Policies and Procedures Handbook

Last Updated: 7/17/2013
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550


Board Policy Preface

The function of the student transportation program is to provide a safe and efficient service to all eligible students. Given the fact that no agency can guarantee absolute safety, the student transportation program is based upon a concept of shared responsibility between student, parent, motorists, and the Public Schools. In establishing school bus stops, consideration is given to the ages of children, distance between school bus stops, sight distance available for regular vehicular traffic, road conditions, posted speed limit, traffic volume, etc.

Guidelines for School Bus Stops

All school bus stops shall be designated by the Director of Pupil Transportation who will determine the stop location. The distance between stops should be no less than one-fourth mile in accordance with COMAR 13A/06.07.13.B. In densely populated areas, the designation of four stops or less per mile will be interpreted to meet this criteria. Where safety hazards are present, making it necessary to designate more than four stops per mile, those in excess shall be noted with the reason given. Stops less than one-half mile from elementary schools and one and one-half miles from middle and high school may be designated only when there are safety hazards.

The following criteria will be used to determine when an exception to COMAR 13A.06.07.13.B (stops 1/4 mile apart) may be considered. Administrative Procedure 857.31a will be used to request such an exception.

    1. Presence of traffic hazards; natural or man-made impediments such as an embankment, guardrail, severe drainage ditch, etc. must be present that would restrict
        the safe escape of a student from the errant path of a passing vehicle.

    2. Only children 4 through 9 years of age are eligible for consideration. When other children age 10 or older are at the stop location, age will not be a consideration.

    3. Supervision; a written statement from the parents or guardian describing the hardship that restricts the caregiver from providing adequate supervision of the student
        to the bus stop.

No exceptions will be made under the following circumstances:

    1. When an additional school bus stop will place the Board and/or driver in conflict with other state regulations (e.g., MVA Law 22-228(d) "every school vehicle driver
        shall put in operation alternately flashing warning signals not less than 100' before bringing the vehicle to a full stop... ").

    2. Where adequate sight distance is not available to insure the safety of students on board the school bus.

    3. Familial or neighborhood conflict, dogs, prejudice toward a particular school bus driver, etc. will not be considered.


Changes will be made after action has been taken by the Director of Transportation and after the following procedure has been completed.

    1. Requests for school bus stop changes may be initiated by the school bus driver, a parent, school administrator, law enforcement agency, or Director of
        Transportation utilizing Administrative Procedure 857.31 b.

    2. The Director of Transportation will approve or disapprove a formal request for a change of, or an addition of. a school bus stop location within the framework of the
        aforesaid guidelines. Notification of his/her decision will be forwarded to the appropriate persons.

Appeal Procedure

Persons filing a request for an exception to the one-fourth (1/4) mile distance requirement or an appeal of an administrative decision should understand that the policy is founded on the premise of providing a service on a mass transportation basis which is not intended to serve the direct needs of an individual for door-to-door delivery.

The program attempts to provide reasonable access to designated school bus stop areas. Stops are restricted to a maximum of four stops per mile to maximize cooperation with the motoring public and to enhance the overall safety of everyone utilizing public roadways.

An appellant has an obligation to clearly illustrate that the administration has either violated board policies and procedures or that its decision is not supported by substantial evidence.

Persons requesting a review of the decision of the Director of Transportation may appeal in writing to the Superintendent of Schools who shall:

        1. Review the findings of the Director of Transportation.

        2. Consider the appeal based upon Board policy and procedure.

        3. Provide a written response to the appeal.

The Superintendent's decision may be appealed to the Garrett County Public Schools within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Superintendent's written decision by:

        1. Submitting a written appeal to the Garrett County Public Schools, or.

        2. Requesting a hearing before the Garrett County Public Schools which shall include a written statement to support the verbal appeal.

The Board shall provide a hearing for the appellant, consider the evidence and determine if Board policies and procedures have been violated by the administration.

Unless evidence is produced to substantiate violation of policy/procedure, the Board shall vote to affirm the decisions of the administration. The Board shall not substitute its judgment in terms of safety for that of the Administration

The Superintendent of Schools will notify the appellant of the Board's decision.

Garrett County Bus Stop Request

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Section 800
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Other Non-Instructional Operations 857.31
Adopted 9/9/76
Revised 8/9/90, 3/12/91, 6/9/92, 8/8/95