I have been a bus driver since October 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 have a blog, feel free to browse it or ask me a question here.
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Well, there is the logical question of, "How are we going to get 70 something kids to sit down and buckle up?" I'd be forever sitting by the side of the road trying to get the kids buckled. Then there is also the ever present question, "What about an accident?" Some little kids on the buses do not have the dexterity to push the button on the seatbelt release, therefore the responsibility falls to the bus driver. If the bus driver is incapacitated, then what? It is often thought that school buses are simply safer by using a method called compartmentalization, that is why the seats on newer buses are at least a foot taller than the older buses. Should there be an accident (excluding rolling over or tipping on the side) then the children are likely to stay in one area. Hope this answers your question.
Depending on the age of the child, we do like to see a parent/guardian/babysitter there when the child gets off the bus. Federal Law states that children under a certain age cannot be left home alone. I'm not exactly sure of the age but i think its 10 yrs old or under. Most kids have parents or someone waiting for them when they get home. We cannot be sure that every child has someone waiting for them (in cases of dropping kids off at an apartment complex), however, we can try to be sure that someone IS waiting for them and be proactive. If someone is not home to receive the child, we will typically try to call the emergency numbers (if the numbers work) and try to get someone to be available to receive the child. Occasionally, if the parents are habitual about not being home, or we cannot reach anyone through the phone numbers provided, we will take the child to the police station and let the professionals handle it.
Bullying... the quintessential problem for any person who is in the school system, be it teacher, bus driver, or even custodian. I have experienced bullying a time or two on the bus and I immediately put a stop to it. The child who is bullying gets wrote up and turned into the school for disciplinary action. I also take a look at the video tape (all our buses have cameras with vhs or digital recording) and determine if the one who is bullying is also being bullied. If that is the case, then those who are involved get wrote up. In order to prevent further bullying out of earshot of me, I often will move those students to the first 2-4 seats so that I can hear and keep a better eye out on them.
That's a good question. It really depends on the company you work for, the situation at the time of the accident, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. For something simple, non serious, as a fender bender or striking a deer/other large animal, its likely you wouldn't lose your job pending the outcome of a drug test. For something more serious where human lives are lost or there is some severe damage, it is likely you would lose your job. Again it really depends on the company. Personally, I've been in a "fender bender" situation, I did not lose my job even though I was at fault. It was a matter of lack of visibility and someone being stupid by tailgating my school bus. I went to back up and turn around, and the guy was right under my bumper - where I couldn't see him even though I checked my mirrors. I did not get cited for the accident, though I was deemed "at fault", because the other driver did not have insurance. It was an honest mistake. One thing that happens at every accident regardless of who is at fault, is a drug test.
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Special Education TeacherDoes it bother you when people use the R-word?
All the time. Parents get irritated or angry at us for one reason or another. They don't like the seat their child is assigned to sit in, their child can't sit next to so and so, their child came home with a bus citation for poor behavior on the bus. You name it, they get frustrated and angry with us. Most of the time, I am able to calm them down, but the few I cannot calm down, I invite them to call my boss and set up a meeting where their concerns can be handled appropriately. If a child is being bullied or beat up on the bus, I do appreciate a parent coming to me with a concern so that I can be aware of the bullying situation and handle it appropriately and immediately.
No, we will call or radio ahead to notify the bus shop and the school that we are going to be late. We do this so we do not get in trouble and the kids who are riding our buses can get breakfast and get to class in a reasonable amount of time as well. High schoolers especially worry about getting to class on time and the little kids usually eat breakfast at school, so we try to make accommodations for them because many of them have not eaten breakfast at home. Sometimes being late is inevitable, we have to wait on a train, accident, or other thing that holds us up.
The idea of hiring adults to act as monitors is a good idea, but sadly many school systems just do not have the money to provide this service. If a child is being bullied, I recommend that a parent take it to the bus driver and notify the bus driver, and if that does not get results, then the parent can also call the bus supervisor and get it handled from there. Unfortunately, we do not have eyes and ears in the back of our heads so unless there is a really serious situation going on, we really honestly have no idea and cannot DO anything about the situation unless the child/parent/other children speak up and let us know. Certain laws mandate that there be an aide on certain buses such as special education buses, and sometimes school districts will opt to provide a monitor or aide for buses that are particularly troublesome. As always, safety of our children is our utmost concern.
You need a Commerical Drivers Licence (CDL) A or B - With Passenger and School Bus endorsements. Typically a CDL A class will cover most of what you need to know about driving a large vehicle and all you would need to do is take the tests for the passenger and school bus endorsements. A CDL B will do the same thing, except you cannot drive 18 wheelers with the CDL B license. Everyone is different in how they take and pass the classes, but in my opinion, its really not all that hard if you study. Most bus companies offer training which will help you obtain your license.
It is a big deal for the younger kids, however bus drivers often solve that problem by either assigning seats or letting just the high school age kids sit in the back of the bus. There has never been an all out brawl over the back seats and often I will make the children move from the last two seats on the bus due to safety issues. In an ideal world, those two seats would not be filled by students.
Some individual systems provide a budget to have aides on all buses, however aides are typically found on special ed buses. Occasionally a school system will make an exception to the traditional one adult per bus and hire an aide for those buses whose behavior problems have proven a need for an aide to manage while the bus driver drives. Most of the time, the kids are fairly well behaved. They usually sit down like they are supposed to and can get a little loud at times, but very rarely do I experience extreme behavior problems that would require a full time aide. Often the reason why there is no aide on all buses is because of budget issues. My system is facing 9 furlough days due to budget cuts and the money is simply not in the budget.
That depends on the bus. Since I bounce from bus to bus, some buses work better with the radio on, others get horribly obnoxious and cannot handle listening to the radio. (They forget they are in a moving vehicle and think they are in some nightclub.) Depending on the bus, or my mood, I will typically give the kids a choice between certain radio stations, or simply put on the one radio station that will satisfy nearly everyone on the bus. I refuse to listen to songs or stations that play songs that have an inordinate amount of swear words where half the song is "blanked" out due to the cussing. Its not appropriate to listen to on a school bus that has kids ranging in age from 4 years old to 18 years old. Since we have all ages on the buses, I have to be careful the type of music I let the kids listen to. During the holidays, I do have a couple of holiday cd's and there is a local station that will play holiday music. Usually, regardless of what bus I am on in the month of December, if the radio works on the bus I am driving, its driver's choice. Every now and again if I have a bus that has a designated high school run, I will allow the high schoolers to choose the radio station, since by that age, most of them tend to be responsible enough to listen to it properly. Those buses often do 2-3 runs in the morning and in the afternoon due to the amount of children on the route.
Yes, riding the buses in the USA is a privilege, not a right. We have the power to get their bus riding privilege revoked, but we have to go through the school and show a track record through write ups, warnings, parent conferences, etc, with no changes before we can actually get the privilege revoked. In my school system, the kids who get written up have a progressive consequence. First write up is a warning. Second, is 1-3 days off the bus, third is 3-5 days off the bus, fourth is 5-10 days off, and then finally off for the rest of the semester or year. Unfortunately in my system, not all principals follow the system dictated by the school board and the parents will and have gone to the school board over their child losing riding privileges even though the behavior has not changed. Its frustrating for us.
Most kids do. However, we do get a few kids who will not respect us the same way they respect their teachers and other authority figures, but chances are good they just have a problem with authority figures in general and have been in trouble at school, at home, and then, on the bus. Most of the time, I manage the kids and their behavior very well, and they know when they have pushed me too far. The few that have the authority problems, will likely always have authority problems until they learn to grow up.
No. Though we do have a bus driver appreciation week and occasionally regular bus drivers will receive small gifts from their students and families at the holidays. It is not typical to find and really depends on how well the bus driver works with families. Some drivers have had their routes for 15+ years and often have developed a rapport with the families on their routes. Gifts and tips are definitely appreciated by bus drivers. I also work as a Transit driver, and I do occasionally get a tip from passengers. Again its much appreciated, but not necessary.
Yes there is. Every bus driver, teacher, principal, and other employee in the school system is a Mandated Reporter. That means if we suspect or witness child abuse, we HAVE to report it by law. Each state is different in how to report child abuse, but where I work, if we suspect a child is being abused at home, we notify the supervisor at the bus shop and the school the child attends. It then sets into motion numerous meetings between the principal, counselors, and teachers involved and often will get the child out of the abuse situation. We take abuse cases very seriously and it is sometimes very hard to prove that there is any abuse going on because many people will not abuse the child in front of us. We document everything we notice such as signs of physical abuse or neglect, and various behavior patterns. Often, if a parent is habitually not home when we drop off a young child, we will report it and take the child over to the police station because the child is lacking in supervision at home.
That’s a tough question to answer. Ideally if you have a monitor on the bus, the monitor should not be a distraction and you should be able to work side by side with the monitor. Have you tried speaking with the monitor directly? Maybe she/he doesn’t know that what they are doing is bothering you. If you feel you cannot speak to the person directly, ask your boss for a mediation session where he/she can have the both of you in the office and you two can hash out your differences. It may be that the boss may decide to move the monitor to a different bus, and give you a new monitor for yours. Personally, I prefer to drive a bus by myself because its easier to handle all behavior problems because I can be consistent in my discipline methods. If I write a student up for behavior and my monitor doesn’t for the same behavior, it sends mixed messages to the student on how to behave. I hope you find a resolution soon!
This was a very hard video to watch, and in fact, I could not watch it all the way through. I address this issue on my blog. However to answer your question - Kids are mean. They do not think before they speak and often will torment others just because they can. I've been bullied by the kids before because of my size, and I don't let it bother me, and turn in those that are bullying. Unfortunately the consequences for the students who bully are not severe enough to STOP the bullying. Too many excuses for poor behavior.
In my county, yes, we are responsible for cleaning our buses inside and out. Mainly we sweep the floors and we can rinse out the inside with soap and water with a hose. The outside of the bus gets washed by a large "bus wash" - a car wash for buses. We are supposed to sweep out the buses at least once a day, but some drivers will make it a weekly thing. Many drivers will ban the kids from eating or drinking on the bus to minimize the accumulation of trash on the bus and to prevent spills from liquids. Its easy to sweep a bus clear of all dirt (which is inevitable with kids on the bus), but it is harder to clean it if it is all sticky and dirty. I don't know how other bus shops run their buses.
That's a good question - I'm not really sure how it works in other states and each individual school district has their own policies on what is considered inclement weather, but our district rarely closes for inclement weather. The one time we did, since I've been there, I think it was a combination of the transportation department and the school board deciding what was safest for the students. We had experienced some torrential rain which washed out a lot of our roads and caused some very unsafe conditions for students, so the school was closed because of the road conditions caused by the rain.
Good question. The fact of the matter is, "short buses" as you put them have special factory options installed. Often seatbelts, wheelchair tie downs, and wheelchair lifts. We have to make sure that all students, regardless of disability, have an equal opportunity to attend school. I don't know the reason why these buses are often shorter than regular education buses, however, I have a theory. Alot of times, these buses have to be small enough to be able to enter a persons driveway in order to pick up a student in need. A larger regular education bus is not designed for tight turns and pick up door to door. Students have to meet us at the street/central location to board the buses in those cases. Often special education buses have a driver and an aide on the bus to handle any problem that may come up, such as a student having a seizure or an autistic child having issues with noise. These buses are also often quieter than regular education buses which help a student who is autistic as they usually cannot handle loud noise like everyone else. Hope this helps.
The emergency doors in the back of the bus (or on the side of the bus in some models) are simply opened by a red lever in the back of the bus. Any child can do it in the case of an emergency. The door is not locked. The door can be locked, however when securing your bus for the evening after you have completed your route. The newer models of buses have a simple slide latch and the latch communicates with the ignition system of the bus. If the latch is locked, the bus will not start. It ensures that the door always stays unlocked so that students can get out in the case of an emergency.
Since I do not drink by choice, I don't know if there is an unofficial "rule". Since alcohol is NOT illegal to consume, the best advice I can give is to use moderation. Bus drivers are subject to random alcohol and drug testing, so if you're concerned about it showing up, then the rule of thumb is not to do it.
Each job has its selection of characters. Most of the time, a majority of the behavior problems I experience comes from the kids, but we do have adults who can be quite "special" in their behavior as well. I believe that the reason why adults tend to be better behaved is because they actually WANT to ride the bus, or HAVE to ride the bus to get to work, the grocery store, the movies, wherever.
Federal law states that a school bus can go no faster than 40 mph on route and up to 55 mph on highways. Many school buses are governed down so they cannot go faster than a certain speed. In my district, the buses WERE governed to 65 mph, but some drivers were breaking the speed limit, so we were then governed down to between 55 and 60 mph. Other districts do not govern their school buses down. If you see a bus driver acting reckless by speeding faster than 70 mph on a highway, feel free to call it in and report them.
Well, things like power windows are not practical because the kids would be forever playing with them, and we don't need any more buttons to deal with. A lot of the newer buses are equipped with power mirrors, mirror defoggers/defrosters, air ride seats, and air conditioning. One thing that I would like to see is better running/back up lights on the exterior of the bus for when we have to do turn around's in the dark. Another thing that I would like to see in addition to the air ride seats, is more cushioning/comfort in the drivers seats since we are often on the road for very long hours. In an ideal world, every bus would have an aide on it to monitor and help defuse behavior problems as well, but funding is just not available.
I think you ought to be allowed to use the bathroom should you need it, however if you are leaving students unattended on your bus, I can see your boss' problem with you using the bathroom. If it is simply a matter of you pulling the bus over in a public area at a gas station, your boss may be wanting to avoid phone calls from the "concerned public" of buses parking in places where they shouldn't. After all, the county public pays your salary right? (That was a bit of sarcasm.) One thing your boss may be concerned about is you getting students to school on time. If you only need 5 minutes to use the restroom, simply back your route up by 5 minutes so that you budget that "bathroom time" into your route.
Well, I think part of the reason they do not let you tie your wheelchair down yourself is because the driver/aide must be sure that the wheelchair is adequately secured in the bus. If the bus were to get into an accident and you were hurt because your wheelchair was not tied down properly by you, it can be a liability to the district. Also, if you are riding the bus as a passenger, the driver is still having the full responsibility of everyone on their bus.
That is a good question. I actually had to look up the answer myself as I had not remembered what they said in training class. The white top of a school bus is reportedly a measure enacted to help cool the school bus. We do not have air conditioning on buses in my district, and the white tops supposedly keep the heat down inside the bus. Some newer models have tinted windows which also try to keep the heat from entering the bus. Another reason there are white tops, and strobe lights on the top of buses, is to assist with visibility from the air and on the ground.
It wasn't difficult at all. Its just like driving a very very very long SUV. You do have to have good spatial awareness to know where your tail end is from your front end, but overall, it wasn't hard. As far as training, you need to have a CDL B with a passenger and school bus endorsements. The other types of training as far as hands on and classroom time vary by state. Your local bus shop should have the information you need as far as when the next class is.
Honestly, if anything, I feel that the bullying problem seems to have gotten worse or at least more apparent. There are alot of anti-bullying media campaigns out there because there is an increased awareness of the problem. The issue now is more the bullies who blatantly bully in plain sight. Bullying can take many forms, some obvious, and some very subtle. The thing that has to happen in order for the bullying problem to decrease is for the consequence for bullying be something that the bullies actively dislike. If they don't like the consequence, they will not bully as much. The problem we have in school is that the consequences really have no effect on students that bully. For a student who is a good student, rarely gets into trouble, a lunch detention or losing their recess is a big thing and enough of a deterrent to have them avoid getting into trouble because that student's parents are often active within the school and actively take part in their child's education. If that student faces a consequence for misbehavior at school, it is likely that the same student will face similar consequences at home to show the student that the behavior in question will not be tolerated. A bully or someone who is constantly in trouble for other reasons, really doesn't care much about the school consequence because when they get home, the parents may be absent or simply not care to follow it up at home.
Thats not to say that there are exceptions to that assumption, but those children who lack discipline at home will invariably be in trouble at school for misbehavior. Some parents believe it is the school systems job to raise their child to be an upstanding citizen.
Personally, I like assigning seats because then each child knows they have a place to sit. A downside to assigned seats is having random children that do not normally ride the route get on a bus with a pass because they are going home with a friend/cousin/to grandmas. In my experience as a substitute, the drivers who have assigned seats on their buses tend to have calmer buses overall. The kids are less likely to act up and the ones that try to are quickly ratted out by other students who enjoy following the rules. Bus drivers do have the right to assign seats, and if I am on a bus and experiencing problems, I will assign seats to the children the day that I drive. It can cause problems with parents, but if I know where their kid sits, there is no fighting whether their kid misbehaved because their child sits in the same seat every day.
Sometimes even the most seasoned bus driver isn't always cheerful in the mornings. I do try to greet my students with a good morning, even if I'm not the most cheerful. Yes sometimes the behavior does affect my mood, but when you think of bus drivers in movies, they're simply actors, they get paid to be all cheery. We are doing a job that is often thankless and can be very difficult.
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.
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!
I don't mind when talkitive children sit closer to the front and ask me questions. Sometimes, it can get a bit annoying especially when I'm trying to pay attention to driving in stressful situations, but usually a simple, "Please be quiet for a few minutes, kiddo." usually helps and then the kid does not feel like I am ignoring them. I have many kids ask me if they can open the manual door when we are at a stop. I usually tell them that I will let them open the door at their stops. Some of the older students like to sit up front and chat with me and often will tell me things that are annoying them or upsetting them and ask me for advice.
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.
Technically speaking, it is dangerous to brake check any vehicle because it will cause wear and tear on the vehicle. In addition, brake checking while one has children on board can put them in danger and cause unintended injuries. Sometimes I will demonstrate to children how fast a bus CAN stop because it helps them remember to stay in their seats, but over all I don't usually perform "brake checks".
On a legal standpoint, it is NOT illegal to do so, just unsafe.
It varies from state to state, but in my district, the cameras are designed to keep running approximately 10 minutes after the bus has been turned off. This is for safety reasons for the driver and for the kids. It also provides enough time for the bus driver to walk the bus/sweep the bus at the end of the route. This also is proof that the driver is doing their job by walking the bus and prevents the driver from getting in a compromising situation should a student be found on the bus after the route and the bus has been shut off.
If the bus is 30 feet from the intersection, then yes, you can continue travelling on the perpendicular road, however if the bus is closer than that and is clearly letting kids disembark from the bus, its better to be safe and stop than sorry because you ran over a child and were not looking. Children are unpredictable and at any point can go a direction one least expects, including darting back across the street to the bus for a forgotten item.
I can't say for sure the reason why the driver did not detour, however, maybe she was unfamiliar with the area, or perhaps she had been told not to deviate from the route. Sometimes there is no space for a bus to turn and detour and sometimes the detour areas only accommodate cars, and not buses.
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.
For bathroom emergencies, it can be a tricky situation. In my district, it is left up to the bus driver's discretion. Usually if a route is short - the kids will be home within 1 hour - I usually tell the children to wait until they get home. Though there have been times where a route is longer, or the child is little (pre-k) in which case I'll stop at the bus shop, or at a school and get a teacher or older student (of same gender of child) to escort the child to the bathroom.
Some school bus drivers may be retired teachers. Generally speaking, no, teachers are not school bus drivers, but paraprofessionals may choose to work as bus drivers to supplement their income too. As for handling badly behaved students, our course of action can include many steps. First we will typically try to manage the behavior on the bus by changing the students seat or assigning seats. Then we try to contact the parents of the student in order to try to get the situation resolved. If that fails then we write the students up and turn them into the schools. From there, the administrators of the school can choose to further discipline the student by taking away bus riding privilege. We are not allowed to physically discipline students as far as laying a hand on a student though.
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!
Yes, many bus drivers choose to separate children by gender, sometimes they put boys on one side and girls on the other, and others will put one gender in the back and the other in the front. The fact that the boys are 3 to a seat is an unfortunate circumstance of your gender on that bus. There is one bus in my district who has twice as many girls as boys, and the bus is separated by gender, so the girls have to sit three to a seat while the boys have alot more space on their side. Could the bus driver even it out a little bit by allowing students to sit in certain seats or reassigning certain areas of the bus - yes, but sometimes its just not practical, or other schools fill in the empty areas. If any girls are sitting only one to a seat then I could see where you have an issue, but if the driver is making an effort to try to divide it somewhat evenly to give everyone a place to sit, then you don't have much of a choice.
If we are driving an older model bus with manually operated doors (the handle has to be lifted and pushed out in order for us to open the door for passengers), we simply shut the door from the outside taking care not to push it too hard to latch. If it latches, fear not, we climb in the back door (which is usually unlocked) and let ourselves into the bus that way. For newer models of buses that have air operated doors, there is a switch that is located above the door labled "emergency release." We flip this switch (on the inside) into the open position and it releases all the air holding the doors closed. We can then push the doors open and then shut them after we get off the bus.
Some drivers have to be careful because their buses will have air leaks which makes it easy to exit the bus for a period of time - opening the door by the air switch, but then when the driver returns, starts the bus, and flips the switch, the air pressure takes time to rebuild. Those drivers will often find themselves summarily accidentally "locked" out when the doors regain pressure and close on the drivers if they are outside the bus when this occurs. In some fleets, the doors are operated by a key accessed panel outside the door which allows the driver to open and close the door from the outside of the bus using key access.
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.
Being shorthanded is a tough subject as many bus shops everywhere are short drivers. Typically though whether or not SPED buses have monitors on them is based by state. I would research the laws in Virginia and see if not having a monitor is illegal on your bus. If it is, then I would make efforts to report the activity to the appropriate authorities. If SPED buses are not required to have monitors on them, then my suggestion is to do the best you can with the resources you have.
First off, a bus driver should not be laying hands or any part of body on a child unless it is necessary for intervention. For example, I had two 2nd thru 4th grade girls decide to get into it on the bus and both decided to swing punches. I stepped in the middle and separated both girls, took one gently by the wrist and moved her from the other girl and had a lady who was riding on the bus with me sit WITH the second girl in the same seat (with the girl near the window) until we got to the girls stop.
If in fact, this bus driver is displaying questionable behavior, you can request that the bus company pull the tape to address the problem. The bus company can view the tape and subsequently discipline the driver should there be an issue. That being said, it may be possible that the bus driver is assigning seats for each kid and it could be perhaps that your child does not like the new rule change. I've never heard of a driver that sits ON a child. Hope this helps.
Hello - I deleted your duplicate question in favor of answering here. If you have been threatened, or feel that you have been threatened by someone, go directly to the bus driver, teacher, administrator, parent, anyone who will listen to keep you safe. On my bus, bullying is not tolerated and it will be handled. If you don't get someone to listen, keep telling them until something is done.
I had to look up what dual tier vs. single tier is first. If I understand it correctly, dual tier is when school bus routes are split by grade level, for example: 1 elementary run, 1 middle school run, and 1 high school run. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems. I grew up in a multi-tier system whereas when I moved and became a bus driver myself, it is now single tier. I suppose the district is trying to save money and time by consolidating all the dual routes into single routes. As for them not wanting to pay insurance for their employees, that is a different beast all together. I don't see the change from dual to single backfiring, but I do see a lot of backlash over the health insurance issue, especially if you live in a state like mine which does not offer expanded medicaid under the new "Obamacare" health fiasco. Lots of businesses are looking for ways to cut corners thanks to the aforementioned three ring circus in DC.
There are various reasons why kids get written up on the school bus, and what happens to them depends on what they did. For a student who disrespected the bus driver, the consequence might be a warning the first time, then subsequent suspensions ranging anywhere from 1-10 days depending on the number of other write-ups the student has received. But, for a student who may have been physically fighting on the bus, the school may opt to jump over the "warning" stage and simply go right to suspension.
In my district, the general progression of write-ups is warning, 1-3 days off, 3-5 days off, 5-7 days off, 10 days off, then permanently off for the rest of the semester/year.
First off - is the dirt road a dead end road? Secondly - is the dirt road a road that gets a significant amount of traffic? I ask these questions because dirt roads can vary. If there is not alot of traffic going down your particular dirt road, then a sidewalk is not really needed or necessary. It won't kill kids to walk a little bit. (For my readers, 200 yards is about 2 football fields long.) Unless your child is in 1st grade or younger, then there is really no reason why they couldn't walk a little bit. Chances are good the only folks who will be coming down your dirt road will be neighbors who live nearby and you likely let them walk over to the neighbors house. Additionally, if the road is a dead end (as many dirt roads are), there may not be a place for a school bus to turn around. If you are still concerned, you can always meet the bus in your vehicle in order to collect your children.
Sometimes situations happen when a parent is not home to receive their child. We typically instruct the child to knock on the door to try to find out if someone is home. If the child cannot get someone to the door, I will usually send an older student to try to knock harder on the door because little fists don't knock very loudly. Failing that, we will radio in to the bus yard in order to try to get a parent on the phone while we finish the route, drop all other students off and then radio back to the bus yard for advice on how to proceed. If the student's parents are still not home, I will walk to the front door and knock, but I will not open it or enter a stranger's home. In cases where the parents are constantly absent from the bus stop, we will actually take the children up to the police station because of the lack of parental supervision for the child.
"w. dog" - First I am not sure what you're asking because I actually read english and write in english. Second, please feel free to resubmit your question using proper english sentences.
First, congratulations! Secondly, best advice I can give is practice. Find an empty parking-lot and see if you can borrow an empty bus to practice pulling between the lines. Play around with the bus a little bit to see how it handles and see how the back wheels turn in conjunction with the front ones. When making any frontward right or left hand turn, you typically swing a bit wide (wider for right hand turns in general) due to the tail swing and rear wheels of the bus and to avoid the curb. When backing into a lane watch your rear wheels through your side rear view mirrors. If you are backing on the right, use the mirrors closest to the student door. If to the left, use the mirrors just outside your drivers side window. One of the mirrors should be trained on the "blindspot" by the rear wheels. Identify the wheels in the mirror and pretend that the wheel is on a dime at the edge of the corner. You want to make the wheel stay still while backing left or right. Think about how you back your car into a parking space and apply the same principle. As you are backing, keep an eye on your front nose so that it does not hit anything. A good judge of the front nose would be the cross mirrors in the front of the bus.
Finally, get a trusted friend to help you identify the dimensions of your bus by standing at the rear bumper as you sit in the drivers seat. Have them stand at all 4 corners of the bus and at the center in back and center in front as you check your mirrors. Also have them stand at the rear wheels so you can identify them visually. This will help you visualize your bus all around. Good luck!
The bright flashing lights are known as strobe lights and they are on the roof of the bus for visibility reasons. Just like a garbage truck or a street cleaner or a snow plow will have flashing lights on it, a school bus is something that requires lots of visibility due to the precious cargo we transport every day. Our student lights will flash amber/yellow and red and our stop signs will come out and flash. Some newer models have included strobe lights in the stop sign to increase visibility to distracted drivers. If the light is low level or there is heavy fog, snow, or rain, the strobe light allows drivers to spot our vehicles from several feet and allow other drivers to take necessary precautions when driving in those conditions.
Awesome - You can email me at email@example.com :)
Denise - I simply did a google search, and that was one of the images I found. So, I simply used it for this profile. Therefore since it is public property, it is not mine to give away, but since it is very common to find in general, I don't think you'll run into copyright laws. Can I get a sweatshirt? ;)
Very carefully. Most intersections are wide enough for us to make a turn the way we need to, sometimes though, we may have to wait until the light cycles and the intersection clears. More often than not, if it is safe enough and we do not have the turning radius needed, we will jump the curb in order to keep hitting other vehicles.
We try our best to stop bullying period. Sometimes even all we do cannot prevent bullying completely. Some kids just end up being victims of these circumstances. Some of the ways we can help stop bullying or at least preventing the situation on the bus would be moving the bullies to areas of the bus where the camera can pick up their actions and voices should the behavior be both physical and verbal. Secondly, we remove the victim from the vicintity of the bully. For example, I would have the bully sit in seat 2 or 3 where I can hear them, and have the victim sit in seat 11 or 12, far enough away from the bully.
You said it yourself. You should not have been standing up in the first place. Did your bus driver warn you about standing up while the bus was moving? You also assume it was a brake check, but maybe he really did see an obstacle in the road that would have required quick decisive action. As for the legality of it, technically no. If the driver can be proved to have illegally "brake checked" the bus in order to get a student to sit down, then there can be trouble. That being said:
As for your question - could it have waited until you got off at your stop? Could it have waited until the bus driver was NOT driving, but instead sitting at your school? Ask yourself these questions.
Sadly, students in general tend to have a nice side and a mean side. Its part of human nature for some people. The thing is that some people need to be told that their mean side is not something that should be tolerated or encouraged. If you feel strongly about this, stand up for yourself and the bus driver. Maybe hearing from a peer that their words/actions are mean might get them to think twice.
I would report it to the bus driver himself. He may want to be aware of what these students are saying to at least watch out for other students on the bus. If you are uncomfortable with that, then you could report it to a school administrator who could bring it to the bus driver's attention.
Buses are equipped with an emergency or parking brake, but it can be very dangerous to pull this brake while the bus is moving as it will cause the bus to jerk to a stop and can cause an accident if used improperly. In the case of an emergency and the bus is simply rolling low speed (under 5 mph) then the emergency brake button can be pulled in order to stop the bus. It looks like this: http://www.apartswarehouse.com/Images/Products/298818-s.JPG
In the case where the driver becomes incapacitated at any time while the bus is moving at speeds greater than 5 mph, you can instruct students to put the gear shift in neutral which will stop the motor from propelling the wheels. Then instruct the student to keep a steady hand on the steering wheel guiding it to the side of the road. Once the bus has rolled to a stop or has dropped below 5 mph, then the student can pull the parking brake to stop the bus completely. I would not advise a student to cut off the bus engine using the keys until the bus has come to a near complete stop as the power going to the steering wheel will stop if the student cuts off the power too soon. That can make the bus hard to maneuver in an emergency.
Most bus companies have CB radios to use in the case of an emergency. Instruct students on how to access the radio and how to call for help in an emergency.
All the time in my case. Some bus yards require bus drivers to be there a full day, but in my case, we work from 5:30 am to 8 am and then again from 2:30 pm to 5 pm ish. Obviously the times vary for each bus driver depending on their route, location, and number of children.
Depends on the reason for writing the name down. Sometimes I may ask a child for their name and write it down as a note to myself to let the office know I have them still on the bus if they missed their stop. Sometimes, it may be that we need their name to look up their address in the computer system, or find a working parent/guardian number to contact. Finally, I may write a child's name down in order to write them up for misbehavior. Not everything leads to misbehavior and a citation, but for other reasons.
When I had an after school route - I had my students names on one sheet as well as their stops listed, in order of drop off. When they got on the bus, I would ask their name (if I hadn't already learned it) and would check off that they were on the bus. It helped me keep track of the number of students who rode and which way I needed to drive in order to drop them off efficiently and quickly.
That would depend on your school district if they run late buses. When I was in high school, we had 2 late buses that would serve the north and south side of town. The idea was to get the riders of the late bus within reasonable walking distance of home (Sometimes up to 2 miles) My late bus stop was about 3/4 of a mile from my house and a half mile from my regular stop. I would suggest calling your local bus company and asking them if they have a late bus.
If the bus is your only means of transportation, then I would recommend going to the teacher and explaining your situation respectfully. They may be able to work something else out for you (lunch tutoring or lunch detention) in order to accommodate you. Good luck!
Get a bus pass from the office. You need to bring a signed note from your parent or guardian to the office and they will issue you a bus pass (usually only good for one day). Trying to skip around on buses is not advised and in some districts can get you removed from riding the bus.
First off - if you notice that the heater in the back is blowing, please let the bus driver know. Their arm may have inadvertently hit the button on the control panel which controls the heat blower. Secondly, most of the time if a driver gets too hot they turn the heat off under the hood or up in the drivers compartment by flipping a lever to stop the heat flow. Third, when you put 40-60 bodies in a small area, its going to be a little hot and uncomfortable. If the driver has air conditioning, they will put it on, but if there is no air conditioning, simply open a few windows on each side all the way down both sides of the bus and there will be a cross breeze that comes through which will cool off some of the interior of the bus.
There may be other reasons why the heat is needed on certain days, but most of that is due to the defrosting of the windshields and visibility. Bottom line is - if you're hot, let the bus driver know so they can adjust accordingly. If they don't, then simply relocate your seat away from the seats where the heaters are.
You can ask the driver if they saw the object in question, if they have, they likely turned it into the bus shop or schools, in which case your parents would need to call up to claim it on your behalf. If its money, its likely gone. Unfortunately other students are not so honest.
Depending on your district will depend on the procedure for applying for a job. In my district, applicants submit their applications to the local board of education. The process begins there. I suggest you go to your local board of education. They will be able to give you the necessary direction in which to go to apply to be a bus driver or monitor.
No idea honestly, though a few of my friends offer bus cleaning services, inside and outside and charge approximately 50 dollars per bus. They aren't a professional cleaning service and are just looking to make a little money on the side. Personally, I pay for them to clean my bus because it is worth the 50 dollars to me. Theres alot of nooks and crannies on a bus that need to be cleaned as well as with newer buses, the holes in the ceiling can't get wet, so its easier to pay someone to do it.
It depends on your individual district. Some districts forbid taking a bus to a personal residence and others allow for the drivers to take their buses home. In my experience, the bus drivers are allowed to take their buses home, but if their buses are needed for inspection or whatever, then we have to find a ride home, or take a spare home until we get our regular buses back.
Personally, I don't take my bus home because I simply have no place to park the vehicle. Of course, the stipulations are that if they give you the privilege of taking the bus home, that you will not abuse that privilege and make sure that you do not use the bus for personal reasons like grocery shopping etc. Additionally, you agree to keep it safe from vandals, and to ensure that just like your regular car that you make sure you secure it.
Even though I don't take my bus home, I would need to clear it occasionally with my supervisor for me to take my bus to my second job since it usually started right after my bus driving job. After I got off for a break, I would run the bus back to the shop, secure the gate, and get my own personal vehicle.
First, I'd be questioning his judgement for having alcohol knowing full well he is going to drive childen later. As far as the police are concerned, if the police have reason to believe he is under the influence or a parent has called it in reporting him to be under the influence, they can subject him to a random drug screen and a breathalyzer. I'm not sure about the BAC level as I am not a police officer nor do I drink.
Second, my policy is to avoid alcohol in any situation where I might need to be in full control of myself especially when driving children. I would not knowingly put my children at risk. If this individual is consuming alcohol and then driving children, he is essentially playing with fire because while with some professions alcohol may be accepted, when driving a school bus, it is likely not accepted.
In that case, then I would turn the bus off. I was just stating that some buses require the bus to be started and running or the key to be turned in the on position to allow power to flow to the lift. Some lifts will not operate without the parking brake being engaged either on some of the smaller "transit" type buses. I would double check your company policy on this issue though.
The button on the back wall of the bus is part of the child check safety system. Essentially whenever a bus driver returns to the bus yard or his/her home after a run where he/she has picked up students, they are supposed to do a walk through of the bus in order to ensure all students are off the bus. Newer buses require us to press the button at the back of the bus in order to stop or prevent an alarm from sounding (usually a beeping noise or the sound of the bus horn) before opening the door and exiting the bus. Failure to press the button and exiting the bus is much like breaking into a car with a car alarm. The alarm sounds and the driver is forced to walk to the back of the bus to shut it off.
There are many ways of starting out in a bus company and being a monitor is a good way to decide if you like the job before you decide to go to the training to become a bus driver. Since becoming a bus driver requires a CDL-B license, many bus companies offer training and assistance with getting the license, though much of the responsibility falls on you as the trainee. In this way, just being a monitor for several years does not qualify you to "move up" to be a bus driver as the requirements for the position vary. However, if you want to start as a monitor and get your CDL license, then I am sure any bus shop would love to have you on as an employee.
Its a matter of using the mirrors to line your bus up with the other two buses. Keeping it in line with the other two buses, back up slowly until your bus nose is in line with the other busses. It is fairly simple to do once you get a handle on how your bus turns and backs. If you are unsure, I recommend going to a parking lot with white lines painted on the pavement. Attempt to back your bus keeping it centered betweeen the two lines. Once you can do that without running over the lines, backing your bus is a cinch.
In order for the lift to operate, there has to be some power to the bus. I do not know if the bus just needs to be in the "on" position or fully running for the lift to work, but usually since on special needs buses there is more than one person on the bus (driver and aide) it is usually safe to leave the bus running while picking up and dropping off a student since there are several adults around to handle situations.
In my district, special needs buses have to have two people on board, the driver and the aide. I was speaking only from personal experience. I've also had other bus drivers help me and I help them as well on checking the reverse and rear lights. Here in my district, we do not get off our buses to walk students into school. The only time we are to be off our buses with students on board is to operate the lift. Thats why special needs buses will have an aide and a driver on board in order to help manage the situation.
Andrea - Unfortunately, yes, a bus can tip over, but most accidents where the buses have tipped over are due to driver overcorrection, or outside force on the bus making it flip on its side. Generally speaking though, buses are safe to ride in and if you have a problem, please feel free to address it with the driver of the bus. The driver can reassure you and give you fair warning if he is going to do something unexpected like back the bus up or turn it around in a tight area.
First off, the child is 5 years old and has been walking 5 blocks all this time and you didn't think to question it until now in the middle of winter? Secondly routes are usually set by the individual bus company. As far as legality, our state suggestion is that students bus stops can be anywhere from a quarter to a full mile length from their homes or closer if necessary. Sometimes though adjustments to the routes must be made to accommodate road closures.
I am not sure if there are particular state or county laws where you live that govern the height of a window on a bus that is down. I suggest you check with your CDL trainer and boss at your bus shop yard. They can better advise you. My personal policy is to let the children let down the windows if they are hot. If the windows are not down, it is the children's personal choice not to let the windows down. If I have little ones, I have an older child help put those windows down in order to make the little ones more comfortable.
Yes. In my district we have to pass a yearly physical by a DOT certified doctor. They aren't anything too bad, mostly just a general physical and then questions about history and medications. The DOT is cracking down on people with CDL licenses (both Class A and B) and are requiring some drivers to go through additional testing. This may be anything from an extra eye exam if you wear glasses to a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.
I'm not really sure exactly. I know on smaller buses (20 passenger) the driver has a door on both theirs and passengers sides because of the design of the bus. For larger buses, its only feasible to have a door on one side for all entering and exiting the bus. Interesting fun fact, that in any accident, the drivers side window and both front windows (as well as most any other window in the bus) can be kicked out to aid in evacuation procedures if such procedures are warranted)* * I don't advise you getting on a random bus and kicking out the windows without a warranted cause. That may get you arrested and charged with vandalism. Plus the other folks look at you like you are crazy.
Usually a simple note from your doctor clearing you to drive and handle a bus full of kids is sufficient enough to pass the bus driver physical. New state and federal laws require some drivers to provide a list of their medications at the bus driver physical. Chatham county in Georgia uses First Student - so you may want to look into that company. Good luck!
Let them choose their seats, if there is a problem with them, then assign specific ones seats closer to the front where you can manage them. You'll find that several of the kids will sit with the same people every day and that they will usually have a preferred area of the bus. I have elementary, middle, and highschool on my bus so I separate the bus by sections. It gives the kids autonomy of choice when deciding where to sit. Alternately you could ask them to decide amongst themselves where they are going to sit, or at the very least whom they would like to sit near/next to. In that case, I would hand out index cards and then once names are written on each card, hand one student tape to put the name cards above the seats. At any rate, highschoolers like the autonomy of choice, so unless they give you a reason to assign them a seat, let them sort it out.
All of my kids know to sit properly in their seats. If one decides to go under the seat they get a front seat for a period of time until they learn that they must sit down properly. If your driver is allowing it, you should report it to the principal of your school or the transportation department for the safety of the other students on the bus.
That is true, you shouldnt put the bus in reverse and get out and walk behind. If you have an aide, have them walk behind the bus while you control the bus in order to test the back up lights. If you're alone, then I would either ask one of my co-workers to check or get a pvc pipe so that you can wedge it between the seat and brake pedal (with the parking brake set of course) and instead of getting out of the bus you can simply walk down the aisle inside the bus and peek out the back door to see if the lights seem to be functioning properly. I would not do what your boss is suggesting as that puts yours and others safety at risk.
Tough questions. Legally, if a child is having an issue such as an allergic reaction and the child has an epi-pen on themselves, we are trained to help the child administer the epi-pen to themselves (in the form of putting their hand around the epi-pen and guiding it to the right spot so that the medicine is delivered appropriately). That being said, if your child has a severe enough allergy that the bus driver is simply not comfortable with handling it (as can be the case with severe bee sting or peanut allergies) the driver does have the discretion to advise you to seek other types of transportation. They can go to their supervisors and try to work with you to find alternate modes of transportation for your child. It may be that the child needs to be on a special education bus. As it is, I have a child who is a diabetic on my bus (also a very common issue) and I am in the process of speaking to qualified nurses and doctors on the best way to help this child should their sugar drop. I advise you to take it to the bus garage and see what they say.
As long as you are following procedures your boss should back you up. We've had parents threaten to get us fired, but in the end they look like the idiots because we are following all procedures and policies in regards to bus and student behavior. I wouldn't worry too much unless you are doing something that is in clear violation of the rules.
This is kind of a slippery slope for bus drivers. It is probably best to maintain the professionalism and not get personal. Thats not to say if you see him out and about in a place other than the bus, that you can't strike up a conversation with him, but in my opinion best to keep those conversations for interactions outside his professional job.
Not sure about homeland security, but often bus companies will forbid drivers to take their buses home as a measure of protection for the vehicles. If there was vandalism in the last few years or issues regarding misuse of buses such as people using them for personal errands wasting the fuel paid for by the city/county, then the bus company has a right to protect their investment. Buses are not cheap! Most drivers do take their buses home because it saves on fuel expense if they live on the route directly.
Technically, no, the bus driver cannot take a kid to the bus parking area to help clean up unless there was a good reason and it was previously approved by the school and the parents. That situation would be if the kid had vandalized the seats or bus in any way and was cleaning the bus instead of having his/her parents pay for the damage. As far as getting the same bus and route your driver is currently on, depending on your area bus shop will depend on how they run things. Where I live, all the drivers keep their same routes and buses unless new buses come in and those are given out yearly. In other areas, the drivers have to bid on the routes and buses they use. It really depends on where you live. Also buses are typically put out of service after a certain mileage for the safety of the students.
"My sons bus driver says to be waiting on him in someone elses driveway a 8th of a mile up the road. No other kids get on when my son does. Waiting means stand there for possibly 30mins cause this bus doesnt come at a regular time."
I copied the second part of your question here so that I can address both at the same time
First, if your house is a designated stop, my first suggestion would be to go to the bus shop supervisor and find out why he has not been stopping at the stop. There may not be an easy place to turn around down by where you live. Sometimes there are safety reasons why we don't go down certain roads. If the bus has no consistent time, this is something that should be reported to the bus shop as well. I try to be on the same schedule within a 5 minute time frame so as not to worry my students or parents. Third, I don't know the age of your child, but it is likely that if the child is in middle or highschool, it is easier to get the child to walk a couple hundred yards to where there is a safe place for the bus to turn around. On one of my roads, there is literally no place to turn around at the end of the road. I could go down it and back into someone's driveway, but I don't want to do that unless it is absolutely necessary or pouring down rain.
Keep in mind there are laws when handling back ups on a 40 foot school bus. The bus isnt exactly the most maneuverable vehicle too. Hope this helps.
As far as I know there is no law that requires that to happen, however, each district has its own policies on how routes are set up and run. Sometimes the bus shop dictates how a route goes and other times it is up to the drivers discretion. Personally, I believe that every few years routes need to be revamped and revised and it is best left up to the bus drivers who are driving the routes. The drivers know the number of students that are at each stop and can better determine if a route has a more logical way of being done.
Here in my county, due to some of the distance, the first ones on are often the last ones off as the afternoon route is run backwards from the morning route. For my own route, prior to going to a double run, I ran my route one way and the afternoon route was identical to the morning route. Now, since I have 78 kids listed on my roster and only a 72 passenger bus, mornings have stayed the same as I have less kids in the morning than in the afternoon, but my afternoon run has been split 2 ways. I still get done at the same time every day, but some of my kids who had been getting home at about 3:45 are now only getting home at 4 pm, and those of my kids who were getting off at 4:10 pm are now getting off at 3:40 pm because of the logistical change.
Well if you like to cut hair then of course you can make a living doing that. All kidding aside, driving a bus depends on your area. In my area, the pay is low, so many drivers supplement their pay with other jobs between driving the bus. Most people get the bus driving job in order to get reliable health insurance.
A school buses camera is usually only active when the bus is switched in the "on" position. The only exception to this is when a bus is switched off after a period of time. Our camera systems are designed to run for about 10-15 minutes after the bus is officially "off." This is so that it can be shown that we do our walk throughs to check the bus for any sleeping child and also prevents a bus driver from turning off the bus just to yell or swear at children off camera. If they have to wait 15 minutes the boss man knows something is up. As for any other security cameras that may be around the bus depots, I'm not sure, but some depots do have security cameras on the building and in the parking lot to ensure protection.
Don't worry too much about the hearing and vision testing. If you wear glasses regularly to drive, just wear those. I wear glasses all the time and so do several of my friends who are bus drivers. Also the test is only as hard as you make it. Study up and you should pass it no problem. Good luck!
The pre-trip inspections vary from state to state and bus shop to bus shop, but overall, they aren't all that hard to follow. In my district, our pre-trip inspections are basically ensuring all the lights work, the horn works, the stop arm and the stop sign come out, emergency buzzers are active and working as well as the door functional. Any mechanical issue is usually discovered either in the fuel line or when the bus stops working for some reason. Since we don't fuel our own buses, the mechanics do it, they check the fluids and all under the hood for us.
As far as going to bed and waking up, that will depend on your individual route and district. For mine, I don't have a set bedtime or anything like that, but my route starts at 6:35 am every morning so I have to plan to be up and out the door by 6:10-6:15 every morning. I usually wake up at 5:45 ish (start to wake up/alarm goes off at 5:30), in the shower by 5:50, and out the door by 6:20. It only takes me a few minutes to drive to work, so I'm on the bus yard by 6:25 and on my bus and enroute by 6:30 to my first stop.
I'm sorry to read that you are having difficulties with your son on the bus. Seven is a challenging age because their attention span has not developed fully and they can be a little rowdy without intentionally misbehaving. First, I would identify the behavior that is being mentioned. Second, ask if the principal has seen a video tape of the bus ride. More often, if there is a miss communication, a video tape can speak volumes as to the actual situation. Third, identify positive behavior rewards for your son. (Example to follow) Fourth, speak with the bus driver directly. Ask if there is a seating arrangement that might put your son in the direct line of sight of the bus driver but close enough to the front so that your son might feel he needs to behave. Implement identified rewards both at home AND on the bus for positive bus behavior. Finally, talk to your son and listen to what he has to say about the situation. He may have a different perspective.
Example: I have 4 pre-k kids on the bus this year and I bought coloring books, crayons, and coloring tablets (plastic clipboard things). Every day they get on the bus in the afternoons (mornings aren't an issue as they are quiet and usually sleepy) they get their choice of coloring pages and crayons. It keeps them busy and occupied while they are riding the bus. When they get off the bus, if they have sat and behaved, they get a sticker. Some of my older kids love the coloring pages too and ask for them. Maybe something like this might help your son to behave. I also allow electronic devices on my bus so ipods, cell phones, pocket games. It keeps my kids occupied so that I don't have to get onto them as much. I hope this helps. Good luck and feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a followup.
First, you need to establish who was pushing your son and nephew. If it was the bus driver, ask the school and bus shop to pull the video tape. Most buses have video recording systems now in order to prevent situations like this. If it is shown on the tape then you have the right to request disciplinary action. If the action done is not suitable or the problem re-occurs, then you have the right to take it to the superintendents office. However keep in mind that you're only hearing one side to the story. The tape tells the whole story and will either clear the driver or make it clear the driver is in trouble.
Moving can be scary, but just a few tips for when you get on the bus in your new town. Ask the bus driver if they have a place for you to sit. If the driver says sit anywhere or sit in x section, you can either go down the aisle and ask another kid if you can sit with them or find an empty seat depending on where you are in the route. Sometimes as a driver I have some kids raise their hands so I can tell a new kid to sit with someone I know is going to be friendly and welcome them. If the driver has assigned seating, they will probably tell you where to sit.
Finally if you're still nervous, have your parent or guardian call and speak to the bus driver before you get on the bus. I have lots of parents calling me asking me questions about my bus, and to get a time for their children to be at their designated bus stop. Good luck!
In my particular area, whether a parent views a surveillance tape is left up to the school. Due to legalities involved in the privacy of other children on the bus, my workplace does not allow parents to view videotapes, but if individual schools make that choice, then that is on those schools. As inevitably happens with kids on the bus, if a parent views the tape, they tend to focus on children other than their own. This is why we choose not to let parents view the videotapes. You are more than welcome to ask, the worst they can say is no.
I was actually between 24 and 25 when I started driving a bus. Just be consistent with the kids. Try to remember that they will be kids. They will turn around and kneel up and probably not sit down so that you feel like a broken record when you drive, but eventually they will learn to respect you and the way you do things if you are consistent and fair. If you expect one thing from one kid make sure that you expect the same from the other kids. In other words, its not fair if you are constantly telling one child to sit more than the others, or are singling that child out for the front seat.
Another thing, learn to let things go. You will have bad days and days where you want to pull your hair out, but the important thing is to remember not to let it get to you. If it is getting to you, make a positive change. Take a half day off and allow yourself to clear your mind. Finally, unless there is blood shed, its best to handle things diplomatically working your way up the ladder discipline wise. In example, start with the kids, relocate them to certain seats. Then move up to contacting parents, and finally contact of school administrators. My simple rules are as follows - Inside voices, quiet at the railroad, stay in your seat, no eating (water is okay), no fighting/bullying/watch your language. Some days they can be rowdy, but they listen, and respect my rules.
It is probable, but most drivers know the dimensions of their buses really well. Occasionally some have clipped stop signs or other road signs, and still a few have inadvertently backed into trees, but because it was at such a low speed there was not a definite "impact" other than a scraping sound down the side of the bus. There have been times where I have backed into fences or run over fences and not realized it until daylight. We had a driver who hit a couple mailboxes the other day, but the wood around the mailboxes was so rotten that any good gust of wind probably would have blown it over. We're human and make mistakes. The important thing is not to dwell on these mistakes and just move on.
Typically bus cameras are on from the time the driver starts the bus to up to 15 minutes after the bus is shut down. This is a safety feature for students as well as drivers. The 15 minutes after the bus is shut down is long enough that it would be suspect if a driver were to deliberately shut down the bus and wait those 15 minutes before addressing students. In my district, we are not allowed to have the keys to the VCR or Digital recording boxes so that we can remove the tape ourselves. Sometimes the camera does not work properly or the roads are so bouncy that the VCR hiccups and ejects the tape so the system is not perfect. Digital cameras have made it easier for us because VHS tapes can be so easily corrupted.
Sometimes dispatchers are under a lot more stress in situations that are emergencies or safety issues. I would recommend taking a step back and listening to the radio chatter that occurs during an incident. Two common incidents we have in my area are vehicle accidents and trains. While neither really involves a school bus other than the knowledge to reroute in the case of an emergency or to save time, the conversations often go something like this:
Vehicle accident -
Random bus driver - x to bus shop, there has been a vehicle accident at the intersection of x and x. Advised that other drivers reroute to avoid.
Bus shop - 10-4 advising drivers to avoid intersection of x and x.
Other bus driver - What color was the car/truck involved?
Still another one - Who got in an accident?
Third - What intersection was it?
Fourth - How did they get into an accident is the whole intersection blocked off?
Fifth - Bus shop, i had my radio down and didnt hear what was said.....
I could go on but then you get the idea. The same occurs when a train is blocking an intersection. Finally emergencies involving other buses can be as stressful when you have 5+ people who are offering to help but are running over each other on the radio at the chance to be the first to gawk at the incident. Our bus shop actually tells us to stay off the radio as it is distracting and frustrating because the bus shop OR the driver involved in the emergency cannot seem to key up on the radio because of the flurry of idiotic activity from the other "well meaning" bus drivers. I've even taken to calling the bus shop by cell phone to avoid the incessant radio chatter and questions regarding the incident from drivers OTHER than dispatch.
Point is, sometimes taking a step back and evaluating whether our voices are needed can sometimes make the few times we do decide to step up and help that much more meaningful.
First I would figure out who I have on the bus (is it elementary, middle school, high school?) The protocol for dropping off elementary is different from dropping off or handling high school. Secondly, I would figure out the individual school district policy. Then the following two scenarios can potentially occur and would be how I would logically handle it:
1. For a two hour delay - I would bring the students already on the bus directly to the school (or other designated area as defined by the bus shop/school district) then wait and begin my run again picking up the remainder of my students on my run from the beginning. The the students who were originally on the bus to begin with would end up getting into some place warm and off the icy/dangerous roads even though its earlier than the designated 2 hour delay. Chances are good the school districts prepare for something like this and will often open up the cafeteria or gym for the students to chill until the school day starts. 2. For a full on cancellation depending on where I am en-route - I would continue to the end of my route, turn around and begin dropping off students, starting with the last ones first. The reason for continuing to the end of the route would be to help notify any students whose parents either aren't home or have not gotten the message yet that school is cancelled. It also allows me to pick up those whose parents have left for the day thinking school is proceeding as normal. Once all is dropped off, whomever is left I would contact either their parents or the school if I cannot get hold of the parents (taking into consideration the child's age). Point is regardless of where the child will be, I would be responsible not to leave them where there is no adult supervision if it is required.
The article doesn't seem to want to come up for me, but a quick Google search comes up with a couple stories relating to a bus driver leaving a bus running while stepping off the bus. In my district, we are taught never to get off the bus while it is idling with passengers on board. The only time it is acceptable for us is if we are doing our pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is operational. The reason why we are taught this is for safety. It can be very easy for a passenger to step to the front of the bus and press a couple buttons for fun. Pressing the wrong button or releasing the brake could endanger the other passengers on board. From a safety standpoint, the driver should have been suspended or at least very severely reprimanded. I don't think the offense warrants a loss of a job, but certainly a warning or some action for the driver endangering other passengers. That being said, there are some professions that allow for provisions of the driver stepping off the bus while it is idling, mostly to help a passenger. This can include luggage or any other items the passenger may be traveling with, along with and including walkers, wheelchairs, or other items. On a side note, the article I read on Google was about a driver who stepped off the bus to take a selfie with a Hollywood star. While the actions seem innocent, the driver utilized her cell phone on paid company time AND potentially endangered her passengers by stepping off the bus. Finally, while it is not wrong to ask for an autograph or selfie in general, it may look unprofessional to others, which is probably why she got reported.
Each state has their own laws regarding the age of bus drivers. I think here in Georgia it is 21 or 22. Other than that I'm not sure. As far as time is concerned, yes it can be worked during a college schedule. In fact I am in college myself and manage my job and college.
I don't know if there is a law or not. Most, if not all, school buses come equipped with heaters. Not every bus has an air conditioner, but a heater is fairly standard. Occasionally, as with other mechanical items on a bus, the heater may break down. This is usually unexpected and not preventable. It makes for a very cold bus ride in the mornings during the winter months if a heater breaks. Most of the time its fixable or if it needs further service, the bus companies will often swap buses out for a fully functioning bus. Also, as I told the kids who got on my bus in short sleeves and shivering this morning while holding their jacket in their arms... a jacket works better when its ON!
If you lied on your application (or stretched the truth) they will still be able to see it on your DMV record if it was recorded on your license. Depending on who was at fault will determine whether they will hire you or not. If you were not up front and honest with them in the first place, they probably won't hire you. Had you spoken to the transportation director and explained that the wreck you were in was a few years ago and gave them details, then they might be willing to work with you. Good luck.
First off, is this a school sanctioned thing? For example, is the bus driver recording students in order to put together a "school bus safety" video for the district. If so, then notices should have been sent around to all parents of the children involved. As it is the only LEGAL camera on the bus is the one that is hooked up to the bus monitoring system. Occasionally, I might take photographs of certain kids, but that's because I know their parents and will text them a goofy picture of their kid. Usually it is co-workers children. At any rate, I would seriously question why this driver is videotaping your child getting on and off the bus, or if maybe there was a miscommunication and the driver was referring to the overhead cameras in a bus lecture which are pointed at the students getting on and off the bus and sitting in the seats.
Call it in to the authorities, or to the local bus shop/school district labeled on the outside of the school bus. Sometimes drivers do get distracted and make poor decisions. They still need to be notified so that they can adjust their driving style. There have been a few times where I have not made the best decision and pulled out inadvertently in front of someone on a blind corner, but we are human and all make mistakes. I would rather someone come to me and tell me that I need to watch how I drive than to endanger children anymore than necessary.
If the buses are equipped with seatbelts and the children can fasten them themselves, then we make them fasten their seatbelt. If they need help, we help them. We do adjust according to child size and needs. If in fact the belt is too tight, then you can probably speak to her supervisor, but chances are probably good that the seatbelts are properly adjusted so that the children cannot turn around in the seat or sit sideways. Similar to how a car is set up. Many buses have simple lap belts but more buses are going to the 3 point shoulder harness model similar to what you see in todays standard automobiles. Those, like the seatbelts in a car, are automatically adjusted. If the belts are leaving marks on your children then they are too tight, however, consider this... if the bus is in a roll over accident... would you rather your children slip out of an improperly adjusted belt and snap their necks or be fully secured to the seat minimizing injury.
I would check to see what your district policy is on electronics on school property. In my district, electronics such as cellphones or music players or the like are not allowed primarily in school or on school property which includes the school bus. As for me, I allow these things unless they start to cause a nuisance between the kids, in which case I usually will warn the child with the offending device and warn of the consequences (confiscation and a parental phone call) Most of the time the kids will tone it down and behave. Have you tried warning this child of the consequences for his behavior? Finally, you can get the back up of your supervisor in order to help manage this.
Sorry for the delay in reply. Usually it means that the bus is governed to a certain speed that it can't exceed. Some buses have alarms to notify the driver of a speed exceeded in which case the bus will automatically slow. Other buses will just hit that maximum speed and simply slow or hold at that max speed.
If it is done in the manner of asking for student information, then yes. We need to know how to contact people in the case of an emergency. However, if this is a driver asking for your phone number just to call or text, then that is kind of weird. I will often ask a student their name if I am not entirely certain of their name.
I'm not sure of the legalities associated with retarders or governors on buses, however I do know that the federal speedlimit for buses is 55 mph maximum. Various states and counties may have their own rules, but as for ours, we are pre-set to 55-59 mph maximum speed. This is to keep the children safe as well as drivers.
I'm not sure what an OBI is exactly. Assuming it is similar to a driver trainer, if a driver has their temporary CDL-B license, then I would think it would be illegal for them to drive a bus without someone who is a certified trainer.
Its fairly easy once you get the hang of it. For a regular driver, the route does not usually change day-to-day with the exception of when the driver gets new kids on the route or kids move off the route making it unnecessary to drive into a certain section of their designated route boundary area. An example of this is if you have a child who lives at the end of a long dead end road who doesn't ride anymore, then the route would change in that you would not go down that road in the future. As a substitute, there are route descriptions that most bus shops will provide their drivers so that they may be able to follow it in order to pick up or drop off students.
I found as a sub, the easiest way to learn a route and remember it was to have a child tell you how the route runs. You eventually learn the stops on each bus route and create a mental map in your head.
That depends on the situation at hand. As a rule of thumb, I don't put my hands on any of the children on my bus because of the liability issues surrounding that. If a child offers a hug, I will sideways hug or simply reach my hand up and pat them on the side of the head ensuring that minimal body contact happens. That being said, if there is a safety issue and the children are at risk of being injured or killed (an example of this would be if a vehicle is choosing to ignore our stop signs and warning lights for loading and unloading children) I will put my arm out to stop a child or pull them back from harms way. Not in any malicious intent, but only to watch out for their well being.
If the proper procedure is followed and the bus is secured, I see no reason why a driver cannot teach their children how to operate and secure the bus and that includes opening the door. In my view, if there was an emergency on the bus, I would want my kids to know how to pull the brake, set the bus in neutral, turn the key off and open the door. My elementary kids have shown a healthy interest in learning how to do these things so I actually do let them on the bus, I have complete control over when and if they do it and it boosts their confidence and knowledge. That being said, I would never let them randomly open the door without my approval or knowledge.
If she is texting and driving and being unsafe on the bus, you do need to report it. If she threatens you with a write up if you do report it, then she needs to be reported. You shouldn't be worried about retaliation from the school for reporting her unprofessional behavior.
That would be left up to the district you want to work for. Many of our drivers are semi-retired and still work a full time shift. The money is low, but its an easy job. That would also be something you would have to take up with the social security office. Good luck.
Did you apologize for throwing something? If so, its likely the driver probably accepted your apology, no harm no foul. If he said he was going to write you up, then you will have to accept the consequences that the school gives you for throwing something you shouldn't have. If you want to really impress the bus driver and let him know you are really sorry for what you did, you can simply write him an apology letter and hand it to him tomorrow when you board the bus. If you don't feel like writing an apology, then simply saying you're sorry to the bus driver will make all the difference in the world. My bus kids know that its easier to be up front and honest with me and that its likely they will only get a verbal warning for their behavior. Good luck.
Every day. I don't worry about sharing in their sickness because no matter what you do or where you go, germs are everywhere. That shopping cart handle.. filthy, that movie seat... filthy, that public transportation bus... filthy. If i'm going to get sick, I'm simply going to get sick.
First, I would blow my horn to try to get the child's attention as well as the oncoming traffic's attention. Secondly, the child should not move towards the bus until I have cleared all traffic and made sure it is safe for the child to do so. Third, if the person passes me, I will do my best to get their license plate number and their car description written down so that I can turn them into the police for disobeying traffic laws regarding school buses.
Flying school buses - a little far fetched though kind of interesting.
Be firm but fair. Don't let them see your weaknesses, but also realize that they are kids and will make mistakes. Try to listen to the kids. Calm bus driver = calm bus kids = easy time for all. Good luck!
Depends on what you did and how the school handles the disciplinary form. If you talk with the bus driver respectfully and ask the driver what you can do to avoid getting in trouble then you may be able to avoid the situation and fix it.
Apologies, I have been on vacation the last month or so with many other priorities that I have neglected this Q&A. The only way a video camera should be used on a bus or aimed at a bus is to catch the driver or students in the act of wrong doing. If you see a bus weaving in and out of traffic or making an improper stop at a rail road crossing, video tape. Then bring the tape to the attention of the bus company. The driver needs to be reprimanded and held accountable.
The bus driver should stop at every stop on his or her route, however waiting is left up to the individual bus driver. You may need to adjust your time in going down to your bus stop to ensure you do not miss the stop. The bus driver may have a new stop or has needed to adjust the time of your bus stop in order to make things run more smoothly. Additionally, there might have been a substitute on the bus that was unaware of the stop. I recommend being out at the stop at least 5 minutes ahead of time. If I stop at a stop, I will typically wait 5 seconds before closing the door and moving on. If I see students coming towards the bus, I will wait. However if the student is chronically late to the stop or dawdles and doesn't come directly to the bus in a timely manner, then I am more apt to shut the door and leave the student behind, especially if they have been given a warning about the time they are to be at the stop.
Well, it depends on the age of the child and the circumstances. If an object was thrown and it hit another child accidentally, I obviously handle that situation differently. On my bus, unless any visible marks were left by the object on the victim, then I will normally call or speak with the parents of the child who threw the object as well as notify the parents of the victim. In more severe cases where marks were left, I write the children up (both the victim and the offender) because often there is more to the story than just the object being thrown or used against the victim and then I also call the parents of the children to let them know what my course of action is. I also pull the video tape on my bus and review it to see if it was a clear case of victimization or a tit for tat situation. Even in clear cases of victimization - the victim will get written up but a notation will be made that they were the VICTIM and not the offending student. This is so the principal or administrator knows exactly who to talk to over the incident.
Buses and routes are typically determined by your specific company that you will be working for. In my district, the routes are designated by number and the ones with the longest routes in miles or those that do many field trips out of town get preferential treatment when the newer buses arrive on the lot. Most of our drivers keep the same route year after year so unless the driver voluntarily gives up their route, or retires, the routes stay the same as do the drivers. That being said, there is a fair amount of turnover between drivers and floaters and substitutes and its likely you would get a route in a short amount of time. Be aware though if there are several routes that are listed as "open" it is likely that those are the routes no driver wants because the kids are absolutely awful on those routes. On the other hand, it takes a special driver to handle those sorts of routes and make them "good" routes again.
The citations are usually handled by the school. The bus driver will turn the citation into the proper authorities (principal or supervisor) and the citation will be handled from there. The consequence depends on the severity of the behavior written on the citation. For example: two kids in a fight will get 3 days off the bus but the kid who gets in trouble for using foul language might only get a warning. It depends on your school districts policy.
Yes. I have had a few close calls, though luckily none of my children have been hurt. Motorists disobeying the stop sign happens more often than you think. I apologize for the delay in responding.
I would need examples of the questions being asked in order to better understand the situation. That being said I rarely ask any child any side of a situation but his or her own. For example, on my bus on Friday, I had let one of my more challenging students sit further back from the front. As such, he subsequently threw something at other kids which made a big problem on the bus. Instead of accusing any one child, I asked each child what happened and their side to the story. This stopped them from being upset over the situation and allowed them to control their side to it.In the end, I got the truth about what happened, correlated by several kids, and not one of them accused the other of doing it.
We are required to stop at every stop, however if a student does not exit the house or is at the stop in a timely manner (we request at least 5 minutes before the stop time to be AT the stop waiting on the bus) then we can leave. If my bus students are not out waiting on me, I will stop and wait for 3-5 seconds before closing the door and moving on. This is in addition to setting the brake, shifting the bus in neutral, and activating the lights. If some of them are out, but others are still walking to the stop, then I will wait for them at the stop. If I do not see them exit the house in a timely manner then I can leave them. Some drivers will honk the horn to notify the kids that they are at their stop, however I do not do this except under extreme circumstances for example if a child is an every day rider for instance and suddenly misses the bus one morning. This is because every child would take advantage of the extra time and come to expect the horn beep. If I have to be out for any reason or any length of time, I want my substitute to know that my bus kids will be at their designated stop at the designated time. If it is raining however, I do allow for extra time so that the children can come to the bus from a covered area.
In the afternoons, we are only required to see if a parent is home for children that are under 3rd grade. Unless otherwise instructed by a parent to leave the child at the stop, it is always best to err on the side of caution. We can potentially get in trouble if a student is left unattended that should have been supervised. In the past, if a student tells me they have forgotten their house key, I will call the child's parent to find out what the parent wishes me to do with the child.
Have you tried speaking with the bus driver directly? Maybe there is a space issue and the driver has assigned seats. If your child is the last stop (in the morning), then it may be that the only seats available are ones with boys in them. If possible you could request that your child be seated next to a child of the same gender or paired up with someone else. When I have assigned seats on my bus, I usually will pair children together with ones whom I know are their friends on the bus. Sometimes with the younger ones, I will pair them up with either classmates or older positive influences.
As far as saying good morning or anything to the children, it is each bus drivers individual preferences. I prefer to greet every child with a friendly good morning. If I don't greet children, they know its either because I was distracted or otherwise occupied answering a child. Sometimes you speaking to the bus driver might bring about the change that your child needs. Good luck!
My apologies for a late reply - I'm not sure about mechanic - but I know for a driver position, it depends on each state and individual company. Most companies will request a driver be at least 21. As for a qualified mechanic, 18 would be a legal age to work. As for your friend, the highschool in the area might have an agreement with the school to have students complete a work study. This allows a student to get experience while completing some generic duties.
That would depend on your local bus company. Different companies have different policies. In my district, as long as the children are school age, they are allowed to ride our buses. It also will depend on which schools you end up serving as to where your children can attend school within the district. Your best bet is to call the bus shop and speak to the supervisor on the bus shop's policy on the matter.
I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but from what I gather, safety is a concern. If the school district isn't doing anything to stop the behavior of drivers, then please report the behavior to the police. That being said, make sure you know exactly what the driver has said or done or you could be accused of filing a false police report. You may have a situation where the driver has been instructed to leave students.
That depends on the individual bus driver but most of us at least do a short walk through at the end of every route to make sure the kids have all exited the bus. Whether they dig in the seats and find objects hidden is dependent on each individual bus driver. Personally, I check my bus, but my kids also know that they better take all their objects with them because some other kids aren't honest.
Far as I can tell the notifications are left up to individual bus companies. I would assume it is based on severity of accident. If the bus was involved in a minor fender bender where no children are hurt, it is likely they will be either transferred to another bus and then delivered home or to school, or the bus is undamaged so it is able to deliver a student to and from school. You should review your individual school system policies to see what their protocol is on notifying parents of bus accidents.
It depends on the state you live in as to how the bus is configured for example if the bus has seatbelts or not. The best course of action once one has experienced an accident, especially something as severe as a crash or flipping over, is to evacuate the bus using one of the designated exits. If the driver is conscious and able to perform his/her duties, they will instruct you on how to exit the bus, otherwise exiting the bus in a safe manner and then moving a distance away from the wreck for safety is advised. For simple fender benders or less serious accidents, the driver will tell you what he or she expects.
To minimize your injury in an accident, sit the proper way in a seat with your bottom against the seat bottom, your back against the seat back and your feet on the floor. Sitting sideways or kneeling up reduces the efficacy of the structure of the bus when it comes to accidents. If your bus is equipped with seatbelts, wear them. Stay calm. Accidents are unexpected so there is no real way to prepare for them. It is not quite like an airplane where they have the safety brochure and "crash positions". We are on the road so it is hard to predict how other drivers will be.
The blame falls on the school district in my opinion. Heat is not something you want to play around with especially around children. If you're hot, imagine the ones who can't speak up for themselves or the little ones who get overheated really quickly. That's why even if my supervisor says no to stopping at a store to get water for the child that is obviously in distress, I would still do so because that child is depending on me to help them and my first responsibility is to the children in my care on the bus. Case in point - I have a diabetic child on my bus. Even though she has not shown any signs of distress or problems managing her diabetes, I always keep a water bottle and some easily dissolved sugar on the bus just in case she has a crisis. Maybe you could keep some water bottles or something on the bus to help manage a situation like that before it gets to be a problem? Finally, if they try to blame you for the child's distress (as some parents will), your best course of action is to take the situation above your supervisor if your supervisor is unsupportive.
It is legal and well within the bus driver's right to assign seats on the bus. Different drivers choose to do it by sections or by sides, or even by assigning each child a specific spot on a seat. I have my bus divided by grade level, though i have so many middle schoolers that it is difficult to contain them to just a section of rows. So my bus rules are my elementary (pre-k thru grade 5) cannot go past row 6 which is about the halfway point of my 72 passenger bus. My middle school and high school share the remaining 6 rows. Depending on the number of kids in each school I serve will determine whether I allow them certain privileges and that does include restricting seats.
Unless you are forced to sit 3 to a seat to where 3 high schoolers in a seat would make the ride dangerous and unsafe due to lack of space, then really its up to the bus driver. Are the girls crowded? Are there more girls than boys? If the numbers are that all the boys fit (at 2 to a seat) in the 8 seats available (4 rows of seats) then there really isn't an issue other than the fact you feel it is unfair. Life isn't fair.
Late buses are generally used to get students within reasonable walking distance (1 mile) of their homes. That being said, I don't know the policies of your particular bus service. Maybe you should have your parents check with the bus barn and the school in order to make sure they do have your stop on the list.
That's a tough call. Personally, on hot days, I bring water for all my bus kids. It may not be cold water, but it is liquid. If there is a definite need like the child is going to pass out or in serious health decline due to the heat, then I would probably send one of my more responsible kids in for water at the store and take the heat later from my supervisor. The biggest issue I have there is that there was either no one on the bus to supervise the kids if the driver got off or that kids can be hard to control if let off to go into a store.
Then you may want to check in with the district and the bus shop to see if something can be done. Have you considered talking with the driver to see what his reasoning is? Maybe if you approach it with a polite manner, he might be more amenable to changing or giving an extra row of seats for space. Good luck.
Typically, no. However there have been circumstances where a driver does need to exit the bus. It also depends on the situation. Some bus companies require bus drivers to also act as crossing guards so they have to secure their buses and escort children across a road. Another circumstance where a driver would need to exit the bus while students are on the bus is to either speak privately (at the doorway to the bus) with a parent or an administrator. Finally if the bus driver has to use the bathroom, in my district we are authorized to ask for someone to come watch our bus while we use the facilities.
What happens when they get written up? If you are having a problem with overcrowding, you have a few options. The first would be to go to your supervisor. They may be able to rearrange and take some of the students off your bus route in order to alleviate the overcrowding issue. Most any kid is going to have problems sitting three to a seat, especially if they are older kids. A second option is to speak to your supervisor about splitting your route into two runs. I service elementary, middle, and high school students on my bus and due to an overcrowding issue I experienced last year, I opted to do an abbreviated first run in order to drop off approximately 20 students to alleviate the need to have most everyone at 3 to a seat. I still get done at the same time every day, actually about 5 minutes earlier by simply going to two runs. My kids are comfortable and they behave much better because they are not packed in like sardines.
A third option is for you to assign everyone a seat. Anyone not in their assigned seat or standing in their assigned seat will get written up.
If the bus is not pulled over in a safe manner and is left in the middle of a road, then the bus driver is in the wrong and should be reported. However, dirt roads don't often allow us to pull over as far as we'd like or are so narrow that we have to travel center. As far as your bus mate farting, I suggest the child learn to control his or her bodily functions.
There can be any number of reasons a bus driver has someone riding the bus with them. If its not a regular occurrence, then the person is likely a safety evaluator or supervisor of some sort. This may be so that the driver is periodically and randomly evaluated by the company they work for. Another reason you might find someone riding the bus with your driver is simply so that other person can learn your bus drivers route details. Periodically we might have to be absent from work for some reason or another and a substitute driver is needed. In order to cut down on the confusion, subs will often learn each route separately. Finally, if your bus is one that needs supervision by an aide, the driver could have requested someone to be an aide on the bus in order to help manage students behavior.
If this was your first write up, chances are good the administrator will simply warn you or give you a short lecture if that. Nothing will go on a permanent record for something as trivial as bringing a friend home. In the future though, if your friend wants to ride the bus, it's probably best if your friend gets a pass from the office stating that he/she can ride the bus home with you. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
I don't write kids up just because they want to bring a friend home. I do require that their friends get passes, or at least if they couldn't get a pass, I will call a principal or assistant principal to the bus to give clearance for them to ride. We just need to watch out for the safety of every student.
That's a tough question to answer. My instinct is that before the bus starts moving that all children should be secured in seatbelts (provided the bus has a seatbelt for the child) or at the very least, all children should be seated. I drive a bus without seatbelts and my rule of thumb is that I will wait until most, if not all of my kids are settled in their seats before continuing with the route. At a maximum, I might let up on the brake and roll the bus forward but I wont hit the gas until they are seated. The only other time where this might need to have an exception is if the bus stop is on a main busy highway and it would be more dangerous to remain stopped for longer than is necessary. Aides on the buses help alleviate any driver issues with getting the kids buckled in.
It is a very good possibility that you will be billed with the cost of a replacement seat cover if the existing cover cannot be cleaned. I'm not sure how much those generally run, though a quick search on google revealed that the replacement covers are usually 8 to 15 dollars depending on where the school bus transportation department places their orders. The seat covers are usually ordered to match the interior color of the seats. There may also be an installation or other surcharge for putting the seat cover on the seat as it is a bit of a process in order to ensure that the cover is secure and fits well. That being said, it might be a good idea to discuss with your son the proper way to respect other peoples property. Just like you wouldn't let him draw on the walls at home, he shouldn't draw on the bus seat. I have a soft spot for elementary kids and usually there are cleaners out there that can remove marker stains from the seats. If your son would ride my bus, I would likely ask you if it would be okay if he could clean the seat on which he drew. If the marks still did not come up with a generic cleaner, then I would still praise him for trying to clean up his mess and then get a different cleaner to attempt to clean the marks myself after telling him that sometimes cleaners don't always erase the mistakes we make. Sometimes kids (especially little ones) don't think of their actions before they do it, so I keep that in mind and adjust my approach accordingly.
That largely depends on the bus company itself. Most drivers who have children only do it because it affords them the opportunity to drive their own children to and from school and get paid for it. That being said some drivers may be asked to take on different routes until the route that is near their home comes open. Each bus company does routing differently. In my county, parents are allowed to have their own children on their buses, but it can sometimes cause issues with "favoritism" among students whether real or imagined.
You can call the individual bus yard for your school district to check to see what the policy is on stops. I will usually make a stop in front of a child's house with the exception of a few of my stops. One stop is down at a dead end and there is no turn around spot for me, so the children have to meet me at the nearest intersection. The other few times is during my first run, I give certain older kids the opportunity to get off at a stop and walk to their homes, though on the second round I often pass by their homes directly.
There are a myriad of reasons why a bus could stop at a gas station. The bus should not be left with students unattended or if the driver has to leave, then the driver should take the keys out of the ignition and secure the bus as though no-one were on it. Sometimes there may have been a sick child and the driver made a judgement call to get the child to a bathroom, or the driver may have been ill him or herself.
Another thing that it may have been would be a sports team which usually leaves at around the same time school lets out. Often, the teams like gas station pit stops before leaving town or while out of town. I'd call the local bus yard and see if that driver is allowed to do that. Each county has its own rules.
I haven't had much of a chance to blog recently. Its kind of a shame that I've not been as active in the blog-o-sphere. Maybe I'll create a new post referencing this Q&A so that people can come and get their questions answered directly.
Depends on the age of the student for me. If its a highschooler i might discipline them by making them sit up separated by gender. Same with any other grade level. Repeated offenses and I would turn them into the school for inappropriate display of affection
Our cameras are locked away to where we cannot turn off the cameras when the bus is on. However when the bus is stopped and turned off and NO students are on board, the cameras will turn off just like any other electronic when you turn on or off your vehicle. For the safety of the drivers, we are not allowed to turn off our buses while we have students on them except when waiting at a school, and then most of us turn our keys to the left all the way to keep the cameras rolling.
I think you're missing something. I think that maybe if you want to do it, then you should give it a go. Worst that can happen is you go through the classes, drive the bus for a little bit, and decide its not for you.
Most of the time if a student slips and falls while getting off the bus, they are usually up and going by the time we would have secured the bus, unbuckled our seatbelts and gotten out of our seats. We ask if they are okay in case they really are not okay and are more seriously injured. If that's the case, we will go the extra mile and help them up or call for assistance. In my district, we are required to write up any incidents of injury or potential injury so that if there is a further problem, it is on record. Of course safety is number one priority so we teach our students to use the hand rails while stepping off the bus.
You can try calling the bus shop or the board of education to try to get the bus yard number. If you can get ahold of somebody there, then great. Other than that, unfortunately, you'll have to wait until Monday to get the item.
Legally speaking, probably not. However did the child do something that would warrant a need to clean up the bus? If so, such consequences should be discussed with the parent before hand unless the school opts to handle it that way. For example, a kid who has a chronic problem of not throwing away his trash may be asked to clean the bus in lieu of a harsher punishment like In School Suspension or Detention. My bus kids always like to help pick up the bus and I do have a couple of them who like to sweep up.
That issue is usually left up to individual districts. Some districts allow drivers to take their very young children (in a car seat) sometimes on the bus. This applies to grandchildren too. Others have strict policies about what students and children can and cannot be on the bus. I believe it depends on a case by case basis and is determined by the district in which a driver works. In my district, the policy is usually school age only children allowed on the bus (pre-k thru 18) however the rules have been known to be bent a bit to help accommodate a special situation such as someone lacking childcare for a particular child. As long as it is cleared by the boss and is not causing a problem for other people, then it is generally allowed.
That would depend on your district laws. Look in the children's school handbook for bus policy and procedure. If in doubt, call the bus yard and ask. Eleven is a bit young to be let off with a younger sibling, but in my county and state, children as young as 9 can be left home alone without supervision or let off without a parent there. That being said, if you always pick them up and have never failed to pick them up, as a driver, I would immediately question you not being there. I have some kids whose parents meet them every day, and others whom if there is a vehicle in the yard, I am to assume (and have been told this by the parents) that somebody is home for the children though nobody is at the door to greet them. Additionally, a half mile seems quite a distance for an elementary kid to meet the bus. Is there a place down your road closer to your house that the bus could potentially turn around? Maybe you need to ask and see if there is a possibility to change the stop?
That depends on a case by case basis. It may be that the driver was asked to cover another area and school and is having to make adjustments accordingly. All too often where we pick up and who we pick up is determined by the school system itself.
Bus drivers have the right to assign seats to kids. That includes everyone from pre-school to high school. The way it works on my bus, the elementary have assigned seats. From pre-k through grade 5, they are assigned a certain seat. After that they have the freedom to pick a seat but must stay seated and follow all the bus rules. Failure to follow the rules, acting out, and being unruly will get an older child to be treated like my younger group. Some districts require assigned seats regardless of age of the child. This is to help first responders when there is a bus wreck. We don't do it to be mean or obnoxious, though if you act out, we may retaliate in response by putting you with a child that is significantly younger than you to show you how to behave. If you have a preferred seat or section or have a certain friend or two you want to sit beside, let the bus driver know. Most drivers will try to accommodate you.
Technically and legally, no, though I have had kids come up and ask me a few questions. If its more than one question I usually have them sit in the front seat or I ask that they tell me at a stop instead.
In my district, we are allowed to put children off at two places. 1. that child's regular stop, and 2. at any school within the district up to and including district school board offices and the bus barn itself. As for you spitting gum at somebody, did you consider the ramifications of your actions? First, who is going to clean up the gum, which by now has probably stuck to the seat or to the floor and been walked on? Second, is throwing or spitting something at someone a way to solve a problem? Third, if you are having a problem with somebody, please, feel free to tell the driver so that the driver can make adjustments. That being said, while its NOT illegal, it may be against policy.
If the driver backed into the arbor, knocked it down, and broke something then it should be up to the bus company to pay for a reasonable replacement of items broken or damaged. Accidents happen, and things should be fixed. I once backed into a yard and over a low fence (fence was largely decorative and only outlined parts of the driveway). I didn't think I had damaged anything but my boss got a call from the homeowners. Though I took responsibility, my boss just went and got the items needed to simply repair the damage (a post and one small piece of fence) It took all of 10 minutes to make the repair as it was a simple accident and not malicious in any way.
Short answer - no. Long answer - yes with a but. If the parent is causing the conflict or there is an imminent danger to children the bus driver has a duty to call back up to help solve any major conflict. If the parent is looking to help a bus driver who has been assaulted, then okay but as long as it is not a revenge tactic. If its an emergency such as the child is choking or otherwise injured, then exceptions to that rule is warranted.
They could be a monitor or a new driver learning the route. If they have been there year round then I'd lean towards monitor or driver helper. If not, then it might be a new driver who has been told they need to learn every route in the district. Another possibility might be the driver could be being evaluated for a promotion or other work related things.
In most states and federally speaking a CDL class B license with Passenger and School Bus endorsements is needed (for driving a school bus specifically - I am unsure about Greyhound type buses). Most bus companies will host training classes which will give you the needed skills and experience to obtain the job. The written part is standard and the usual for every state. The driving parts of the test vary by the examiner that gives the test.
Depending on the area in which you live and the desperation of your child to use the bathroom would be the determining factor for whether or not the right decision was made. When possible here, we will make accommodations for a child to use an actual restroom, but sometimes on country routes, there are not bathrooms available readily. If your child was desperate enough to where he could not wait till he got home or risked embarrassment in wetting his pants, the bus driver probably thought it might be easier to just let him off and have him go behind a tree right quick. If you take issue with this, then bring it to the bus drivers attention and talk to the bus supervisors.
Well given that most bus stops are in public places, I would venture to say that recording is okay. However that being said, there may be some legality reasons why you should not record anything involving other people's children. Best to check with your local laws.
1. Get a route description. Most companies will have these available to substitute drivers. The description will notate the stops and times for each stop.
2. Most kids are more than willing to help you find your way. Ask them. Don't hesitate to let them tell you where to go.
3. If the kids aren't at their stops in the mornings, you have no fault in the situation. They know to be there 5-10 minutes ahead of time and to be waiting on you. In the afternoons the schedule is a little more flexible in getting the kids home. Take your time and eventually they all get off the bus!
4. Don't sweat the little things. The kids are going to turn around in the seat and talk. As long as the noise is not distracting and at a reasonable level and as long as they are staying in their seats, let the kids be kids.
That's a bit dicey. It is frowned upon for us to do personal business in the bus in general. That isn't to say that we aren't allowed to make stops at a grocery store or Walmart for one reason or another as long as we do not abuse the privilege. What you may have witnessed too is a class field trip to a bank that may have been pre-planned for a teacher and students. Don't be so quick to judge as there may have been many reasons for a bus to be stopping at a local business for one reason or another. Keep in mind we often have second jobs and we get permission to park our buses at one location or another that is not on school property. If you are concerned about seeing a bus making repeated stops at a location, a phone call to the bus yard may clarify the situation and allow the proper authorities to be notified of any ill behavior.
It depends on the area. Some bus drivers drive the routes the same way in the evening that they do in the morning, therefore that first on first off philosophy works, but then there are some drivers who reverse their entire route in the evening so that first on is often last off. This is usually due to the area in question. For example, if a student lives 20 minutes outside of town and there are some students on the bus that live directly in town, the bus will often drop off those in town students before the bus makes its way out of town to drop off that one student. My bus route is a little complicated as I make two runs in the morning and two runs in the afternoon. All of my runs are set up to make sense for the geography of the area and to maximize the time efficiently while serving the most amount of students. Because my highschool is on one side of town and my middle school is on the other side of town (my elementary is in the middle) I often will drop off students on my way to one or the other schools or pick them up in the morning depending on number of kids and whatnot.
If the bus is at an intersection letting off children, the best thing to do is simply sit and wait until the bus clears the area. When in doubt, stop. You don't want to be responsible for the death of a child because you thought you could drive around the bus.
Sorry for the delay in response, Hurricane Matthew knocked me for a loop. As far as writing you up, has the bus driver warned you about it before? If so have you consistently put your foot in the aisle when told not to? Maybe you could apologize to the girl and the bus driver and ask for a second chance.
In general, it is frowned upon to put your hands on a child. That being said I have grabbed onto kids to stop them from hurting themselves. For example if a 5 year old gets out of the bus seat before their stop and my foot is on the brake, the bus will brake faster than the kid realizes and I often put my hand out to stop them from sliding into or hitting the windshield of the bus. If your child won't sit down, I will stop my bus until the child sits as they should. I may take them by the hand and lead them to the seat and ask them to sit down but I would never forcefully move them or cause them to get harmed in the process. If a child will not slide to the window to make room for other students, I will generally speak to that child's parent first. With many little kids, less is more. The more direct you can be in your expectations and less intimidating, the more likely they are going to listen and obey. That being said if the driver did put his or her hands on your child or child's belongings, ask the bus yard to pull the video tape and review the drivers actions.
It would depend on the situation. We are not allowed to let children off at undesignated areas unless previously being notified to. If the student simply wanted to get off the bus randomly, the answer would likely be no unless there is a safety issue at hand.
Were you at your designated stop on time and ready for the bus driver to pick you up? If you were and she did not stop then there may have been a substitute bus driver who did not know the route and stops on the bus route very well. We make mistakes. The best thing for you to do in that situation is go home and ask your parents to call the bus yard or school and see if they can send the bus back to get you or have them drive you to school and call in to the bus yard to find out what happened.
The easiest thing to do is call the bus barn to let them know of a missing item. The driver can then search the bus. If the item is missing from the bus, then its likely someone picked it up. If that is the case you can ask to see if they can pull the cameras to see who did it but more often than not the cameras wont pick up much if a kid is being sneaky. Good luck.
No, I use my interior lights in the mornings so that I can keep an eye on my kids. Having kids of both genders on the bus in the dark can lead to questionable circumstances, so to prevent problems, its easier to drive with the lights on. Yes, we can get out of our seats if the bus is parked and secure.
Well given we are experiencing overcrowding ourselves here due to lack of drivers available, I welcome you to contact your local bus shop and go through the class to become a bus driver. Then and only then will the route be split up so that overcrowding can be alleviated. Otherwise (and this sounds harsh) drive your own kid or squeeze in a seat. If the overcrowding does continue you can call the bus yard to see if there are alternative options as well.
Talk to your bus driver and be honest with her. Also, if you had trash on the bus, it might have solved issues if you simply put the trash in the trash can instead of behind you in the seat. That could lead to you forgetting to take it with you when you get off the bus and throwing it away properly. Additionally, a week with the little kids isn't as bad as it seems. Sometimes its easier to just accept a consequence, remembering to throw the trash away in the trash can instead of leaving it or putting it on the seat for others to find, and moving on.
Yes. For safety reasons, we can pull the bus over if it is unsafe to continue to drive the bus while the kids are otherwise distracting the driver. Consider this, if you are driving down the road and you have 45 children sitting behind you being rowdy, throwing stuff out the window, being a hazard to other drivers on the road, shouting and screaming, and otherwise distracting you from hearing an ambulance that just ran a red light because of an emergency and struck the bus because you couldn't hear it due to the confusion.... would you rather the bus driver have pulled over and waited five minutes and your child be alive instead of in an accident? If this is becoming more of an issue, I suggest you find alternate transportation for your child.
Are all 4 of you trying to cram into one seat at once? If this is the case then I can see your frustration. Can you ask him if he means rows of seats instead of just a single seat? If he means rows of seats then a row of seats can fit 4 people (two on each side). Also, if there are four kids in one seat that are near high school age I would have a hard time cramming those kids in that one single seat. Maybe you can get your parents to discuss the issue with the bus driver?
An example of where I use location of students to my benefit is on my run. I have one seat where I have 5 students assigned to that single seat. Two are middle schoolers, one is a high schooler and 2 are elementary kids that are kindergarten and 2nd grade. The middle school rides the first run and the high schooler and two elementary get on in the second run. The only reason why I have the two elementary with the high schooler is because they are her little cousins and she can squeeze next to them easily without creating an issue. I also don't mind if there is a spare seat that they adjust accordingly and let the little kid sit with someone else as long as there is space available.
Chances are good if the driver was at fault for the accident, the driver will be arrested and charged with negligence. That is entirely up to the police and investigating officers. Accidents happen and sometimes they are preventable. The real question is whether the driver was at fault or not. Just like anyone else that has been in an accident the person is entitled to a fair trial in accordance with the laws.
If the bus has the stop sign out and the lights flashing for the love of GOD and all the kids out there that don't want to die... STOP YOUR VEHICLE! If you are not sure STOP YOUR VEHICLE! If you think there might be a problem and sheep fall out of the sky STOP YOUR VEHICLE!
That being said there are very few areas where a driver is allowed to run a school bus red lights and they vary by state to state. Check with your local state laws but when in doubt STOP!
For the safety of the kids!!
That would depend on what you mean. If you intend on using the bus as free child care, NO. Your children need to be dropped off and picked up at their designated stop times in the mornings and the afternoons. Exceptions can be made if you are running late or emergencies occur (we understand when things are out of your control) but we prefer things like these don't become a habit. It's not fair to your children or the other children on the bus. If you know of a neighbor or friend of yours that is a bus driver and you want to ask them to babysit your children in their off times, then that falls under the category of personal friendship/relationships and is outside the realm of professional bus duties. For example, I transport my friends 3 teenage children. They often need help with homework so I will go over to their house after my bus route to help them. This is because we are friends outside of my job not because we became friends THROUGH my job, though the same or similar scenario can occur.
That all depends on the reason for the write up and your individual schools policy on write ups coming from bus drivers. In my district, administrators are supposed to follow a policy that goes something like this:
1st write up: warning2nd write up: 1-3 days off the bus depending on offense3rd write up: 3-5 days off the bus4th write up: 5-10 days off the bus5th write up: 10 days off or permanent removal from bus riding privilege for at least the remainder of the school year.6th write up: Permanent removal of bus riding privilege for at least the remainder of the school year.
In many instances they don't follow this policy like they should and issue far too many warnings, but if they follow it like they should, we would have less behavior issues on our buses. Chances are good you will only get a warning. I recommend to all kids who get write ups that they better their chances with the bus driver if they verbally apologize for their behavior and perhaps even write a letter of apology to the bus driver or their fellow students depending on what the situation was. An apology goes a long way with me when it comes to my bus kids. If you have the guts to apologize for your behavior, I am actually LESS likely to follow through and submit the write up to the school because you showed me that you are willing to accept consequences for your actions. (In those cases I usually ask the student to sit in the front seat for a period of time and then at the end give them the write up to tear up or dispose of to drive home the point that they should behave) I suggest you get on the bus tomorrow morning and apologize to the bus driver and own up to your actions. That speaks volumes. Good luck!
Are your kids standing out at the stop 5-10 minutes ahead of time for the bus driver to see them? There may have been a substitute on the bus and not every substitute knows every stop and most rely on students being out at their designated stops on time. If your children have been told multiple times to be out on time ready and waiting and they were not, then I have no sympathy. That being said our policy in our district is that we go by every stop and at least look to see if the kids are at each stop. On colder mornings or mornings where rain is a concern, I don't mind waiting an extra minute for kids to come from the house but generally the kids need to be out and ready and waiting on the bus.
Take your time. Use your training. Most companies will have policies put in place for snow driving. This may include putting on snow tires or snow chains on the tires to help with traction, using lower gears, or reduced speeds in general. I live in the south, but I grew up in the northeast New England area and just like any region, driving in inclement weather, whether it be rain, snow, ice, wind, or fog, must be done with an abundance of caution especially when transporting children to and from school. Good luck!
Honestly I don't. I do know they retire the buses after so many years or after they rack up so many driven miles due to safety concerns. Plus older buses do not have as many of the safety features that newer buses have. Child check lights, taller seats for better compartmentalization, less overhead hazards... etc.
That depends on your district's policy on the matter. In my district as long as they are school age and registered in the school system, the bus drivers can bring their own children on the buses with them. This is also dependent on special circumstances as determined by the boss. Many drivers have children that are very young but also have children that are school age. Often bosses will make the personal call to allow a driver to bring a child that is not registered to the school system on the bus provided the child can behave properly or is properly seat belted or restrained in a manner such as a car seat that will allow the bus driver to still effectively do his or her job while having their children on board. My district also allows drivers to make certain allowances for friends provided it doesn't inconvenience the children on board the bus as a general rule of thumb.
For example, I was allowed to transport my friends three children. My friend lived a block from my bus route and I was allowed to deviate my route by one block to accommodate my friend as approved by my boss. The inconvenience to my bus children was minimal as it meant I only went down one street further up and the time difference was negligible (a matter of 30 seconds to add an additional stop). Did my boss have to make this accommodation? No, but he allowed it because he did not see a reason to deny a favor that I was doing for a friend.
Are your children in your vehicle or are they standing at the stop? Its not clear as to where your children were this morning while waiting for the bus. That being said, it doesn't change the fact that it could have been a substitute bus driver that doesn't know the route very well. If there is a visibility issue then you definitely need to take that up with the school district or be standing out there with your children with a flash light to maybe flag the driver down if visibility is an issue. Perhaps installing a street light or lamp might illuminate the situation and make it clear if your children were standing at the stop. Either way you should probably contact the district to talk to them about it and address your complaints.
Short answer, no. Long answer, that depends on your districts policy on the matter. As long as the bus is secured and the children are well supervised then you can get out of the drivers seat to assist children.
Speak to your supervisor about it. They may make exceptions or allow you to deviate from the route you have to take your child to and from school. There is always a way to work it out.
Is your daughter riding a regular education school bus? You can request special education school bus transportation for your child to be written into your child's IEP or 504 plan. If your child already has a 504 and an IEP in place then modifications to those must be made before any district will make any changes or concessions. Get those in place and the district should help you at least fight that battle of getting your child to school on time. That being said, riding the bus is a privilege not a right and therefore it is something that most districts provide because many parents do not have other options for their children to get to school. If your child needs extra time to prepare to be in school I do suggest that you look into alternatives such as driving her yourself in the morning times so that it is not as stressful if the other options do not work.
That depends on the local bus depot and district contracts. In my district we get paid year round so even through the summer we get a paycheck. It often means our monthly pay is lower than normal than if we were to only get paid for the months we actually work but it balances out because then we aren't left without pay during the times when school is out. Pay is often low enough that drivers have to take on second and third jobs just to support their families.
I have to say I side with the bus driver on this one to be honest. It is our policy that no students get on any buses when the buses are unattended by an adult. She is right to reprimand you and your fellow students for opening the door and getting on the bus without her there. If an administrator or school official told you to get on the bus without her there then you do have the right to complain and let her know that the administrator told you to get on the bus without her there. Simply taking it upon yourselves to enter the bus without the driver is not okay though. If there is another adult besides the driver telling you to get on the bus without the driver there then I would approach the driver and let her know politely whats going on so she can address it with the school as per the policy of the district.
Are you sure that's the only reason they got kicked off the bus? There may have been other reasons for your friend to be denied riding the bus that you are not privileged enough to hear about. A little more information can help me answer this.
Sometimes apartment complexes are too small for a bus to maneuver safely in and out of without risk of hitting vehicles or other obstacles. There may also be apartment complex rules and regulations forbidding heavy vehicles from entering or exiting the complex except in special circumstances (fire trucks/ambulances etc). There may also be a law forbidding school buses in certain counties from performing backing up while students are on board. When backing a school bus, the students are at greatest risk of getting injured or killed because the driver is largely depending on a set of mirrors and praying that no one is behind them or pulled a stupid move to block their path. I would look up your local ordinances on school buses and see if that helps?
It depends on a lot of factors. Bus to bus... probably a couple miles if we're travelling on a trip and get separated and stuff like that. In town with the tower it can reach from the county line and beyond, though the further from the tower the bus is the signal deteriorates.
It depends on where you are referring to. If you mean stop order in the morning, yes, most drivers have control over that. We also have control over whether or not someone sits with another person through assigned seating. When it comes to loading at schools, we can't control who gets on the bus first but again we can control where people sit through assigned seats.
If there is a safety reason for the hold, then yes we can hold you on the bus. Think of it this way, if there is an oncoming car and the car is not stopping and you have to cross the road, would you rather get hit by a car or held on the bus a little bit longer for your safety. Alternatively if there is a crazy person outside the bus with a gun or a knife would you want the bus driver to protect you, or simply let you off at the stop?
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