The following regulations will govern the administration of the student transportation program:
At a minimum, resident students who meet the following criteria shall be eligible for transportation:
a. Students in grades 9-12 who live more than one (1) mile from school.
b. Students in grades 6-8 who live more than one-half (1/2) mile from school.
c. Students in grades K-5 who live more than one-fifth (1/5) mile from school.
d. Students who attend non-public schools both inside the district, and outside the district, and who:
1. have a legal residence which is fifteen (15) miles or less from home to entrance road of the non-public school, measured by the nearest available and passable public road; or,
2. are transported by a parent/guardian to a centralized pick up point designated by the district that is not more than 15 miles from the non-public schools, and
3. file the appropriate request for transportation forms with the Transportation Department in accordance with regulations.
e. Students with disabilities who attend public or non-public schools which are located within and outside of the district, and who have a legal residence within the Guilderland School District.
2. Designation of bus stops, walking distances, centralized pick up points, and drop off locations
a. Fixed bus stops will be established using the following guidelines:
1. Authorized bus stops will be located at convenient intervals in places where students may be loaded and unloaded, cross highways, and await the arrival of buses with the utmost safety allowed by road conditions;
2. Generally, dead-end and loop streets will not be serviced by school buses. Whenever possible, stops will be at the intersections of two streets;
3. Numbers of students at bus stops will be varied according to the concentration of riders in an area, the degree of traffic, the presence of stop signs, speed limits, and bus turn-around requirements;
4. Walking distances to pickup points may be varied according to grade level. Grade levels K-5 will not be required to walk distances in excess of 1/5 mile; grade levels 6-8 will not be required to walk distances in excess of 1/2 mile; and grades 9-12 will not be required to walk distances in excess of one (1) mile;
5. Efforts will be made to minimize crossing of the road by students.
b. Transportation will be provided on side roads that are maintained by town highway departments unless the lack of maintenance makes it unsafe for drivers and students to be traversing these roads. Examples of unsafe conditions are flooding, road erosion, ice, snow and mud.
c. Transportation will not be provided on roadways that have not been dedicated and/or maintained by town, county, and/or state highway departments.
d. Turnarounds will not be established unless adequate space is available and this space is properly maintained.
3. Requests for transportation to non-public schools and day care providers
Requests for transportation to private and parochial schools will be honored provided requests are made no later than April 1 of the preceding school year. New district residents have 30 days to submit transportation requests.
Parents/guardians may arrange for transportation of children who attend private/parochial school by submitting two copies of the Request for Transportation to Non-Public Schools form, directly to the Guilderland Transportation Office.
Resident students attending public or non-public schools located within the school district will be provided transportation to and from a licensed day care and/or babysitter throughout the school week. Students are permitted no more than two different drop-offs a week at unlicensed sites (i.e. relative’s home) within their elementary zone. Students seeking transportation outside of their elementary zone may only be accommodated if attending a New York State licensed day care center. The district will honor requests for day care transportation provided they are made no later than April 1 of the preceding school year. New district residents have 30 days to submit day care transportation requests.
4. School Sponsored Activities
When the school district provides transportation to students for a school-sponsored activity or event, it will also provide return transportation unless the parent or legal guardian of a participating student has given the district written notice authorizing an alternative form of return transportation for their student.
5. Public notification of routes and bus stops
Parents of resident children that attend public school within the Guilderland Central School District boundaries will receive a postcard or some other form of written communication or electronic access indicating the assigned morning and afternoon bus stop location and pickup/drop off times for each child prior to the first day of school.
6. Maximum student time on bus
New York State Education Law does not set maximum student ride times on the bus but requires school districts to determine a reasonable standard based on factors such as student age, the distance between a student’s home and school, safety, efficiency, cost, availability of buses, school opening and closing times, and the number of schools covered on a particular trip.
7. Maximum speed and timeliness standards
Although certain roadways may have a posted speed limit in excess of 55 miles per hour, New York State Education Law specifies that the maximum speed at which school vehicles engaged in student transportation may be operated shall be 55 miles per hour. The district endeavors to make sure routes are designed to ensure all students arrive to school on time. On a day-to-day basis, the bus could arrive a few minutes early or late when compared to the approximate pickup/drop off time depending on a wide variety of conditions or circumstances. However, on occasion, inclement weather, traffic delays, breakdowns, etc. can cause students to be significantly late being picked up, arriving at school, or returning home. Therefore, students should be at the bus stop at least five minutes earlier than the approximate pickup time and parents/guardians should allow ten to fifteen minutes beyond the approximate drop off time before contacting the Transportation Department.
For non-public private and parochial school students, it is not always possible to efficiently transport students to match the school’s starting and ending times. However, in those circumstances, every effort will be made to work with the non-public school to minimize any student impact.
8. Standards of conduct for students
In order to ensure a safe bus ride to and from school, the following rules must be observed:
a. Keep all noise at a low level. No offensive language.
b. Keep hands, feet, and all possessions to yourself.
c. Respect others, school property, and yourself. The throwing of objects in or out of the bus is prohibited.
d. Obey the bus driver.
e. Remain seated until the driver gives permission for you to leave. The driver is authorized to assign seats.
f. Eating, drinking, or the use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes on the bus is prohibited.
The driver’s responsibility is to safely transport the students to and from school. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly and safe manner. Respect between students and the driver is the key to a safe bus ride. Distractions to the driver from behavioral problems present a serious danger to all passengers. Discipline problems will be referred in writing by the bus driver to the building principal. The penalty for continued misbehavior may range from suspension from riding the bus to suspension from school. All school rules apply while students are riding the buses. All students riding school buses are expected to maintain good conduct while traveling.
Suspension from Transportation
If a student does not conduct himself/herself properly on a bus, the bus driver is expected to bring such misconduct to the building principal’s attention. Students who become a serious disciplinary problem may have their riding privileges suspended for up to five (5) days by the building principal or his/her designee. In such cases, the student’s parent will become responsible for seeing that his or her child gets to and from school safely. Should the suspension from transportation amount to a suspension from attendance, the District will make appropriate arrangements to provide for the student’s education. A student subjected to a suspension from transportation is not entitled to a full hearing pursuant to Education Law §3214. However, the student and the student’s parent will be provided with a reasonable opportunity for an informal conference with the building principal or the principal’s designee to discuss the conduct and the penalty involved.
9. Video Cameras on School Buses
The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to maintain and improve discipline and to ensure the safety and welfare of its staff and students on school transportation vehicles. After having carefully considered the rights of privacy with the district’s duty to ensure discipline for the health, welfare, and safety of staff and students on school transportation vehicles, the Board supports the use of video cameras on its school buses. Video cameras may be used to monitor student behavior on school vehicles transporting students to and from school or extracurricular activities. Students found violating bus conduct rules will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct. The district shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to personal records when the district is considering keeping the recording. Although video recordings will be used primarily for the purpose of evidence for maintaining discipline, the district may use the recordings for any other purpose it deems appropriate.
10. Standards of conduct for bus drivers and bus attendants
a. Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity for all students regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (identity or expression), or sex, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
b. Maintain a safe, orderly environment on school buses to help to prevent bullying and harassment.
c. Oversee practice drills for bus safety.
d. Use student discipline forms when necessary.
e. Maintain positive communication with students and parents.
f. Confront issues of discrimination and harassment or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school property or at a school function.
g. Be sensitive to, and address as needed, personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or on the school bus.
h. Report as soon as possible incidents of harassment.
11. Transportation of Adults
Adults, including non-staff members, shall be permitted to ride school buses when assisting in the supervision of the students, such as in field trips. Transportation of other adults for their convenience is prohibited.
12. Vehicle maintenance and replacement
District vehicles will be maintained in accordance with New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) standards and each bus will be subject to a NYSDOT inspection every six months. School buses cannot be operated unless they carry a certificate of inspection for the preceding six months.
Annually, the Supervisor of Transportation shall prepare and disseminate to the Board of Education a short and long-term replacement plan for bus purchases. The plan will include a recommendation for bus purchases for the following school year with an estimate of costs and state aid reimbursement.
4531, Field Trips and Excursions
5320- Student Conduct on District Provided Transportation
8414.4 Video Cameras on School Buses
Reviewed April 13, 1999
Reviewed November 16, 2010
Revised, Reviewed December 11, 2012
Revised, Reviewed May 22, 2018
Revised, Reviewed October 29, 2019