Tomball Independent School District

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Bus Rider Rules

Be at the bus stop early, at least 7 minutes before the scheduled time of arrival. The driver will not honk or wait. Never run after the bus if you miss it. The driver may not see you running for the bus if you are late and you could slip and fall under the wheels.

Students will be picked up and dropped off at their designated bus stops only. Drivers do not assign bus stops; the Routing office decides where the bus stops are located. Please call Transportation for additional information.

Wait for the bus in a safe place, at least 10 ft. from the roadway. Wait in a single file line and do not move towards the bus, until the bus has come to a complete stop. Wait away from the road because a car could hit you if you are too close.

Sit down as soon as possible, the bus will not move until all students are seated. There may be other students waiting to get on the bus. If it takes too long for everyone to board, cars get impatient and go around the bus. Someone could get hit if this happens.

Stay seated at all times. “Back to back” and “Bottom to bottom”; take off your backpack and put it in your lap. Put all band instruments in your lap. No instrument or backpack may block the aisle or any exit.

If you must cross the road, move 15 ft. forward of the bus and wait for the driver to signal you that it is safe to cross. Look both ways before crossing the roadway.

Stop if the driver honks while you are in front of the bus. This may prevent a car from hitting you. NEVER cross behind the bus.

Keep hands, arms and head inside of the bus at all times.

To protect student’s breathing passages or airways; No food or drink excluding water is permitted on any regular or special needs bus including field trips.

Students are not allowed to use pens, pencils or any other sharp objects on the bus. Pencils, pens or sharp objects can become projectiles in the event of a crash, not only causing injuries but damage to school bus seats and equipment.

Listen to the bus driver and follow directions. The driver will assign seats and may change at driver’s discretion. The bus driver’s instructions are for your safety. Students are required to sit in their assigned seat at all times. Normal conversation is permitted. Any loud noise that may distract the driver and create an unsafe condition is prohibited.

Enter and leave the bus carefully using the handrail. Please use caution as any dangling object from a backpack or jacket could be hazardous.

Parents are responsible for the safety of their child(ren):
Between the residence and the bus stop
While waiting for the bus
Between the bus stop and the residence
Parents are responsible for the behavior of their child(ren)
Parents of Pre-k through 2nd graders are required to meet the bus during pick-up and drop-off. No one but a parent or guardian may pick up a Pre-k through first grade student without a release form filled out by the parent. You may obtain this form from the bus driver.

All rules apply on field trips or school sponsored events.
Discipline will be the responsibility of the sponsor and bus driver.
Drivers will provide emergency exit information to students prior to departure.

Band instruments – students enrolled in Band are encouraged to bring their instruments on the bus. Instruments must be transported in the seat with the student. Instruments cannot block the aisle or be placed up front near the driver’s area.

Prohibited items:
No live or dead animals of any kind, including fish, birds, and reptiles are permitted on the bus at any time. Objects with sharp edges or school projects with loose or poorly attached items are not permitted on the bus.

Behavior Standards – The school bus is an extension of the classroom. All district policies that apply to student conduct apply to the school bus. Rules are to be followed to ensure every passenger’s safety. The district has a “Step Plan”, allowing students to make their own choices regarding their future riding privileges. If a student chooses to ignore bus rules or commits any action that jeopardizes the safety of passengers or the driver, action must be taken to ensure that the student begins to comply, using provisions for the Step Plan.

The following behavior management techniques may be used to gain a student’s adherence to district safety rules:
Verbal warnings
Different bus seat assignment
Detention hall
In school suspension
Short and long term suspension from the bus
Permanent removal from the bus
Police citations

Discipline Step Plan:
Minor Infractions – are defined as excessive noise, standing up or moving about the bus, any eating or drinking on the bus, “horseplay”, or throwing small objects, etc.

These types of infractions will result in the following procedures –
  • Driver provides up to two verbal warnings, during a “one on one” meeting with student, such as after all others have exited the bus. Driver documents behavior and warnings in the Daily Journal.
  • If misbehavior continues, driver calls parent to request assistance in correcting student’s misbehavior.
  • Driver documents date & time of phone contact and prepares an “Initial Safety Report”, describing behavior of child, then mails it to parent.
  • If misbehavior continues, driver prepares a “Safety Report” describing behavior, attaches all previous documentation of student’s behavior, and then turns it in to the child’s principal for further action.

Major Infractions – are defined as:
  • Threatening, profane, or abusive language directed at any person.
  • Alcohol, tobacco or drugs on bus or on person.
  • Disrupting Public Transportation (Class “A” Misdemeanor)
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Vandalism to district vehicles (student and/or parent is financially responsible for damage)
  • Fighting – drivers differentiate between “play fighting” and intent to cause harm – all parties involved in fight are reported – parents contacted, if possible.
  • Cell phones, pagers, and laser lights on bus or on person.
  • Failure to co-operate or identify oneself to driver.

Repeated Minor Infractions – parent contact by driver is no longer required. Driver prepares a “Safety Report” describing behavior and turns it in to the Campus Administrator for further action. The above Major Infractions will result in temporary suspension from bus and possible police citations, dependent upon severity of infraction. Parents are notified of any suspensions by the building principal or designee.

Video monitoring systems
Video cameras with audio recording capabilities may be used on each bus during routes or on trips.

Students who remain after school for activities and ride a late run bus must follow the bus rider rules. Failure to follow the rules may result in disciplinary consequences including suspension of bus riding privileges. If a student is suspended from riding a regular bus, he/she will not be able to ride a late run bus. The routing of these buses will differ and are intended only to put students within a closer proximity of their home

Emergencies and Evacuation Drills
The district will provide Emergency Evacuation drills.
In the event of a real emergency, follow the direction of the driver. In most cases, passengers will remain onboard the bus.
If evacuation is necessary:
  • The students nearest the emergency doors, windows and hatches will open them and hold them open.
  • Evacuation will start with the students nearest the exits.
  • Students will leave quickly in a single file per exit.
  • Once outside, students will stay in a group and follow the driver’s instructions.