Safety at bus stops and on the school bus depends on the cooperation and responsible behavior of every student.
Please discuss the following safety rules with your child. During the first week of school, bus drivers will emphasize these points with their riders:
- Be on time to help keep the bus on schedule.
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes ahead of the scheduled bus arrival time.
- Stand back from the edge of the roadway or on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus.
- Stay out of the street so you do not become a traffic hazard to people driving past the stop. The bus stop area is not a playground.
- Don't litter. You are a guest at the bus stop area, and it is a privilege for you to use the area.
- Line up three to five feet away from the edge of the road single file. Do not approach the bus until it has stopped moving and the door is open. Wait for the bus driver to signal you to board the bus.
- If the bus stop is on the opposite side of the street, wait until the bus has stopped and the red light warning system has been activated. The bus driver will signal you to cross the street. Look both ways before crossing.
- Board the bus signal file. Use the handrails. Go directly to your seat.
- Follow the bus driver's instructions.
- Remain seated.
- Do not endanger yourself or others.
- Do not bring animals, food, gum, beverages, tobacco, chemicals or hazardous objects on the bus.
- Speak and act courteously.
- Help to keep your bus clean and safe.
- Wait for the bus to stop before standing. Use the handrail, take one step at a time, do not push or shove, and go directly to the school or home.
- Students who must cross the road should leave at least 10 feet in front of the bus, look up at the bus driver, and wait for his / her hand signal to cross the street. When crossing the street, look both ways. Remember to move away from the bus after exiting.
Student Bus Riders Required to Receive Safety Training
Students in kindergarten through 10th grade must be certified for riding the school bus. During the first six weeks of school, students will receive the safety training required for certification. To highlight these activities, the state of Minnesota has designated the first week of every school year as School Bus Safety Week.
Minnetonka School District's policies on student transportation are found in Policy T-6: Student Transportation, and Administrative Rules and Procedures B-1: School Bus Courtesy and Safety Rules and B-3: Bus Stop Designation Criteria.
Our District policy reinforces the idea that where safety is concerned, it is a privilege and not a right for a student to ride the school bus.
To ensure that safety is a primary factor in school transportation, the policy defines the responsibilities of parents/guardians, school principals and bus drivers.
The adults who are legal parents or guardians of students are, under Minnesota state law, responsible for transporting their children to and from school and school-related activities in the event that those children are unable or unwilling to demonstrate the required competencies for riding school vehicles. Parents/guardians also are responsible for the safety of their children at the neighborhood bus stop, and for getting their children to and from the nearest bus stop in the event that a school vehicle cannot be scheduled to travel any closer to their home.
Principals and designated building staff are responsible for the training and certification of students for competencies in riding school vehicles, bicycling and pedestrian traffic activities. The principal will suspend the privilege of riding school vehicles for students who have not received certification and for students who persist in misbehaving during the course of the school year.
Students who have demonstrated that they possess the required knowledge and skills for riding a school vehicle, and who continue to demonstrate the same, will be granted the privilege of riding on those vehicles. Students who have not initially demonstrated, or who at any time discontinue to demonstrate these competencies, shall have their school vehicle riding privileges revoked in accordance with District procedures.
Student Certification Requirements
Student training includes classroom instruction and practical training on a school bus. Upon completing the training, a student shall be able to demonstrate specific knowledge and skills, including:
- Transportation by a school bus is a privilege, not a right
- Understanding of the District’s policies for student conduct and school bus safety
- Appropriate conduct while on the bus
- The danger zones surrounding the school bus
- Procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus
- Procedures for safe vehicle lane crossing
- School bus evacuation and other emergency procedures
- Pedestrian and bicycling safety procedures