies with all members of your family. You should pay special attention to the following bus routes and safety information:

Carefully review your child’s bus route to determine if the bus will pick up your child on the home side of the street or on the other side of the street.
Children should not cross the street to board the school bus if not required to do so.
If the designated bus stop requires your child to cross the street, follow the crossing procedures outlined here. Remember, your child should remain on the home side of the street until the bus stops completely. Your child should never cross the street until the bus driver gives the signal that it is safe to cross.
Students should arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

Drivers' Responsibilities

STOP—from either direction, even on divided highways—when encountering a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. The bus is either picking up or discharging riders. Proceed only when the red lights are turned off and the bus is moving again, unless waved on by the bus driver or a police officer.
Flashing yellow lights warn that the bus is about to stop, so slow down and prepare to stop. Children may be coming from any direction.
Be aware that school buses may not turn right on red.
A Any vehicle that passes a school bus that has its flashing red lights activated will be reported to the police and/or New York State DMV.

Bus Riders' Responsibilities

Before the ride—

Carry loose articles—homework, books, pens and pencils—in a backpack.
Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. DO NOT wait inside your home and then run out to the bus.
Do not rough house at the stop.
Wait until the bus has stopped completely and its door is open before approaching it.
If you need to transport an item too large to fit on your lap, make other arrangements to get to school that day.

During the ride—

Listen to any instructions from the bus driver, who is there to prevent injury to you and others.
No skateboards, animals, flammable materials of any kind, or medications that contain controlled substances may be transported on a school bus. The driver will not allow any of these items on the bus. Please call 439-3830 with any questions about specific items.
Weapons of any kind and threatening gestures and/or comments will NOT be tolerated on the bus. A violation may result in a five-day suspension and a Superintendent’s Hearing with the possibility of more serious consequences. In accordance with the Gun Free Schools Act (1994), possession of guns on buses or school property could result in at least a one-year suspension.
Behave on the bus as you are expected to behave in class. Be courteous;
Don't use profane language.
Eating, drinking and smoking on the bus will NOT be tolerated.
Keep the bus clean; whatever you bring on the bus must leave with you.
Don't damage the bus—it’s school property, owned by the residents of the district.
Cooperate with the bus driver, who is authorized to assign seats.
Fighting, pushing and shoving will NOT be tolerated.
Keep head, hands and feet inside the bus at all times.
STATAY IN YOUR SEATEAT, especially when the bus is moving.
A All BC buses are equipped with seat belts. All students are encouraged to use them.

Exiting the bus—

Wait for the bus to stop completely and bus doors to open before leaving your seat.
Get off in single file. No pushing
Take all your possession and trash with you.
Wait for the driver's signal to cross. Never cross behind the bus or crawl under the bus.
Do not run.

Pedestrians

L Look all ways before crossing the street. Be sure the way is clear.
W Watch for turning cars from both the left and right.
W Walk—do not run into the street.
Cross only at corners.
N Never cross or enter the roadway from between parked cars.
W Where there are NO sidewalks, walk on the left side of the roadway, facing traffic.
If there is a sidewalk, use it.