School Bus Driver

School Bus Driver

The Bus Driver

15 Years Experience

South, ..

Female, 37

I have been a bus driver since late 2006. I know the inside story, the scoop, the down low dirt of what it takes to be a bus driver, how to handle kids and adults, and how to survive on the "streets" so to speak. I used to have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.

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Last Answer on February 07, 2021

Best Rated

i have left my video game on my school bus today when we had a sub bus driver, i have called my schools and spoke to the secretary and was told that the sub had not reported finding it' i was told that there would be a new sub tomorow. what do i do?

Asked by funlunde over 8 years ago

Well first, you did a good thing by calling the secretary of your school.  The thing I would recommend would be calling the bus shop secretary and see if it has been turned in there.  If the bus is the same, then you can look in the seat you were sitting in, and hopefully the game will still be there.  However, a likely outcome is that someone else picked up your video game and has not turned it in.  I'm sad to say that many students are not honest and you have probably lost the game. I hope you are able to recover it and get it back.  Good luck!

is it against the law to stop bus drivers from using school restrooms

Asked by patricia over 8 years ago

I don't know if it is against the law per-say, however there have been a few times where I have needed to use a restroom.  The ideal location would be on school property where I could run in and out really quickly.  The main concern when a bus driver needs to use the restroom is the supervision of the children on the bus.  In the cases that I needed to use a bathroom, I asked a fellow bus driver or an administrator to watch the bus while I ran inside to the school to use the bathroom.  In all instances, the time spent off the bus was less than 5 minutes, just long enough to relieve myself.

Do bus driver's have to let kids get on the bus to go to school in the morning even if the kid doesn't ride that bus ?

Asked by Haleigh over 8 years ago

Good question Haleigh!

That is really a question that is only answered depending on the district your school is in.  Typically speaking though, if the bus services the school, then yes, we normally let children ride in the mornings.  We know that sometimes kids end up staying with grandma, or over at a friends house, and usually try to accommodate that situation.  If the bus has to go out of district to deliver you to school, then we do have a right to refuse bus service for that reason.  Often if a bus driver is faced with an unknown face at a bus stop, either the child has a note written by a parent to present to the bus driver, or the bus driver will radio the bus shop to get clearance.  Most of the time we are able to help you out.

as i understand it, driving a school bus from apr. 6-9 am and 2-5 pm is the typical hours of the job. starting out, making about $11,000 a year. what kind of "side job" can you get that fits between the am and pm shifts running the bus? need ideas.

Asked by wespoe23 over 8 years ago

Well obviously, we don't do this job for the money by any means! Most people drive the bus to get the insurance.  In my district we usually drive from 5 am to 8 am and then from 2:30 pm to 5 pm.  Unfortunately not a lot of workplaces care to hire someone from 8-2 ish.  I marketed myself for weekends as well, and it was hard to find a second job.  Ideally a job working at a doctor office or lawyers office part time between bus routes would be perfect for someone to go to, if the  employers would work with the bus needs.  I make extra money by volunteering to take field trips.  I also got a job as a transit bus driver for nights and weekends which allowed me to expand my client base from just children.  Good luck!

Why would a school bus driver need to know if the child goes home on the bus or is picked up?
Is he casing my home or my kid?

he seemed to put that on a card is that to be expected?
I didn't think much of it till i got back to the house.

Asked by Steven about 8 years ago

We need to have rosters on our bus.  If we are ever in an accident or the police come on our bus, we have to be able to give them an accurate roster of who is on the bus at any given time.  Obviously, the system isn't perfect because there are several children on a bus at any given time, but its important for us to have your childs name, address, phone numbers of both parents, emergency phone numbers, and any allergies or medical conditions such as Asthma or ADHD that we need to be aware of.

I promise you, we are not casing your house or your child, but it helps the school keep track of which kids are supposed to ride buses home or getting picked up.  Some kids also only ride the bus in the mornings or in the afternoons.  It helps us keep track of how many kids are on the bus.

I have a few newbie driver questions for you - What items do you keep on your bus (kleenex, hand sanitizer etc.)? What do you tell your students at the start of the year to get off on the right foot? What are your best tips? Thanks!

Asked by Mightynice over 8 years ago

This is a good question, and definitely one I will probably co-post on my blog.  Things I recommend for bus drivers to have on hand:

Kleenex - You can never have too many Kleenex.  Kids are always asking for a tissue.

Paper towels - Not to be confused with Kleenex, paper towels are always handy for cleaning up spills and other larger messes such as when rain comes in the leaky roof of a bus.

Hand sanitizer - more for yourself than the kids, but some drivers keep it handy for the kids as well.

Baby wipes - If you prefer baby wipes to hand sanitizer, these can serve double duty as cleansing items for the seats and surrounding areas.

Cleaning supplies - most bus barns will provide cleaning supplies for a driver to maintain general cleanliness of their bus.  This includes windex, lysol, and other antibacterial agents for cleaning the bus.

Puke powder - yes the name sounds awful but it is essential for that child that you will eventually have that vomits everywhere.

Trashcans and trash bags - again self explanatory, but if you promote a clean bus, most of the trash the children will make will find its way into the can.

Broom - A strong and sturdy broom to reach those hard to get areas, brooms also aid in killing random bugs and other pests that find their way into your bus.

Log book/folder - Your bus barn is going to ask you to handle paperwork, it is handy to have a folder to use to keep all paperwork in.  It also helps to keep a current copy of your CPR certification on hand.

Bus roster - This is majorly important if you are in an accident or if a child needs to contact their parents for whatever reason.  You need to know who is on your bus at any given time.  This goes for bus passes too - I usually keep those for about 2 weeks, then toss them.  Things in a bus roster should include the following:  Name of the student, Grade/School, Address, Emergency and Parent numbers, and any allergies or special conditions one should be aware about.  Your bus barn should provide a form for children and parents to fill out and return to you.

Route description - make sure a route description is handy on your bus for those inevitable days that you are going to be sick.  A route description is a lifesaver for sub drivers who do not know your kids.  Also, make sure a roster is attached to each route description so that the sub driver can have it available immediately in the case of an emergency.

Bus seating chart - It may be a good idea for you to assign your passengers seats.  The seat assignments are also helpful for identifying problem passengers. 

Clearly posted rules - these can help students realize what rules they are supposed to follow on the bus.  I recommend going over the rules with each group of kids that enter your bus.

Citation/write-up folder - make sure you have a folder full of blank citation/write-up sheets.  Explain to students that if they do not follow the rules they are going to get a verbal warning from you, you will talk to their parents, and then if they persist, you will write them up and turn them into the school.  Explain that there are consequences for receiving a write-up such as a change in assigned seat to one of the front seats (or a least desireable location).  I know of one bus driver that had all of her children sitting up front and left the back of the bus as no-mans-land.  There were at least 6 seats between the last group of students and the very back of the bus.  A misbehaving child was sent to sit in the last seat by himself, which wasn't viewed as a reward as there was noone around him to help him disobey.

Offer little treats and incentives - Maybe you could develop a positive behavior system on your bus.  Some bus drivers use gum as an incentive, or lollypops.  If the children behave (for the most part) all week, they get a treat on Fridays.  You may want to have them work towards a pizza party or an icecream treat.  When I drove for an after school program, I brought things like cupcakes, and on the last day of after school, I brought ice pops since it was so hot out.  The kids will appreciate these little treats.

can you drive a bus with students on bus with the door open?

Asked by kAREN about 8 years ago

No, that is illegal to do.  I will air out my bus without students on it by utilizing the door, but I will never open the door while the bus is moving and in gear with students on it.