School Bus Rules and Information
A school bus safety packet is distributed to parents of kindergarten students at orientation. The information contained in the packet is applicable to all students. If you would like a copy of the information, please contact the Transportation Center.
High School and Middle School students may walk up to five tenths (.5) of a mile to a bus stop. Students in grades 2-5 may walk up to three tenths (.3) of a mile to a bus stop; kindergarten and first grade students may walk up to two tenths (.2) of a mile to a bus stop. Parents of K-1 students are requested to meet their children at the bus stop to help ensure their child’s safety.
If you would like to volunteer to be a bus monitor on the Sidway/St. Stephen buses for the first week of school, please contact the Transportation Center. Transportation to and from home is provided.
If you have any medical or other concerns you would like to share with your child’s bus driver, please contact the Transportation Center.
Regulations and Safety Rules
In order to assure safe transportation to and from school, students must behave while riding the bus. Misbehavior that distracts the driver is a very serious hazard to the safe operation of the bus, and as such, jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of all the passengers. Continued misbehavior (three offenses) or misbehavior of a serious nature, will result in the suspension of riding privileges. If riding privileges are suspended, your child is still obligated to attend school and you are obligated to assure that he/she gets to and from school. VIDEO CAMERAS ON THE SCHOOL BUS MAY MONITOR STUDENT BEHAVIOR AND CONVERSATION.
Passing Stopped School Buses
Legislation which amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law in relation to overtaking and passing a school bus is in effect. The amendment expands the term “public highway” to include any area used:
a) For parking of motor vehicles;
b) As a driveway located on the grounds of a school or a Board of Cooperative Educational Services facility;
c) As a means of access to and egress from such school or facility.
Therefore, when a bus is stopped on school property to receive or discharge students and the red lights are flashing, it is unlawful to pass that bus. The penalty will be the same as a highway violation. First offenders will face a fine of $250 to $400, five (5) points and possible imprisonment of up to 30 days.
Alternate Pickup and Drop Offs
The district recognizes the variety of parent work schedules and is willing to assist by arranging transportation schedules where possible. To accomplish this, approval for alternate pickups and drop offs are contingent upon the following:
Long Term Alternate
1. The student must be eligible for transportation service.
2. In the case of a non-licensed day care center, the alternate address must be within the attendance area of the child’s school.
3. Only one alternate address will be accepted.
4. Alternate address must be on an existing bus route.
5. Space must be available on the bus.
6. A request form must be filed at the Transportation Center at least five days prior to the effective date. All forms can be found at www.grandislandschools.org
7. To ensure your child’s safety, the bus driver, teacher, school and Transportation Center need to know your child’s proper bus and bus stop. For this reason, all alternate transportation requests for the start of the school year must be submitted to the Transportation Center by Sept. 4.
Daily or Emergency Alternate
1. All the conditions of a long-term alternate need to be met with the exception of #6. This request must be in writing and approved by the principal or designee of the school the child attends, and the Transportation Center notified.
2. The request will include the name, address and phone number where the parent can be reached as well as name, address and phone number of the person at the alternate address.
Alternate transportation request forms may be obtained at the Transportation Center. Office hours are 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Telephone 773-8890 if you need further information.
COVID-19 Alternate Transportation
For contact tracing purposes, alternate transportation requests must be set up for the entire 2020-21 school year and must reflect the same schedule for both days. Students must take the same AM bus to the same location every day, and the same PM bus to the same location every day, per your student's schedule.
Waiting for the Bus
Be on time for the bus. Students are to arrive at the stop at least five minutes, but not more than 10 minutes, before the bus is scheduled to stop. Bus routing is a combination of individual house stops and corner stops.
In inclement weather, students sometimes wait inside their house until the bus arrives. The extra time that the bus has to wait for a student at a stop, disrupts the bus schedule. This results in students who are on time waiting longer in the same weather at their bus stop. If your child misses the school bus NEVER let him/her run after the bus. NEVER drop off your child behind the school bus at another stop. If your child is running along the side of the bus as it begins to pull away, he/she could very easily be run over by the bus. Also, it is dangerous for younger siblings to stand at the bus stop. They have a tendency to get too close to the bus when it pulls away. Students are not to push, pull, fight, or chase other students at the bus stop. It is highly recommended that parents/guardians accompany their elementary child to the bus stop in the morning and be at the bus stop to receive their child in the afternoon. Students should be instructed what to do if no one is home when they get there. Example: go to neighbor’s house. Parents are legally responsible for the safety of their children from home to the bus stop, or from the bus stop to home.
As the bus approaches, students are to line up 15 feet from the road. Students are not to approach the bus until it has stopped and the driver has opened the door. In general, buses are to stop 10 feet back from where a student crosses. If the student has to cross the road to get to the bus he/she should observe these precautions:
Make certain that the red lights are flashing. Wait for the driver to signal to begin crossing. The driver will signal with the P.A. or by using their thumb and forefinger. The driver will aim at the student and then point toward the road with their thumb and forefinger to signal when it is safe to approach the end of the driveway or curb. At the end of the driveway or curb, students are to look both ways (left and right) to make certain that all traffic has stopped, and it is safe to cross the road. After they have crossed, students are then to walk along the shoulder of the road to the door entrance. Students are to be alert to any warning issued by the driver over the P.A. system.
Additionally, all students are to understand that if the horn blows while they are crossing the road, they are to immediately return to the side of the road that they started from. When students are boarding the bus they must stay out of the school bus danger zone. They should never stop to pick up anything while in the bus danger zone. They are to never walk behind the bus or touch or reach under the bus.
Unloading the Bus
Students are not to leave their seat until the bus has come to a complete stop and the driver has opened the door. Before stepping off the bus, students are to look to the right to make certain that a car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. is not passing the bus on the right. Crossers are to walk out along the shoulder of the road at least 10 feet (10 steps) in front of the bus. This distance is to be used in conjunction with the principle that the students are to go far enough out so that they can see the driver and the driver can see them. Students are to remember: “I can see you, you can see me.” When it is safe to cross, the driver will signal with the P.A. or by using their thumb and forefinger. The driver will aim with their thumb and forefinger at the student and then point toward the center of the road to signal when it is safe to proceed to the center of the road/edge of the bus. At the center of the road, all students are to individually stop and look both ways (left and right) to make certain that all traffic has stopped and it is safe to proceed across the road.
Students are to be alert to any warning issued by the driver over the P.A. system. Additionally, all students are to understand that if the horn blows while they are crossing the road, they are to immediately return to the side of the road that they started from. When students get off the bus, they must stay out of the school bus danger zone. They should never stop to pick up anything while in the bus danger zone. They are to never walk behind the bus or touch or reach under the bus. The bus is to remain halted until students are out of the school bus danger zone. Vehicle Traffic Law (V.T.) 1174 states that before the bus leaves the stop, all students must be “at least 15 feet from the bus and either off the highway, street or private road, or on a sidewalk.” Students going to mailboxes, paper boxes, bringing in the garbage cans, etc., make this rule a particular concern. Parents must not supersede the bus driver’s directions to their children by calling them across the road or in any way distracting them from the bus safety procedures established by this policy.
One of the more difficult aspects of driving a school bus is trying to drive while looking for numbers on mailboxes and houses that don’t exist, are too small, or are not centrally located. Please make certain that your mailbox and house are properly numbered with minimum four-inch high numbers (Grand Island Town Ordinance). Mailboxes should be numbered on both sides and readily visible. The more houses/mailboxes on your street that are not properly numbered, the greater the likelihood that your house will be missed. This is as true for school buses as it is for the Fire Company, police, or ambulance responding to an emergency.
Items Carried on School Bus
The Board of Education, in coordination with the New York State Department of Transportation Regulations, Section 721.22, will limit the carrying of items on school buses to those that can be carried in the hands or on the lap of the student, or secured under the seats so as not to interfere with the safety or comfort of passengers.
Acceptable Items: Books, small back packs, small book bags, lunch boxes.
Not Allowed on the school bus: Glass containers, pressurized containers, hockey sticks, hockey bags, skate boards, defensemen lacrosse sticks, large projects, suitcases, animals, birds, fish, reptiles, worms, etc., with or without cages, sharp items such as umbrellas with sharp points, string art, etc.
Students are not allowed to take photo or video on the bus with an electronic device.
There are three (3) basic rules that must be observed:
1. The aisle must be clear at all times. An instrument cannot extend into the aisle from a seat.
2. All instruments must be held in the student’s lap. Small elementary students with large instruments must be able to physically handle carrying the instrument on the bus and maneuver through the aisle to their seat.
3. An instrument cannot occupy a seat.
Baritone saxophones, tubas, cellos, string bases, guitars and large drums cannot be transported on the bus. Instrument cases of questionable size for a student to hold on their lap are: bassoons, tenor saxophones, trombones, French horns, baritone horns, bass clarinets.
Any item that, in the opinion of the Supervisor for Transportation, is a safety hazard will not be allowed on the school bus. Although bus safety rules might seem to offer little latitude, the rules are there to protect students.
Transportation of Students to Non-Public Schools
In accordance with New York State Education Law Section 3635, parents or legal guardians residing on Grand Island desiring to have their child transported to a non-public school must, for each child, each year, submit a written request for such transportation by April 1 proceeding the next school year, to Transportation Center, 2451 Baseline Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.
In order to be eligible for transportation, the maximum distance from the student’s home to the requested non-public school shall not exceed 15 miles. If the district is providing transportation for eligible students to a non-public school, transportation may be provided from a central pick-up point to the non-public school for those students who live beyond the 15-mile maximum limit.
In addition, to be eligible for transportation, a student must be 5 years old by Dec. 1. To verify the age of a kindergarten student the original birth certificate must be submitted along with the written request.
New residents, after April 1, must submit a written request within 30 days after establishing residency in the district. All forms can be found at www.grandislandschools.org
Transportation When the Public School is not in Session
Transportation will not be provided to any school when Grand Island public schools are closed due to weather conditions. Nor will transportation be provided to any school off Grand Island that is located within the boundary of a public school that is closed due to weather conditions. Transportation will not be provided when Grand Island public schools, as listed in the school calendar, are not in session. Transportation during the school year will be provided when Grand Island public schools are in session for staff development. Students with disabilities assigned to schools by the Committee on Special Education will be transported if their program requires their attendance.
Off Island School Bus Pick-Up & Drop-off Information
Parents will be notified in late August of their child’s AM bus stop information. Off-Island buses start picking up at 6:30 AM and exchange at 7:15 AM at the Transportation Center. PM bus stops may vary from the AM stop. PM drop-off times take a minimum of two weeks to be established. Early dismissals and the number of students riding on the bus will also affect the drop-off times. Parents of younger students requiring further bus stop/time/location information are to contact the Transportation Center.