Rules on the Bus

Safety is a primary concern in transporting students. Safety on school buses is the shared responsibility of students, parents, school staff, bus contractors, and bus drivers.

Rules on the bus

Parents and guardians should read and explain these rules to their children. We ask for your cooperation in helping us provide a safe and pleasant ride for all students by teaching your children the importance of bus safety and courtesy at the bus stop and on the bus.

Getting on the bus:

1. Stand several feet back from where the bus will stop.
2. Line up and wait your turn. Wait for the bus to stop before moving forward to board it. Pushing and shoving causes accidents.
3. Use the handrail while boarding the bus.
4. Take a seat quickly, filling seats in the back first. Delays in getting seated cause buses to be late.
5. Do not save seats for friends.
6. On many buses, students must sit three to a seat. Move over so each student can be seated.

While at the bus stop:

1. Get to your stop 5 to 10 minutes before scheduled pick up time.
2. Respect property of others while waiting at your stop.
3. Stay away from the street while waiting for the bus.
4. If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Wait for the driver to signal to you before crossing the street.

While on the bus:

  1. Immediately follow directions of driver.
  2. Sit in your seat facing forward.
  3. Talk quietly and use appropriate language.
  4. Keep all parts of your body inside the bus.
  5. Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.
  6. No fighting, harassing, intimidating or horseplay.
  7. Do not throw any object.
  8. No eating, drinking, or use of tobacco.
  9. Do not damage the school bus.
  10.  Do not open windows without asking the driver’s permission.
  11. Do not bring large musical instruments (tuba, baritone, string bass and cello) and other items you cannot hold on your lap.
  12. No animals are allowed on buses, except service animals used by students with disabilities.
  13. In cases of emergency, follow the driver’s instructions.
  14. Drivers will pick up and drop off students only at designated bus stops.


Leaving the bus:

1. Leave the bus in an orderly manner. Move quickly, but do not push and shove.
2. Use the hand rail when getting off the bus.
3. After getting off the bus, move away from the bus.
4. Absolutely no “skitching” - holding onto the back of the bus while it is moving on snowy and icy roads. Skitching is dangerous and ILLEGAL.

Discipline Procedures

If a student does not follow the rules on the bus, the driver will try to resolve the problem as explained in the “Rules on the Bus” section. The driver may assign a seat to the student. If the driver cannot obtain cooperation from the student, he/she will file a discipline report. Telephone conversations and/or written notification will be made to the student and parent/guardian(s) concerning all reports. 

Consequences for school bus/bus stop misconduct will apply to all regular and late routes. Decisions regarding a student’s ability to ride the bus in connection with co-curricular and extracurricular events (for example, field trips or competitions) will be at the sole discretion of the School District. Parents or guardians will be notified of any suspension of bus privileges.

Notice: School bus and bus stop rules and consequences for violations of these rules will be reviewed with students annually and copies of these rules will be made available to students. School bus rules are to be posted on each school bus.

For level of offense, please refer to the Student Behavior Handbook.

Other Discipline

Based on the severity of a student’s conduct, more serious consequences may be imposed at any time. Depending on the nature of the offense, consequences such as suspension or expulsion from school also may result from school bus/bus stop misconduct.

Dangerous or destructive offenses will result in suspension of busing privileges. The length of the suspension will be determined by the degree of the offense.

Students damaging school buses will be responsible for the damages. Failure to pay such damages (or make arrangements to pay) within two weeks may result in the loss of bus privileges until damages are paid.

Records of school bus/bus stop misconduct will be forwarded to the individual school building and will be retained in the same manner as other student discipline records. Reports of student misbehavior on a school bus or in a bus-loading or unloading area that causes an immediate and substantial danger to the student or surrounding persons or property will be provided by the School District to the Department of Public Safety in accordance with state and federal law.

In cases involving criminal conduct (for example, assault, weapons, drug possession, or vandalism), the appropriate School District personnel and local law enforcement officials will be informed.

Video and Audio Taping

School buses are equipped to video/audio tape bus rides. The video cameras will be used to help monitor the school-bus rides to discourage and detect unsafe and inappropriate behavior. Cameras will also be used as a tool for driver training and safety education for children.

Bus Lighting System

State law requires motorists to stop for school buses displaying flashing red lights and a stop signal arm. Flashing amber lights are a warning that the bus is preparing to stop. Flashing red lights show that the bus has stopped.  Motorists must stop regardless of the direction of travel.

School buses in ISD 535 use the stop arm when students cross the road or when the bus cannot get out of the lane of traffic.