Rules of Conduct

Students transported in a school bus shall be under the authority of, and responsible directly to, the driver of the bus.  Each student who rides the school bus will comply with directives from the bus driver, treat other students and the bus driver in a cooperative and respectful manner and observe the following rules:
  • Students shall pass in front of the bus when it is necessary to cross the roadway.
  • Written permission to board or leave a school bus at a location other than the student's designated bus stop must be signed by the parent/guardian and school principal/designee.
  • When waiting to board the bus, students are to wait until the bus has completely stopped and then walk toward the bus for boarding.
  • Students are to be at the bus stop when the bus arrives.
  • Students are to go to their seats promptly after boarding the bus.
  • Students will be seated immediately.  Seats may be assigned to them by the bus driver.
  • Students are to sit in their seats, facing forward.
  • Students will close bus windows when so directed by the bus driver.
  • The aisles and emergency exits are to be kept clear of hands, feet, books, etc.
  • Students are not to speak to the driver while the bus is in motion unless granted permission by the driver or in case of emergency.
  • Except for registered guide dogs for the blind, students shall not bring animals, reptiles, birds or insects on the bus.
  • Students are to report promptly to the bus driver any damage (including markings, etc.) on seats or any other parts of the bus.
  • Damage to buses occurring as a result of carelessness, willful misconduct, negligence, malicious destruction, etc., shall be the financial responsibility of the parent/guardian of the student causing the damage.
  • Students may not bring glass containers of any kind on the school bus.
  • Behavior deemed inappropriate by the bus driver will not be tolerated.
 
Each student who rides the school bus will refrain from any behavior that may adversely impact the safety, health or well being of others on the bus and/or any damage to school district property.
The student shall not:
  • Talk or laugh in an unusually loud voice            
  • Crowd or push
  • Scuffle or wrestle
  • Use profane language or vulgar gestures
  • Tease, chastise, annoy or make fun of others
  • Throw articles inside or out of the bus
  • Put any part of their bodies or any article out of the bus window
  • Stand or change seats
  • Chew gum, eat or drink on the bus (at bus driver discretion, drinking water may be permitted in plastic containers)
  • Possess knives, firearms, explosives or other objects which could harm others
  • Light matches, lighters or firecrackers
  • Possess or use tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs at the bus stop or on the bus
 
DISCIPLINARY ACTION
Any student who does not conduct herself/himself appropriately is potentially jeopardizing the safety and well being of other students on the bus, and that student will be subject to disciplinary action. Student discipline will range from a verbal reprimand in less severe cases to suspension of transportation privileges in more severe cases. If a student does not observe the above stated Rules of Conduct the offending student will be issued a written citation as follows:     

First Citation- The first citation during the school year may be a written notice of inappropriate behavior, or, for a very serious infraction, the student's transportation privileges may be suspended by Transportation for a period of time.
Second Citation - The second citation during the school year may be a written notice of inappropriate behavior; a short suspension of transportation privileges; or, for a very serious infraction, the student's transportation privileges may be suspended by Transportation for a lengthy period of time.
Third Citation- The third citation during the school year may be a written notice of inappropriate behavior, but will usually result in a suspension of the student's transportation for a lengthy period of time.
Fourth Citation- The fourth citation during the school year will result in the automatic suspension of the student's transportation privileges for the remainder of the school year unless the automatic suspension is modified by Transportation due to extraordinary circumstances.
  
Parents may request to meet with a member(s) of the transportation staff and, when appropriate, a member(s) of the school staff regarding a suspension of the student's transportation privileges. During the conference, the parent will be informed of the offending student's behavior and the seriousness of the offense. The parents will be encouraged to help the student understand the serious nature of her/his behavior.
 
 

Safety Precautions

Parents/guardians of all pupils not previously transported in a school bus and who are enrolled in grades K-6, are provided with a transportation safety plan that includes:
  • General rules of conduct at school bus loading zones.
  • Red light crossing instructions.
  • School bus danger zone.
  • Walking to and from school bus stops.

At least once each school year, all pupils in kindergarten through grade eight who receive transportation services receive safety instruction which includes: proper loading and unloading procedures, including escorting by the driver, proper passenger conduct, bus evacuation and location of emergency equipment.

School buses are large vehicles and have blind spots where the driver has difficulty seeing students.  Because of the size and visibility problems inherent with school buses, the following safety precautions are to be adhered to by all students.
  
WALKING TO AND FROM THE BUS STOP
Walk on sidewalks if available.  If you must walk along the side of the road, stay well away from the road itself and always try to walk against oncoming traffic.  When crossing streets always use a crosswalk, if available, and stop, look and listen before crossing.

Respect the property of others and do not walk on lawns or pick flowers.  Do not talk to or accept rides from strangers.

BUS LOADING PROCEDURES
Plan to arrive at your bus stop about 5 minutes early.  At the bus stop, stand in an orderly line at least twelve feet back from the area the bus stops in.  Never get closer than ten feet to a bus unless you are entering or leaving it.  Keep your hands to yourself in all bus loading zones.  Do not walk toward the bus until the bus driver opens the door and signals you to move toward the bus.  If you drop something around the bus, do not attempt to pick it up.  Ask the driver to pick it up for you or to watch you pick it up.

BUS UNLOADING PROCEDURES
Remain seated until the driver tells you to exit the bus.  When you get off the bus, walk at least twelve feet from the bus.  Never walk in front of or behind the bus.  If your bus stop requires you to cross the street, you must be escorted by the school bus driver.  STUDENTS WHO NEED TO CROSS THE STREET MUST NOTIFY THE BUS DRIVER PRIOR TO EXITING THE BUS. The driver will stop the bus, activate the red flashing lights, and enter the street first to ensure all vehicles have stopped.  The driver will then use a hand-held stop sign and escort all students as a group across the street in front of the bus. Never cross the street behind the bus. You may not return to the bus or re-cross the street at any time after being escorted across the street by the school bus driver.

DESIGNATED BUS STOP
You must always get on and off the bus at your designated bus stop.  Exceptions for special occasions may be made by submitting, to the bus driver, a note signed and dated by your parent/guardian stating why, when, and where you are requesting to load or unload. The note must have the Principal's/designee's signature on it signifying approval of the request.
  
BUS EVACUATION DRILLS
Consistent with existing State regulations, the principal/designee and District transportation staff will provide annual bus evacuation training for students.  The students may either participate directly or observe an evacuation demonstration by other students.

BUS DRIVER AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY*
The bus driver is responsible for the safe and orderly conduct of students when they are being escorted across a roadway, loading/unloading the bus and while riding on the bus.  When students are to be escorted across a roadway, the driver will first ensure that it is safe to cross the roadway; then the driver will escort all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 across the roadway.  When being escorted across a roadway, students will be directed to cross in front of the bus, between the bus and the driver. The driver will make certain that all students have safely crossed the roadway before moving the bus. The bus driver need not escort students across a roadway when pedestrian traffic is controlled by a traffic signal.  Bus drivers shall have the authority to discontinue the operation of school buses whenever the bus driver determines that it is unsafe to continue.

To help ensure the safety and well being of each student, the bus driver will not require a student to leave the bus while in route between home and school or any other destination.  Also, the bus driver will not make a bus stop when fog reduces visibility to less than 200 feet in the immediate area of the bus stop.

Drivers shall activate the flashing amber light warning system, if the bus is so equipped, beginning 200 feet before any bus stop where students are loading or unloading. They shall operate the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm at all times when the bus is stopped to load and unload students. The flashing amber warning lights, flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm shall not be operated at any other time, or at any place where traffic is controlled by a traffic officer.

The use of amber lights, red lights, and stop signal arms will not be required when loading or unloading special education students who are confined to wheelchairs or who may require assistance to load or unload the school bus.

The flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm requirements shall not apply to locations identified by the Superintendent or designee, in consultation with the California Highway Patrol, as presenting a unique traffic hazard due to roadway design or proximity to an intersection.
     
When the bus is stopped on a highway or private road to load or unload students, and traffic is not controlled by a traffic officer or official traffic control signal, the driver shall:
  • Check for approaching traffic in all directions and activate the flashing red light signal system and, if the bus is so equipped, the stop signal arm.
  • Before opening the door, ensure that the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm are activated and that it is safe to exit the bus.
  • Escort all students who need to cross the highway or private road, using an approved hand-held "STOP" sign while so doing.
  • Require all students to walk in front of the bus as they cross the road or highway.
  • Ensure that all students who need to cross the road or highway have crossed safely and that all other unloaded students and pedestrians are a safe distance from the bus before setting the bus in motion.

The bus driver will make verbal or written reports to the Transportation Supervisor under the following circumstances:
  • Recurring and/or serious student misbehavior.
  • Parent and/or student complaints regarding transportation services.
  • Any traffic violation involving the driver's bus.
  • Any accident involving a student or District vehicle.
  • Repeated late school dismissals that cause transportation delays.  The driver will also report such late school dismissals to the school principal.
  • Any incident of a bus overload.
  • Mechanical or other problems with buses and equipment.

*NOTE:  This section (Bus Driver Authority and Responsibility) applies to all Chico Unified School District employees who transport students. This includes teachers, coaches, etc., who may operate District vans to transport students.