The purpose of this procedure is to define the circumstances and conditions under which transportation to and from school will be provided for Abbotsford School District students and to outline the special circumstances where the district will provide parents or other providers with financial assistance for transportation costs for students. This section sets walk limits for catchment and out of catchment students, and provides guidelines for student conduct, supervision, and discipline.
1. Eligibility for Transportation
1.1 The Board of Education will, where practical, transport students based on the criteria below. Walk limits listed will be used to assign bus seating should availability be in question with furthest walk distance given priority.
- 1.1.1 Elementary and middle students living more than 3.2 kilometers from the catchment or nearest school (via the shortest possible road or maintained walkway).
- 1.1.2 Secondary students living more than 4.0 kilometers from the catchment or nearest school (via the shortest possible road or maintained walkway).
- 1.1.3 Students receiving transportation services to their catchment school may be charged a fee.
- 1.1.4 Students who choose to attend a school outside their catchment area are not eligible for transportation services. Students may request busing outside their catchment area. The availability of such services shall be subject to operational and overall financial feasibility. If a seat is available, stops would be assigned along an existing route, and students would be charged a transportation fee.
- 1.1.5 Students attending district programs may apply for transportation services and may be charged a fee. The availability of such services shall be subject to the overall operational and financial feasibility.
1.2 If the District assigns a student to a school outside their catchment area, the District will provide transportation to another District school, up to a maximum of one school year. After the first year, the student will be provided transportation to their catchment school only, if applicable.
2. Students with Special Needs
- 2.1 Students placed in district resource room programs will be given priority for available transportation.
- 2.2 Where recommended by the Director – Learning Support Services and the Transportation Manager, students with special needs will be given transportation to and from school. The Director – Learning Support Services, in consultation with the Transportation Manager, may consider deploying an Educational Assistant to support student safety during transportation
- 2.3 Where students with Special Needs cannot be transported safely due to medical and/or behavioural issues, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be asked to transport their child.
- 2.4 When, in the opinion of the Director – Learning Support Services and the Transportation Manager, a restraint device (eg. lap belt, harness) is required to ensure the safety of a student rider on the bus, written parental/guardian permission will first be obtained. Parent(s)/guardian(s) who do not grant permission in these circumstances will be asked to transport their child.
- 2.5 On the recommendation of the Director – Learning Support Services, a student who suffers from a severe physical handicap may be given transportation to and from school, where practical. Where not practical, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be asked to transport their child.
- 2.6 Courtesy rides may be provided to siblings who accompany students with special needs attending a district resource room program, if space and scheduling permit.
3. Student Conduct
3.1 Rules of conduct for student riders are based on the need to ensure the safe transport of all students. All student riders will be advised early in the school year of expected behavior, as well as the restrictions that apply to carrying supplies and equipment. Students who violate the rules of conduct will be subject to disciplinary measures, including, ultimately, the suspension of riding privileges.
4. Supervision of Students
4.1 Procedures governing the supervision of students and student behavior are based on the need to ensure the safety of all students, and to minimize exposure to risk of accident or injury. The driver is in full charge of the school bus at all times. Students must obey the bus driver promptly.
4.2 Except for extra-curricular trips, boarding and disembarking in locations other than a designated bus stop will not be permitted.
4.3 Loading and Unloading of Passengers – To ensure the highest possible degree of safety, the bus driver will ensure that passengers adhere to established practices for loading and unloading. The bus driver will also ensure that:
- 18.104.22.168 The bus is not loaded beyond its licensed seating capacity.
- 22.214.171.124 All riders receive instructions on the safest methods for loading and unloading.
- 126.96.36.199 All riders are advised of required conduct with respect to seating and behaviour while on the bus.
4.4 To ensure the safety of all passengers, riders will be advised of and be required to adhere to regulations for carrying over-sized or odd-sized equipment such as hockey sticks, musical instruments, ice skates, etc.
4.5 Standees are not permitted.
5. Discipline of Students
5.1 If, in the opinion of the bus driver, a student has violated the rules of conduct and has failed to respond in an acceptable manner to verbal warnings, the driver will summarize the student’s conduct in a written report (AP 307-1 School Bus Advisory Memo / AP 307-2 School Bus Discipline Letter) and submit the report to the Transportation Manager who will then provide the details of the incident to the Principal. The Principal will inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the matter. The Principal and the Transportation Manager will determine remedial steps.
5.2 When riding privileges are suspended, a memo/letter will be filed in the Transportation office and the school office, and the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed both by telephone and in writing of the reason for, and the duration of, the suspension.
5.3 Under no circumstances will a driver ask any student to leave the bus en route to home or school, other than at their regular stop or school. Should a student’s conduct/behaviour be such that it endangers the operation of the bus, the driver will park the bus and obtain instructions from the Manager of Transportation or designate. Suspension of privileges to ride for a period of longer than one week will be handled by the Principal, the Transportation Manager, and the Assistant Superintendent.
5.4 As set out earlier in this procedure, the rules of conduct on buses will be distributed annually (early in the school year) to students who travel by bus.
(Last Revised: March 2023)