|Policies and Procedures Handbook||
Last Updated: 5/27/2005
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
SCHOOL BUS OPERATIONS
Eligibility of Pupils for Transportation and Routing
Routes will be so made that a maximum number of children are picked up and discharged at the nearest spot to their home which is safe, and economically feasible as to time and expense. When said routes are studied for possible change, the request of all persons residing in the area will be considered.
Extensions to existing routes will be made only under the following conditions:
1. The pupil must live .5 mile or more from school. If the pupil is in middle or high school and there are sidewalks, he/she must live one and one-half miles or more from school. The distance is to be measured from the nearest public road to his/her home via the most direct route.
2. Where the bus must go down a road, turn around and come back, the distance from an existing route and the child's home must be one mile or more.
3. When the bus can travel a route which allows it to pick up children and return to its regular route without turning around and within a total distance of 2 miles or less. The distance from the child's home must be one-half mile or more.
4. When 10 or more pupils board the bus at one spot and the vehicle can get into the area and out without turning around and can return to the existing route in a reasonable distance.
No Extensions will be made:
1. On private roadways.
2. Where severe safety hazards are involved.
3. Where the bus must cross a railroad track at grade or traverse a bridge with a load limit of 20,000 pounds or less.
4. Where adequate funding has not been provided or where adequate time of the most logical bus is not available. If the request meets all requirements except this one, provisions will be included in the next presented budget.
5. On unpaved roadways.
Exceptions may be granted under the following conditions:
Based upon parental inquiry the following conditions will be considered by the Superintendent in reviewing the possibility of granting an exception to Garrett County Public Schools policy for school bus route extensions.
1. Supervision: Where reasonable efforts by parent/guardian have failed to provide adequate supervision.
2. Distance: Where the distance from the existing school bus stop is between .5 and 1.0 mile.
3. Other criteria outlined in board policy, such as adequate turning area, etc., are applicable.
4. Route extensions will be considered when there are children age four through nine. When an individual child (ren) reaches age ten, the route will revert to the original route schedule.
B. Bus Stops
1. No bus will pick up children within .5 mile of an elementary school or one and one-half mile of middle and high schools.
2. No new bus stop will be designated within one-fourth mile of any existing stop.
3. Where exceptions to these policies are made, they will be made by the Director of Transportation and a representative of some other agency (Garrett County Traffic Advisory Committee) who will determine the safety factor. A report will be on file in the Public Schools Office.
4. The following procedure will be used to institute a bus stop change. Changes will be made after action has been taken by the Director of Transportation on the appropriate forms.
a. The bus contractor notifies the families involved he/she is asking the Director of Transportation for the change they are requesting.
b. The contractor completes the appropriate form for each change and submits it to the Director of Transportation.
c. The Director of Transportation will approve or disapprove the request within the framework of the state guidelines and make a copy available to the contractor and the principal of the school of his/her decision.
d. The contractor will notify the family of the Director of Transportation's decision.
e. Principals should notify the Director of Transportation of concerns they may have while the Director is making the decision.
f. Stop changes in the current stops may be requested by parents who must have the appropriate form process. (See attached form #857.31A.)
g. Stop changes may also be initiated by the Director of Transportation.
C. Who May Ride
Only the following persons are permitted to ride school buses while on their regular routes:
1. Public school pupils who live .5 mile or more from the school they attend. High school or middle school pupils must live one and one-half miles from schools if there are sidewalks which they can use.
2. Bus contractors and their employees who are engaged in some phase of bus operation procedures at the time.
3. Employees of the Public Schools who are engaged in supervisory duties.
4. Parents or other adults who are designated as chaperones or who have similar responsibilities when the bus is used for educational trips.
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Other Non-Instructional Operations 851.4 CS