Bus Conduct Guidelines

Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Bus Conduct Guidelines Colorado laws do not require school districts to transport public school students to and from school. The District’s Board of Education has authorized home-to-school and school-to-home transportation for the students as a convenience and privilege. The following student conduct guidelines will ensure a safe riding experience for students on District 38 buses. When followed, these guidelines enhance safety and service through standardized procedures. Successful implementation of these procedures will require collaboration among drivers, students, and parents.

Our goal is to modify student behavior so that all students may ride safely. Drivers may issue verbal warnings, assign seats, contact parents, or generate bus referrals (which may involve loss of riding privileges) to manage disciplinary issues.

General rules and guidelines:

  • Obey all instructions given by the driver. Report any problems to the driver.

  • Nothing is to be thrown on or from the bus since this creates a serious safety hazard. Students shall keep the bus clean.

  • Students must remain properly seated at all times while the bus is in motion. (Facing forward, legs in front, seat on the seat)

  • The bus driver is authorized to assign seats for all grade levels. Elementary students will have assigned seats.

  • Students should consult with the driver regarding the opening of bus windows.

  • Passengers must keep their heads, hands, and feet, as well as personal possessions, inside the bus at all times.

  • Possession or use of tobacco (to include electronic smoking devices), alcohol, or any other illegal substance is prohibited.

  • Eating and drinking on the bus are not permitted due to safety/choking concerns and the increasing number of children with food allergies. Special accommodations will be made for diabetic students or other special circumstances. Students may be allowed to eat and drink on an activity or athletic trip with driver/ staff member authorization.

  • Inappropriate language, profanity, or verbal abuse directed toward other students or the driver will not be tolerated.

  • Verbal/written threats and comments about the use of weapons or physical violence will be taken very seriously and appropriate action will be taken.

  • Bullying of other students will not be tolerated. Students will respect each other, as well as the driver and the bus.

  • Property of other students shall be left alone, and students shall not tamper with the bus or its equipment. Damage to the bus must be paid for by the individual responsible for causing it.

  • There will be absolute quiet when approaching a railroad crossing.

  • In case of an emergency, students shall remain in the bus until instructed by the driver.

  • Excessively loud or distracting noises are prohibited.

  • Aisles shall be kept free of books, coats, and other objects. Students shall keep their legs and feet out of the aisles at all times.

  • Video surveillance shall be used to promote the order, safety, and security of students, staff, and property.

Carry-on items:

  • Students are responsible at all times for their clothing, books, instruments, and other possessions transported on the bus.

  • The following items are prohibited on the bus and may be confiscated: balloons, skateboards, shoe skates, laser items, animals, weapons, deodorant/ perfume aerosol sprays, and glass. No sharp instruments (i.e., pencils, tools) shall be carried where they might cause damage or injury to another student. Any items not listed above that are dangerous and pose a threat to the safety of the students or drivers are also prohibited. Confiscated items may be picked up by parents at the transportation department.

  • School Projects: Projects developed for display or demonstration in class may be transported provided they pose no space problems or safety hazards. Projects of an excessive size or of a potentially harmful nature, or any items listed above as prohibited, should be transported to school by other means.

  • Musical Instruments: Because of the varied size and nature of musical instruments, students who wish to carry instruments on the bus larger than the size of a trumpet must obtain authorization from the transportation department prior to bringing the instrument to the bus. Please see the “Large Instrument Authorization Form” on the Transportation tab of the district website or contact Transportation for complete details about these procedures.

  • Sports Gear: For the protection of all students, sports equipment must be completely enclosed in a protective case. This includes balls (of any kind), baseball/softball bats, tennis rackets, football/hockey pads and helmets, golf clubs, field hockey/hockey/lacrosse sticks, or any other item that could cause injury. Items over 5’ in length cannot be transported on regular route buses.

  • Electronic Devices: Cell phones and other electronic devices can play a vital communication role during emergencies. However, this technology may also be used in a manner that is disruptive and inappropriate. Cell phones on buses must be in silent mode only, and must not be used to take pictures or videos. Further, the use of any electronic device that is deemed distracting or inappropriate by the driver is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action and/or confiscation. If collected by the driver, these items may be picked up by parents/guardians at the transportation department.

General riding procedures:

  • Appropriate behavior is expected at bus stops at all times.

  • Bus referrals may be written for inappropriate behavior at stops.

  • Students must be at the bus stop for pick up at least three minutes before the stop time. Students who are frequently late to the stop may be issued a bus referral. Please contact the Naval Observatory at 567-6742 for the official time used by the Transportation Department.

  • Once an elementary student has boarded the bus, he or she may only be released to a parent, guardian, or administrator until they have reached their assigned stop. Middle or high school students may get off the bus at the school in the afternoon only if bus doors have not closed and prior to buses beginning to depart. (They must take their possessions with them; the bus cannot wait for them should they need to re-board.)

  • Kindergartners must have a parent or older sibling present at their stop in order to be released. If a parent or older sibling is not present, attempts will be made to call the parent. If we are unable to reach the parent, the kindergartner will be brought back to the Transportation Building until they are picked up.

  • Middle school students will NOT be allowed to disembark the bus at either high school to attend sporting events or other activities, or to meet an older sibling, friend, or go to the YMCA. Note: The only exception will be if a parent meets the student at the high school and takes them off the bus.

  • In the afternoon at the middle and high schools, bus horns will be sounded one minute prior to departure as a warning to students. Once the doors are closed at the school in preparation for departure, students will not be allowed to board the bus. Students should return to the sidewalk or a safe area and contact their parents.

  • If it is necessary to cross the street after unloading, students must walk approximately 10 feet in front of the bus and wait for the driver’s signal before crossing the roadway.

  • Students with a Zpass card may only ride their assigned buses both to and from school unless signed, written permission has been given by their parent (or guardian) and approval by their school administrator has been obtained. Students with no Zpass card will not be allowed to ride the bus to or from school, to a friend’s, meet a parent at another district facility, or a stop on a scheduled route. If an application is pending please contact transportation (488-4711) for approval.  If your student(s) does plan to need bus services occasionally this coming school year please fill out the bus fee application. You can find it at lewis-palmer.org. A $25.00 deposit is required. (You can pay it online or mail the 7application and payment to Zpass, PO Box 40, Monument, CO 80132.) The deposit will generate a Zpass card in your student’s name and that will allow your student 50 rides.

  • Students are to load and unload only at their designated bus stop. There have been many requests for exceptions to this policy. Granting these requests can cause overloading of certain buses and may result in students arriving at locations unknown to parents.

  • Students may be released to the parent if transportation has been notified in advance, or if the parent comes to the bus with appropriate identification.

  • Single-day notes – allow only one extra rider per student (extra rider must have a Zpass card) and no more than three extra students per bus. This should be tracked by school office personnel. Please contact transportation (488-4711) for approval during emergency situations.

○ Notes received first by a school from a student(s) wanting to ride a different bus must be stamped and signed by school office personnel, then given back to the student to give to the driver.

○ Notes received first by transportation will be processed; information will be transmitted via e-mail or fax to schools, and a copy given to the driver(s).

○ If a student wishes to ride home with a friend who rides a different bus or who gets off at a different stop on the same bus, each student must have a note from their parents authorizing the change. This ensures that both the visiting and the host parents are aware of the change.