Frequently Asked Questions
Snowline Joint Unified School District
Because the school bus is an extension of the classroom experience, we are an integral part of the education of all students within the Snowline District. The mission of the Transportation Department is to provide our District with SAFE, quality, cost-effective service so that our students may enhance their educational journey and ensure their academic success. We are continually striving for a positive experience for the students, staff and community.
Safety is Free…………We use it Generously!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
WHO MAY NOT RIDE A SNOWLINE SCHOOL BUS:
- Students residing within the non transportation eligibility zones
Transportation Eligibility Zones: Grades K-5 reside at least One (1) mile from school of enrollment
Grades 6-12 reside at least Two & one-half (2.5) miles from school of enrollment
- Students who have been denied transportation in a disciplinary action
- Students that do not have in their possession a current/valid Snowline school bus pass
- Student on Open Enrollment/Intra District transfer. Attending school outside of student’s residence boundary
MEETING YOUR STUDENT:
Kindergarten students must have a release authorization form on file at Transportation Department. If no one is present at the drop off time to meet a “must be met” student, the driver will return the student to the school, however, if that is not possible the student will be turned over to the local Police Department. After (3) incidents wherein a student is not met at their designated bus stop and must be returned to school, transportation privileges shall be revoked.
Only kindergarten students are required to have a designated person at least 13 years of age at the bus stop to receive them. Parents of kindergarten students may sign a waiver that allows the kindergartner to walk home unattended or with a person younger than 13 years of age. Students grades 1 through 12 are not required to have a designated person to receive them at the bus stop.
To assure the safety of your student(s), you, or a designated adult should be at your student’s assigned bus stop daily when he/she is pick up or dropped off. Your student(s) should know the route number, route letter or route color. There are times when your student may have a different driver or bus due to maintenance needs or a substitute driver assignment.
Possession of a current bus pass entitles a student to ride to and from his/her school as purchased. Students will be picked up and dropped off at the bus stop determined to be the safest and nearest to his/her home. Ed Code: 39831.5 Students shall be assigned to the safest bus stop closest to their legal residence address of record. A bus pass shall be issued with an assigned bus stop, student picture, name, school of attendance and grade. Students are to board or exit the bus ONLY at their assigned bus stops. Students wishing to ride home with another student must possess a current bus pass and have a note of authorization from student’s parent before the student will be allowed to board or disembark from the bus at another stop other than his/her own. Note must contain the following information: student name, bus stop student to use for this one time, date, contact phone number and signature of parent/guardian. Bus drivers shall stop only at designated stops approved to receive or discharge students by SJUSD. Leaving the bus after boarding at a school site: Once a student has boarded the bus at a school site, he/she may not leave the bus, at the school site unless escorted by a school official.
For the safety of all students and to avoid children chasing after a moving bus, once the bus has departed from the curb, at either the school site or bus stop the driver is not permitted to stop the bus to board late students. Students are instructed to be at the assigned bus stop (5) minutes before the posted stop time. Parents who drive their child to the bus stop, should park their vehicle on the same side of the roadway that the bus will be stopping, and keep in mind to allow for ample room for the bus to pull over safely.
If you are reasonably sure that the delay is not due to weather conditions, please allow 15 minutes before leaving the bus stop. School buses have to endure the same rush hour traffic conditions that plague commuters. A traffic snarl, traffic accident, minimum days, mechanical break-down, or a longer than scheduled loading at a previous school bus stop can easily throw your bus 10-15 minutes off schedule. If at the end of 15 minutes, your bus still has not arrived, you may call the Transportation Dept. at (760) 868-6739. On extremely foggy, rainy or inclement weather days the buses will run late. Please be patient and don’t worry, the schools shall be notified of any late arrivals.
BUS BREAKS DOWN OR INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT:
If a bus breaks down or is involved in an accident, we request that you contact the Transportation Department for the status of your bus and for revised pickup/drop off times. If your bus cannot continue on route, a backup bus will be dispatched to pick up or drop off your student. In both cases, it may take some time to resolve these issues. Please call Transportation Department for updates; we will be monitoring the situation with our two-way radio system with which each bus is equipped.
In the event that a school bus accident does occur the California Highway Patrol will be called to do an accident investigation pursuant to VC 12517.1. The accident scene must be investigated and cleared by the California Highway Patrol officer on scene. At the time the students will either continue on their bus to their destination, once release by the officer, or be transferred to a relief bus to continue on their way. Students cannot be released at the accident unless it is a designated school bus stop and only upon instructions by the CHP officer. Students shall only be release to their parent and/or guardian.
Accidents on a school bus are very rare, according to the National Transportation Safety Administration the school bus is the safest form of passenger transportation. Our school bus drivers are specially trained to give students the best service and protection available. School bus drivers are required by law to receive more training than any other driver in the state. A school bus driver’s background is checked by the Department of Justice and/or the FBI prior to receiving a license to drive a school bus. School bus drivers must participate in a pre-employment drug and alcohol test, and are randomly tested thereafter. All school bus drivers must attend regularly scheduled safety meetings, and attend additional training sessions to maintain the skills needed to safely transport students. School bus drivers must have and maintain a clean driving record, both professionally and personally.
SNOW DAY INFORMATION:
Even though it may have snowed the previous evening, and weather forecasts may be calling for severe weather, the decision to call off school for inclement weather and/or unsafe road conditions is not made until approximately 5:00am after a careful analysis of current road and weather conditions throughout the District.
The SJUSD provides this web page as an additional avenue for parents, students and staff to obtain “snow day” information including “inclement weather” bus route schedules. SJUSD will use an automated telephone calling system to notify parents, students and staff of any changes to the school day due to inclement weather. To receive information via a recorded telephone message call (760) 868-6739
For student safety and route control each bus is equipped with a two-way radio. The Transportation Department is in constant communication with each bus on its scheduled runs. The Board believes that the use of surveillance systems on school buses will help to deter misconduct and improve discipline, ensure the safety of students and bus drivers, and help to prevent vandalism. Therefore, surveillance systems may be installed and used on school buses to monitor student’s behavior while traveling to and from school and school activities.
BUS SCHEDULE CHANGES:
The bus driver is not authorized to make any adjustments or changes in his/her route. Please note that whenever our bus schedules change, the driver will issue notices to students two to three days in advance. The Transportation Dept. web site will be updated on the day of the actual change.
LOST ITEMS ON BUSES:
The bus driver will make an attempt to return the item to the student the following school day, as we DO NOT have a “Lost / Found” Items undelivered will be taken to the home school.
RIDING THE BUS IS A PRIVILEGE.
The Snowline Joint Unified School District Governing Board has adopted rules and regulations to assist students in understanding their responsibilities while riding buses throughout the school district and while on field trips. The school bus is an extension of the classroom, and appropriate behavior is expected at all times. These rules will assure safe and proper travel to and from school and must be observed while the students are waiting at school bus stops. Students who are identified as causing vandalism at the bus stop or exhibiting disruptive behavior at the bus stop may lose their bus riding privileges. Students should not arrive at their bus stop more than 5 minutes before the scheduled pick up time.
School district staff and bus drivers want every child to be safe. Any student behavior that affects the safety of other children or the bus driver will not be tolerated. Video surveillance may occur on any school bus and a video recording may be used in student disciplinary proceedings. The same student behavior rules apply to students waiting or being dropped off at their bus stop including respecting the rights of property owners and the neighborhood where the bus stop is located. The District does not supervise bus stops and is not responsible for the control and conduct of students at bus stops. Parents have the responsibility to supervise their students until they are safely aboard the school bus.
Section 14103 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations states:
Pupils transported in a school bus or in a school 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 the 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.
Governing boards shall adopt rules to govern this section. Such rules shall include, but not limited to, specific administration procedures relating to suspensions of riding privileges and shall be made available to parents, pupils, teachers and other interested parties.
Section 39842(a) of the Education Code of Regulations states:
Any person who enters a school bus or school pupil activity bus without prior authorization of the driver or school official with the intent to commit any crime and who refuses to disembark after being ordered to do so by the driver or other school official is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or by both.
Remember: For the safety of everyone aboard, the bus driver must devote full attention to the road. The safety of the whole group depends upon the proper, safe conduct of each individual. Pupils are responsible for safekeeping, controlling, and presenting their passes. For added security, District video/audio equipment may be used on school buses.
BUS EVACUATION & SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS:
All pupils in pre-kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, in public or private schools who are transported in a school bus or school pupil activity bus shall receive instruction in school bus emergency procedures and passenger safety. All pupils in pre-kindergarten to grade 8, inclusive, who receive home-to-school transportation shall receive safety instruction that includes, but is not limited to, proper loading and unloading procedures, including escorting by the driver, how to safely cross the street, highway, or private road, instruction on the use of passenger restraint systems, proper passenger conduct, bus evacuation, location of emergency equipment and may include responsibilities of passengers seated next to an emergency exit. As part of the instruction, pupils shall evacuate the school bus through emergency exit doors. Students and driver must know what to do. Know where all the bus emergency exits and equipment are and how to use them and participate in evacuation drills. In an emergency it is up to the students and driver to stay calm. Students must listen to the bus driver and follow instructions carefully.
It is important that students and parents understand that riding a school bus is a privilege and not a right of the student. This privilege can and will be revoked when serious misconduct occurs or when minor infractions repeatedly occur. Refusal of the district to provide transportation under these conditions does not excuse parents from their responsibility, by law, of having their children in school each day.
CONSEQUENCES FOR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR:
Students demonstrating unacceptable behavior shall be given a verbal warning by the driver. If a student fails to respond to a verbal warning and continues to demonstrate unacceptable behaviors the student shall be subject to the following disciplinary consequences:
- First offense Written warning
- Second offense Written warning
- Third offense Three (3) days’ suspension of bus riding privileges
- Fourth offense Five (5) days’ suspension of bus riding privileges
A Written Notice of Unsatisfactory Conduct will be issued and the parents and school will receive a copy of the notice by mail. Serious discipline violations (i.e. fighting, drugs, vandalism or weapons) involving a student(s) may result in immediate exclusion from Snowline bus transportation effective with the first offense and continue for the balance of the current school year effective with the next school day.
DISPLAYING BUS PASSES:
All students are required to display his/her bus pass to the bus driver each and every day before boarding at bus stops and school loading zones. Students without a current bus pass or single ride ticket shall be issued a reminder memo for each day a pass is NOT presented and will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including denial/revocation of all transportation privileges.
Students shall arrive at their designated bus school bus stops at least (5) five minutes prior to their scheduled pick up time. Beginning the first semester the students will be given 10 school day grace period to obtain his/her bus pass. The student will be given a written reminder to obtain a valid bus pass during the grace period. After this time a student will be denied transportation on the bus in the afternoon when loading at a school site. A student without a bus pass will be sent to the school office to make other arrangements for transportation home. Uninterrupted transportation service can only be maintained if a student has in his/her possession a current/valid bus pass and presents it to the bus driver as required.
BUS PASS VIOLATIONS
The following standards of progressive actions regarding abuse/misuse of school bus ridership privileges are established, and are separate from other disciplinary measures. Violations shall include but are not limited to:
- Using, or attempting to use, an expired, stolen, found or forged pass or a fake single-ride ticket.
- Borrowing a bus pass or altering one’s own pass, using or attempting to use a damaged pass.
- Loaning your bus pass to others
- Student not having in their possession a current/valid Snowline school bus pass or single ride ticket students shall receive “reminder memos” each day, upon receipt of the 4th notification your student may be denied transportation and left at school. Notice of unsatisfactory conduct shall be issued.
First Offense: A NOTICE OF UNSATISFACTORY CONDUCT warning will be issued.
Second Offense: Bus riding privileges may be suspended for five (5) school days
Third Offense: Bus riding privileges may be suspended for ten (10) school days
Fourth Offense: Bus riding privileges may be revoked for the remainder of the school year.
BUS PASSES ARE THE PROPERTY OF SJUSD AND WILL BE SURRENDERED UPON REQUEST.
SJUSD is not responsible for lost or stolen bus passes. If a replacement bus pass is needed a $10.00 cash only replacement processing fee is required.
If after a bus pass has been issued it is determined by the parent or student that the information originally provided on the application is in error or there is a request for substitute picture, change of residence address, the parent will be charged a $10.00 cash only replacement processing fee.
Snowline Joint Unified School District Bus Conduct and Safety
The State Board of Education Regulations Section 14236 governing transportation states:
“Pupils transported in a school 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 in accordance with regulations of the Governing Board of the District.”
School bus rules of conduct are established first and foremost to ensure that the student has a safe ride to and from home. The school bus is an extension of the classroom, and appropriate behavior is expected at all times.
Regulations apply at all times when the students are riding a school bus, including field trips. Students at the bus stop are subject to the same rules as when riding the bus. Students who are identified as causing vandalism at the bus stop or exhibiting disruptive behavior at the bus stop may lose their bus riding privileges.
Safety Rules on the Bus
- Bus passes must be displayed each time requested by District personnel.
- Students shall follow the instructions and directions of the bus driver at all times.
- Students may talk quietly with the person seated next to them. Orderly behavior is required at all times while aboard the bus. Students are to remain seated at all times when the bus is in motion.
- Students are to keep all parts of their body inside the bus.
- No eating, drinking or gum chewing allowed at any time on the bus.
- No profane language, abusive body contact, obscene gestures or any unnecessary noise is allowed.
- Horseplay & Fighting are not permitted on a school bus.
NOTE: Fighting & Horseplay shall result in immediate revocation of bus riding privileges for all participants regardless of who may have instigated the incident.
- Smoking or lighting of matches on the bus is prohibited by law.
- Students are not to shoot or throw any objects at or within the bus.
- Breaking windows (any glass), cutting of seats and other damage/vandalism to the bus will result in immediate revocation of bus privileges until all damages have been paid.
- Because serious safety hazards can result from noise or behavior that distracts the driver, loud talking, laughing, yelling, singing, whistling, spitting, scuffling, standing, changing seats, inappropriate sexual conduct and indecent exposure are prohibited actions which may lead to revocation of bus privileges.
- Animals, (ie: birds, fish, reptiles, insects), breakable containers, inflated balloons, skateboards, weapons, or any object that could be hazardous will not be permitted on the school bus.
- Students shall not be allowed to load or unload at any other bus stop or bus route other than the student’s assigned/designated bus stop & bus route without driver receiving written authorization from parent and/or school.
- Students must never open, close or tamper with any parts of the bus equipment or emergency exits.
- California law requires a school bus with passengers aboard to stop at all railroad crossings. Students must remain absolute silence when approaching and while stopped at the crossing so the driver can look and listen for
Failure to abide by one or more of these rules may result in the revocation of bus riding privileges. Students who fail to comply shall be reported to Transportation Department staff who shall determine the severity of the misconduct and shall take action accordingly. In the case of a severe violation or repeated offenses, the student may be denied transportation privileges for a period of time determined by the Transportation staff in accordance with District Policy, up to the remainder of the school year.