State law does not require a District to provide free transportation to any students; but if a District does provide transportation, it must be provided to all students alike – public and non-public. The Transportation Department of Crestwood School District exists to carry out the District’s obligations to provide safe, economical, and timely transportation to all eligible school students.
- The Crestwood School District has elected to use the services of an independent school bus contractor for its comprehensive network of student transportation services. The contractor works directly with District personnel in carrying out the day-to-day operation of transporting students to and from school.
- The contractor is responsible for the safety of the busses, the proper qualification of all drivers, and that sufficient busses and drivers are available at all times to complete each scheduled route.
- All school busses provided by the contractor are diesel and have a maximum seating capacity for 72 passengers. All busses meet, or exceed, all current State and Federal laws governing school bus safety specifications. No bus is older than ten years.
- Transportation will be provided only for students who are legal residents of the Crestwood School District. Students who are legal residents of the Crestwood School District and attend non-public schools located outside the District’s boundaries at a distance not exceeding ten (10) miles by the nearest public highway, are eligible for transportation upon written verification of the student’s enrollment furnished by the attending school.
- Students eligible for transportation may be required to walk up to the 1 ½ miles (elementary) or 2 miles (secondary) to their assigned bus stop; and up to five hundred feet(500) on a roadway that has been designated “hazardous” by PennDOT, Title 67, Chapter 447, Paragraph 447.3 (d).
- In accordance with state law, bus stops are designated to be at least 300-500 feet apart.
- The administration shall endeavor to minimize walking distances and riding times whenever practical and feasible.
- Safety is the primary concern of the District’s Transportation Department.
- Every year each school bus used in transporting school students is subject to two (2) official PA State Inspections. In the addition, the Pennsylvania State Police conduct one scheduled inspection of all busses each year, and periodically perform surprise inspections. Also, each driver is required to visually inspect his or her bus and to complete a “safety pre-trip inspection” prior to the start of each trip.
- Crestwood School District is comprised of nine (9) townships: Slocum, Dorrance, Nuangola, Rice, Fairview, Wright, White Haven, Dennison, and Penn Lake, which encompasses approximately 110 square miles. The District, through an agreement with Wilkes Barre Area School District, also provides public school transportation for White Haven Poconos.
- Crestwood School District has elected to use the services of an independent school bus contractor for its comprehensive network of student transportation services. The Crestwood School District’s Transportation Department provides transportation to approximately 3100 public school students and approximately 450 non-public school students, logging over 4000 miles daily.
- In addition to the daily to and from regular school schedules, the District provides transportation services for athletic events, other curricular events, and educational field trips.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER’S CERTIFICATIONS
- All drivers must meet the minimum standards of their position in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Bureau of Traffic Safety, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Public School Code, Public Welfare Code, and Crestwood School District’s contractual and procedural guidelines. Employment checks and screening are as follows:
- Driver’s License-all drivers must possess a valid driver’s license.
- Medical Examination-All drivers must pass a medical examination conducted by a licenses health care professional and be issued a Medical Examiner’s Certificate which is renewed every year.
- Criminal History Review-All drivers are subject to a criminal history review by the Pennsylvania State Police to determine if the individual has a record indicating a criminal concern.
- FBI fingerprinting-All drivers hired after April 1, 2007 will be required to submit to fingerprinting background checks.
- Child Abuse Review-All drivers are subject to a review by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to determine if the individual has a record indicating a child abuse concern.
- Drug Testing-All drivers are subject to a pre-employment drug test. Federal law mandates this test. Follow up drug testing of CDL drivers is done by random selection by an independent drug testing company.
- CDL Permit-All potential drivers must obtain a Commercial Driving License Permit. If there is an outstanding citation a CDL permit will not be issued until the citation is rectified.
- Drivers Training-All school bus drivers in Pennsylvania must be certified and hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To become certified as a school bus driver for the District, an individual must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age, possess a valid driver’s license, pass a physical examination, attend at least fourteen (14) hours of classroom instructions, receive a minimum of six (6) hours of behind-the-wheel training, and pass a series of school bus driver’s tests administered by the Pennsylvania State Police or a third party licensing examiner.
- CDL License-All school bus drivers must possess a valid CDL license with a passenger and school bus endorsement.
- All school bus drivers are required to complete the following re-certifications:
- Annually pass a physical examination
- Annual check of their motor vehicle record
- Random drug testing
- Every four (4) years:
- Attend fourteen (14) hours of classroom instructions, receive three (3) hours of behind-the-wheel refresher training and retake a school bus driver’s test.
- SAFETY IS THE MAIN CONCERN where transporting the District’s students.
WAITING FOR THE SCHOOL BUS
- Students are expected to leave their residence in sufficient time to avoid having the bus wait or avoid missing the bus entirely.
- Be at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the scheduled time; whenever the bus is delayed because of weather or mechanical failure wait for a reasonable length of time.
- Stay off the road at all times while waiting for the bus.
- Do not push or crowd when boarding the bus.
- Do not run after the bus in an attempt to board once the bus has been put into motion!
RIDING ON THE SCHOOL BUS
- Students are expected to obey and respect the orders of the bus driver. The bus driver is required to report any discipline problem to the appropriate school administrator.
- Riding the school bus is a privilege – not a right. Students who misbehave on the bus can and will be suspended from riding the bus. It then becomes the responsibility of the parent or guardian to arrange transportation for the student.
- It is the bus drivers right to assign seats. Students are expected to sit in their assigned seat and not move around. Students are required to ride facing forward at all times.
- Strictly forbidden activities are;
- Throwing of objects within the bus
- Moving around within the bus
- Hanging out of the windows or throwing objects out the window.
- Students may talk quietly but should avoid loud, boisterous behavior that could distract the bus driver. Obscene or vulgar language is strictly prohibited.
- Eating and drinking of any kind is prohibited on the school bus.
- SMOKING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED ON THE SCHOOL BUS /AND OR ANYWHERE ELSE ON SCHOOL PROPERTY.
- Students are expected to keep their bus clean and free of litter.
- Students are not to mar or damage the school bus in any way. Students caught willfully damaging a school bus will be held financially accountable and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
- Certain items are prohibited from being brought on the school bus because they could block the aisle, preventing an emergency exit. These items include:
- Large musical instruments
- Skate boards, skates, sleds, etc.
- Objects that could be harmful, such as glass containers, sharp metal objects, weapons.
- IF STUDENTS MUST BRING ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS TO SCHOOL (for music instruction, show and tell, science projects, etc.), PARENTS ARE EXPECTED TO TRANSPORT STUDENTS!
SCHOOL BUS ROUTES AND BUS STOPS
- The District’s Transportation Department is charged with providing safe and reasonable transportation for public and non-public students under provisions of applicable local, state, and Federal laws and regulations.
- School bus routes are developed using each student’s residence and school, therefore, each student’s bus assignment and stop are then determined accordingly.
- All bus routes shall confirm to the District’s policy that no students be required to walk more than one and one-half miles for elementary students (K-6) and two miles for secondary students (7-12) to an assigned bus stop.
- Bus routes and bus stops re established to pick up as large a group of students as possible as long as the number of students boarding the bus does not adversely interfere with private property, traffic flow, student control, and or other public concern.
- School busses will not enter any new housing development until the development’s roadways have been dedicated to the municipality, and the dedication is presented to the Transportation Department.
- School busses will not enter cul-de-sacs or private roads. School busses are not allowed to back up except under extreme emergency situations or upon transportation office approval.
- Any student who needs a special bus stop established for a medical reason must provide proper written notification from a physician.
- The District will not transport regular education students to other District’s public schools.
- All school bus stops shall be appropriately located, in accordance with District policy to be not less than 500 feet apart, so as not to cause hazardous situations to loading and discharging of students.
- Kindergarten students must be accompanied at the bus stop by a parent/guardian or older sibling.
- School bus drivers do not have the authority to change or create a bus stop or change a bus route.
TRANSPORTATION TO NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS
- The District will comply with the provisions of Act 372 of 1972 that established the requirements for the public school systems transport non-public school students.
- Non-public school transportation will be provided only to state certified, non-profit private schools that provide evidence of such certification to the District.
- Non-public students residing outside the District are NOT permitted to ride District operated busses.
- District policy states that a student must ride only his/her assigned bus to and from school. A note from parent/guardian must be submitted to the school office for approval before a student can ride a different bus from the one they are assigned. This note must be signed by the principal of the building and then presented to the bus driver of the bus they wish to board.
- In the event that a student –due to a custody agreement or a day care agreement-must ride different busses on different days, the student will be assigned to the bus that they ride.
INCLEMENT WEATHER PROCEDURES
- The decision not to open the schools or delay their opening will be announced over the local TV and radio stations.
- Non Public students will be transported under the same guidelines as public children. When the District is closed due to inclement weather, the District will not transport students to any school. Also, when the District goes on a two (2) hour delayed schedule, transportation to all schools will be delayed two (2) hours.
- In the event that a non-public school is on a 2 hour delay schedule and the Crestwood School District is on a regular schedule, all non public schools will be bused in accordance with the Crestwood School District schedule. The non-public schools must have someone at their facility to receive their students.
- A decision not to open District Schools constitutes a decision that all transportation of District public and non-public students has been suspended. Any non-public students whose schools are in session must provide their own transportation to and from their appropriate school.
- The purpose for digital video recorders to be used on school busses is to aid in the safe transportation of student passengers. The camera will be mounted in the vehicle to ensure it’s accessibility to authorized District personnel only. Only authorized District personnel are permitted access to any of the recordings.
- All busses are equipped with two-way radio communication system to improve the efficiency of the District’s transportation system and to ensure the safety of passengers.
- Despite the District’s strong concern about safety, its continuing emphasis on driver safety training and instruction, and the commitment to stringent vehicle safety specification and standards, accidents do happen. In fact, given that our busses travel nearly one million miles per year, it is our bus driver’s commitment to safety that minimizes both the number and severity of accidents that do occur.
- Whenever an accident, medical situation, and/or any other form of emergency exist, the bus driver will immediately radio the Transportation Director and the manager of the bus lines to report the incident. Upon notification, the Transportation Director will immediately notify the proper authorities (Superintendent’s office, state and local police, ambulance service and appropriate school.
- The contractor and the District’s Transportation Department will investigate all vehicle accidents involving the transportation of students. If the resulting investigation produces any suggested improvements or changes, appropriate action will be taken to implement the recommendations to help prevent future occurrences.
TRANSPORTATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS
- Appropriate transportation services will be provided to all physically and mentally handicapped students in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations and in accordance with the student’s I.E. P., (individualized Educational Program).