Safety Rules And Guidelines
The South Orange and Maplewood School District has assumed the responsibility for transporting many of its students. This responsibility begins as a student boards a school bus and ends when the student is delivered to the bus stop at the close of the school day. The purpose of this pamphlet is to clarify to parents and students their responsibilities in contributing to the safety and efficiency of the transportation program.
The school bus is an extension of the classroom, and students should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior and safety.
To ensure the safety of our students, the South Orange/Maplewood BOE strongly urges that a parent or guardian wait at the bus stop to receive the younger students, particularly those in kindergarten thru second grade.
- Be at their assigned bus stop at least (10) ten minutes before the bus scheduled arrival time in the morning and the afternoon. During inclement weather, please allow our vehicles extra time to get to their pickup points.
- Have their bus pass with them at all times. A driver may refuse to transport a child who does not have a bus pass.
- Observe the property rights of citizens whose homes are in the vicinity of the bus stops by not defacing, littering or trespassing on their property.
- Wait on the sidewalk or the edge of the lane – a safe distance from the bus – until it comes to a complete stop.
- Never walk behind the bus. Walk at least three giant steps from the side of the bus. If something is dropped near or under the bus, the student must tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see the student.
- Cross the roadway in front of the stopped bus only after the driver verifies that warning lamps are operating and indicates that conditions are safe to cross. When crossing the street in front of the bus, walk in the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point a least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. The driver must always be able to see the student.
- Use the handrails to avoid falls when boarding the bus. Board the bus without pushing or crowding, and be seated quickly. The driver may assign seats.
- Talk in conversational tones, and do not become boisterous or loud.
- Remain seated while the bus is moving, and keep all items including book bags, instruments and hands in their seat area. Items too large to be held on the student’s lap or seat area are not allowed on the bus.
- Wear seat belts at all times. It’s the law.
- DO NOT open or close windows without the permission of the driver.
- Keep arms, hands and other parts of the body inside the bus. Throwing any objects out of the school bus windows or inside the bus will be grounds for immediate suspension of bus privileges.
- No inappropriate behavior including fighting, profanity, threats, weapons, laser pointers, drugs and smoking are allowed on the bus. Such behavior will result in suspension of bus privileges.
- NO FOOD, SNACKS or GUM on the bus.
- DO NOT tamper with any parts of the bus or equipment. If any equipment, such as seats, windows, and seatbelts are damaged, the cost of the repair will be charged to the student assigned to that seat and may result in suspension of bus privileges.
- Deposit trash and waste paper in the waste container found at the front of the bus.
- Avoid large key chains or dangling objects from belongings or on the children themselves. These can be dangerous when boarding and departing the bus.
- In the event of an emergency, remain quietly seated and await instructions from the driver. Students may be instructed to leave the bus and wait at a safe distance. Students are to fully participate in bus evacuation drills.
- Cooperate with the driver and behave in a respectful manner at all times.
- In the event the school bus rules and regulations are not observed, students will be subject to disciplinary actions.
- Students with disciplinary problems on the school bus may have their riding privileges suspended. In such cases, the parent/guardian of the student will be responsible for seeing that the student gets to and from school safely.
- Individual schools may also have bus regulations students have to follow in addition to these rules.
Bus passes are given to children who qualify for transportation. Under State Statue 18A:39-1 et seq. a student must live more than two miles from elementary school and 2.5 miles from a secondary school to qualify for transportation, or in an area designated by the South Orange and Maplewood School District. Please allow three to five school days to process a request for transportation from the time the student is registered. Until approved, parents are responsible for getting their student to and from school.
- Bus times are subject to change based on traffic and ridership after school starts.
- Bus stops are not to be changed unless authorized by the transportation department.
- Bus drivers do NOT take special requests from parents to change bus stops.
The mix of children on a bus route can change the structure of the bus route; therefore, bus stops are subject to change from year to year.
It is possible that a student who was not eligible for transportation may qualify as they change schools and vice versa.
At times, the bus may run late due to traffic, weather or any other unforeseen emergency.
If your child does not return home after a reasonable time, call the school directly.
If you cannot reach the school, call the transportation office.
In the event of a bus breakdown, the students will be transported to the established stops on the route, although they may be delayed.
The District uses a two-hour delay opening schedule due to storm or emergency conditions. If the decision to use this system is determined by the Superintendent:
- Students are to report to their bus stop 2 hours later than the regularly scheduled time.
- After school drop off time remains the same.
Please check your current year’s school district calendar for scheduled four (4) hour days and bell times for your particular school on four hour days. On dates when the district is running on a four hour schedule:
- Students will be picked up at their regularly scheduled time in the morning.
- Students will arrive at their bus stops in less than an hour after their scheduled early dismissal time.
When your child misses the bus:
Going to School – Parents should instruct their child to do one of the following:
- Return home when it is known an adult will be present, or go to the home of a neighbor who has agreed to accept this responsibility.
- The adult should notify the school office and the child should be brought to school even though he/she may be late.
- It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to bring the child to school.
After School – Parents should instruct their child to follow the procedure shown below:
- Go to the Principal’s office and inform an adult that he/she has missed the bus.
- The office will contact the parent of the student to arrange transportation home.
- If your child does not return home after a reasonable time, call the school directly.
- If you cannot reach the school, call the Transportation Office.
SPECIAL EDUCATION TRANSPORTATION
Bus aides will assist students on and off the bus, but it is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to bring the student to and from the bus.
Bus drivers do NOT take special requests from parents to change bus stops.
- If you require an alternate pick up or drop off, it needs to be a permanent point Monday thru Friday. You will need to call your case manager or Special Services Department at 973-762-5600 ext.1840.
- Students will not be taken to alternate drop off points on alternate days.
- Any changes in pick-up or drop-off points may take from three to five school days to go into effect.
- Special Education routes change constantly and students are added throughout the school year. Therefore, bus pick-up and drop-off times are subject to change.
When your child misses the bus:
Going to School
- Buses are required to wait NO MORE THAN three (3) minutes in front of the student’s home before continuing on their route.
- Drivers are instructed not to blow the horn (due to complaints from neighbors), please make sure your child is ready when the bus arrives.
- Please make sure your child is ready and waiting for the bus at least ten (10) minutes prior to the scheduled pick up time.
- If your child misses the bus, it is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to bring the child to school.
- In the event that a parent or guardian is not home waiting for the student, the student will be transported back to school.
- It is the parent’s responsibility to pick up the child from school if this occurs.