Ontario-Montclair School District
Alice M. Gray Transportation Services Center
HOME TO SCHOOL
The Transportation Department would like to make your experience requesting transportation as pleasant as possible. These guidelines should help answer most of your questions and help you understand district procedures that govern home-to-school transportation. All forms referenced herein are posted on Transportation’s webpage (internal portal).
GENERAL ED TRANSPORTATION:
1. Walking Distance: Students may be eligible for transportation service to-and-from school if the distance between their home and the school is beyond the minimum listed below:
· Elementary School Students (Grades K-6) 2.0 Miles
· Middle School Students (Grades 6-8) 3.5 Miles
Eligible walking distances shall be determined by measuring the shortest vehicular route from the student’s residence to the nearest boundary point of the school campus.
2. Bus Evacuation Drill: At the beginning of the school year, the Transportation staff provides instructions to students on proper bus riding procedures and how to evacuate the bus in the event of an emergency. During the evacuation drill, all students use the emergency exit.
3. School Bus Handbook: At the beginning of the school year, all students riding the bus receive a School Bus Handbook prior to the bus evacuation drill. This handbook covers safety issues, student conduct while riding the bus, and expected behavior while waiting at the bus stop. Please contact Transportation if you would like extra copies for your site.
4. Kindergarten Students:
a. Bus Tags: School sites must provide bus tags for kindergarten students who ride the bus. Students not wearing a bus tag will be transported to school and issued a Conduct Notice. The bus tag must include the student’s name, bus stop, and phone number to ensure the student is boarding the correct bus and exiting at the correct bus stop.
b. Release Requirements: Kindergarten students will not be released from the bus unless someone meets them at their bus stop. Transportation will attempt to call the parent at the phone number listed on the Bus Tag. If no one answers or shows up, the student will be returned to school and issued a Conduct Notice. If this becomes a habit, bus services may be suspended.
c. Riding in Front Seat: Kindergarten students are required to ride in the front seats. This allows the driver to pay close attention to them until they learn the bus rules. Many parents want their children to sit together; however, it is necessary to keep younger students up front for their own safety. Kindergarten students have a tendency to want to crawl on the floor and under seats, so additional attention is necessary during their first year on the bus.
SPECIAL ED TRANSPORTATION:
Students in special education programs that have a specific transportation request noted on their IEP will receive the needed services.
1. Request for Service: All requests should be directed to the Special Ed Department via a “Transportation Request-Change Form.” The Special Ed Department will process this form and forward to Transportation. After Transportation receives the form, it can take up to 10 working days to place a student on a route. Transportation will notify the parent and school of the route number and pickup times after all arrangements have been made.
2. Wheelchair Condition: Students transported in wheelchairs must maintain a clean chair in good working order, equipped with working brakes and a seatbelt. On electric wheelchairs, the battery must be in a leak proof box and the power turned off during transport. Transportation will inspect all wheelchairs before service begins to ensure they meet these requirements. Only wheelchairs that have been certified for transport are allowed on the bus.
3. Permission to Release Student: Students receiving special education or SDC transportation must have someone meet them at the bus when it arrives at the bus stop or home. If a parent wishes to have a student released unsupervised or to another person, then a “Permission to Release Student (Release of Liability)” form must be sent to Transportation at the beginning of every school year. If the student does not feel comfortable getting off the bus unsupervised, the student will be returned to school.
4. Undeliverable Students: Students that require someone meet them at the bus will be returned to school or the Special Education Department if no one shows up. Transportation will attempt to call the parent before returning the student. If this becomes a habit, the student will receive a Conduct Notice and transportation services may be suspended.
5. Moved or Dropped Students: When a student moves or leaves our district, please submit a “Transportation Request-Change Form” so the student can be removed from the route and/or placed on a new route.
BUS WAIT TIMES:
1. Pickup at Bus Stop: All students should arrive at the bus stop five minutes prior to their scheduled pickup time. Buses will only wait one minute past the pickup time before departing. Buses cannot wait any longer; otherwise, students will arrive late to school. If the bus happens to run late, students should be patient. The bus may have run into traffic, been delayed by a train, etc. If the bus is 15 minutes late, please call Transportation for an ETA.
2. Pickup at School Site: The bus will only wait four minutes past the bell time before departing. We have a lot of students to take home and parents are waiting. If the bus is 15 minutes late, please call Transportation for an ETA.
3. Drop-Off at Bus Stop: We do not give drop-off times due to the many factors that can affect our schedule (traffic, absent students, late parents, etc.). Students that require someone meet them at the bus will be returned to school or the Special Education Department if no one shows up. Transportation will attempt to call the parent before returning the student. If this becomes a habit, the student will receive a Conduct Notice and transportation services may be suspended.
Students that disobey the bus driver will receive a Conduct Notice (consequences are listed thereon). Depending on the infraction, a student may lose their bus riding privileges. California State Law states:
AUTHORITY OF THE DRIVER [5 CCR §14103(a)]: Pupils transported in a school bus or in a school pupil activity bus shall be under the authority of, and responsible directly to, the driver of the bus, and the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the pupils while they are on the bus or being escorted across a street, highway, or road. 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. A bus driver shall not require any pupil to leave the bus en route between home and school or other destinations.
On the 2nd Tuesday of each month during the school year, Transportation conducts a district wide radio check at 9:15am, plus two random radio checks. Radios should be tuned to channel 1.
We conduct radio checks to ensure that all sites have a working 2-way radio. If you experience radio problems, enter a work order for the electrical shop. This is a valuable tool in our emergency preparedness plan. In the event of a district wide emergency, the Transportation Department will contact each site to inquire about its condition. There may be times when our 2-way radios are our only form of communication.
After the Transportation Department receives a request form, it can take up to 10 days to place a student on a route. Transportation will notify the parent and school of the route number and pickup times after all arrangements have been made. If a parent wishes to have someone meet the student at the bus stop, Transportation needs to be notified; otherwise the student will be released unsupervised at the bus stop.
1. After School Programs: Schools requesting bus service for an after school program must follow the same procedures as a field trip (see Field Trip Guidelines posted on Transportation’s webpage).
2. Overflow Program: When the school of residence has reached capacity for any grade level, they should begin the overflow transfer process. Transportation services will be provided for students attending school outside their school attendance area if the distance between their home and school is beyond the district’s minimum walking distance. When this happens, the school of residence must submit an “Overflow Request Form” to Transportation.
3. Newcomer Program: If a student from another country enrolls in school and the parent desires bus service, please contact the English Language Learners Department for direction.
4. Transitional Program (McKinney-Vento Act): If a student needs bus service as a result of changes in their living conditions, please contact your school site’s outreach representative for direction.