Transportation Safety Plan

To: All School Personnel

The information written in this document was prepared in accordance with Education Code 39831.3 of the Transportation Safety Plan. It was developed to help inform all school personnel as to how we ensure the safe transportation of our pupils.

The safe transportation system of the Vista Unified School District is a partnership effort between each school, their personnel, and the personnel of the Transportation Department. All personnel shall be informed and knowledgeable of the following requirements, and ensure the pupils we serve are informed and instructed as defined:

(5 CCR 14103) and (13 CCR 1217)

All school personnel shall be reminded that all pupils transported in a school bus, or in a school pupil activity bus (SPAB) shall be under the authority of, and responsible to the driver of the bus. Also, the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of all pupils while they are on the bus, or being escorted across the street, highway, or road. Furthermore, continued disorderly conduct, or persistent refusal to submit to the authority of the driver shall be sufficient reason for a pupil to be denied transportation. In addition, a bus driver shall not require any pupil to leave the bus route between home and school, or other destinations unless the pupil is given into the custody of a parent and/or any person designated by the parent or school.

A bus driver can have up to 84 student passengers sitting behind him or her at any one time. Along with the responsibility of orderly conduct, the driver is also expected to operate the bus safely in traffic. In order to accomplish this, orderly conduct is a must at all times. The safety of the group cannot be compromised by the actions of any individual.

Conduct at School Bus Loading Zones when boarding and exiting school buses

All school personnel shall ensure that pupils:

1. Stand in a line facing traffic so that they can see the bus approaching, pupils are to be instructed and required to stand back 12 feet from where the bus will stop. They are NOT to approach the bus until the driver has completely stopped and opened the entrance door.

  1. When loading at a school, pupils are to follow the directions of the driver or person on bus duty. Pupils shall be required to stand back 12 feet from the bus in line until the driver opens the bus door.
  2. Pupils shall NEVER go under any bus to retrieve something they have dropped. Instead, ask the driver for assistance.
  3. Pupils shall know and understand that destroying property, playing in, running on the street, or any type of horseplay at a bus stop, is dangerous and prohibited.
  4. Pupils shall know and understand that while waiting to load or unload the bus, they are the direct responsibility of the driver or school staff, and they MUST follow their directions.
  5. School buses can only stop at designated bus stops; therefore, if a child (en) misses his or her bus, then a parent or a guardian needs to take them to school. Pupils shall NEVER run after their bus if they missed it.
  6. Pupils who are late as the bus arrives at a designated stop must cross the street to the bus stop… WAIT!!!! DO NOT RUN ACROSS THE STREET! The "Flashing Red Lights" and "Stop Arm"- must be activated, the school bus driver will secure the bus, turn on the lights/stop arm, come out in the street with a handheld stop sign, stop traffic, and let you know when it is safe to cross the roadway and board the bus.
  7. The school bus driver shall ensure that all students are in a safe location and out of the DANGER ZONE prior to moving the school bus.

Procedures to determine if pupils require escort across a highway or private road:

  1. The school bus driver shall escort all transported students who must cross a highway or street on which the bus is stopped, where traffic is not controlled by a traffic officer or official traffic signal.
  2. The school bus driver shall ask at each school bus stop if they are not certain if anyone must cross the street on which the school bus is stopped in order to reach his or her destination.
  3. The bus driver shall review student rosters/addresses/route sheets to determine if students need to be escorted across the street.
  4. Assigned school site staff will monitor school loading zones and assist students in boarding and exiting the appropriate school bus.

Procedures for all pupils pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 8 and the school bus driver to follow as the pupils board and exit the appropriate school bus at each pupil’s school bus stop or school:

  1. The school bus driver will monitor pupils as they exit and board at each school bus stop and trip destination to ensure the pupil is boarding the appropriate school bus and exiting at the appropriate bus stop.
  2. Assigned school site staff will monitor school loading zones and assist students in boarding the appropriate school bus.

Procedures for boarding and exiting a school bus at a school or other trip destination:

  1. The school bus driver along with assigned school site staff will monitor pupils exiting the school bus before school and will monitor pupils boarding the school bus after school to ensure orderly and safe exiting and boarding. The school bus driver will have this same responsibility on activity trips.
  2. Students should board the bus one at a time and move quickly to an open seat.
  3. If a student drops papers or other objects while boarding the bus, he or she should get the attention of the bus driver. Never go under or near the school bus to retrieve objects, since the bus driver may not see you.
  4. No pushing shoving or horseplay is allowed when exiting or boarding a school bus.

A current copy of this plan shall be retained by each school subject to the plan and made available upon request to an officer of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

Child Check Procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a schoolbus, school pupil activity bus, or youth bus.

Student safety is of paramount importance in the Vista Unified School District. To ensure that a student is never left unattended on a school bus at the end of any route leg, route, or activity trip, all drivers are required to check the bus for any students that have not gotten off the bus. This is called the Child Check Procedure. This Child Check Procedure requires that all drivers walk to the back of the bus looking for students in, around, and under all seats. This check is also required to be done at the final stop of any route. If the bus is not stopped in a safe location, park in the closest safe location and proceed with the child check procedure. When the bus returns to the yard, a final child check procedure must be completed in order to ensure that no child is left on the bus. All drivers will be required to take annual training on the child check procedure and documentation of completion will be kept on file. Disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will result in any case where a school bus driver leaves a child unattended on a school bus at the end of any route leg, route or activity trip.

Procedures and standards for designating an adult chaperone, other than the driver, to accompany pupils on a school pupil activity bus.

Below is the required ratio of students to adult chaperones for any and all school-related pupil activity trips (Field Trips) where a school bus is used to transport students. These ratios are as follows:

TK- 3rd Grade - Two (2) Adult chaperones for each class that is participating in a field trip

4th-5th Grade - One (1) adult for every 16 students

6th-8th Grade - One adult for every 18 students

9th-12th Grade - One adult for every 18 students

Adult Chaperones will assist the school bus driver with managing student’s behavior to ensure a safe ride to and from the field trip destination. Below are some expectations that VUSD has of our chaperones while on a school bus.

1- Chaperones should space themselves apart on the bus in order to manage the students effectively. Ideally one chaperone in the back of the bus, one in the middle of the bus, and one in the front of the bus.

2- Chaperones should assist the driver by keeping the noise level of the students at an acceptable level so that the driver can concentrate on driving.

3- Chaperones should assist the driver with loading and unloading students on and off the bus.

4- Chaperones should ensure that students are sitting and facing forward while the bus is in motion, and all body parts remain in the bus at all times.

Information regarding the document should be directed to Tracy Mangold Director of Transportation at (760)726-2170 ex. 92802