The following procedures were established by the Pupil Transportation Office to facilitate safe and efficient transportation for special education students. On occasion, the Pupil Transportation Office receives requests from parents that deviate from these procedures. The Pupil Transportation Office reserves the right to authorize or deny deviations from these procedures based on the need to provide an acceptable level of safety for all students on the bus and an acceptable level of service for those entitled to special education transportation.

1. Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Curb to Curb Service

Under most conditions special education special education transportation provides curb to curb service. This means that the bus will pick-up and drop-off at the curb in front of the student's home or day care. The following are some of the exceptions to this procedure:

  • Due to road conditions (dead end roadways, dirt or gravel roadways, or narrow   roadways) it may be necessary to place the pick-up/drop-off site   at a safe location away from the home or day care. Every effort   will be made to locate the stop as close as possible to the home   or day care. When an escort is appropriate it will be the responsibility   of the parent or their designee to escort the student to and from   the pick-up/drop-off location. The bus driver or monitor are not   responsible to escort the student to or from the home.
  • In rare instances, the pick-up/drop-off location may require the student to cross   the roadway. When applicable, the bus driver or monitor will escort   the student across the roadway to and from the pick-up/drop-off   location.

Parking Lots

  • Condominium and apartment managements on occasion deny school buses access   to their parking lots. In these cases the pick-up/drop-off will   be placed at a safe location close to the student's home or day care

Alternate Drop-Off

Drivers are permitted to discharge students only at the school or designated drop-off. When there is no authorized person to accept the student at the drop-off, the following steps will be taken:

  • The driver will notify dispatch and deliver other students on the bus and then return to the home to drop off the student.  If no one is home the driver will return to make a 2nd attempt to deliver the student home.  If no one is at home the student will be returned to school.  If an alternate address is on file, the driver will attempt to discharge the student to an authorized person at the alternate site.
  • If there is no authorized person to receive the student at the alternate   drop-off, or there is no alternate drop-off, the driver will return   to the school and leave the student with a responsible staff member.   
  • If this should occur, transportation services may be suspended pending a conference   with the parent or guardian.

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2. Loading/Unloading

At the Pick-Up/Drop-Off Location

It is the responsibility of the driver and monitor to load and unload students at the pick-up/drop-off location. Parents and child care providers are strongly encouraged to communicate to the bus driver and monitor any information about the student that would help facilitate safe loading and unloading. Parents and child care providers should be careful not to interfere with the driver or monitor while they are performing their duties.

Parents/guardians should not send students to the bus with food or drink to be consumed on the bus.

At the School

When it facilitates a smoother transition to and from the bus, school personnel are encouraged to help load and unload ambulatory students from seats equipped with any of the following restraint devices: seat belts, car or booster seats, harnesses, or vests. The bus driver and monitor have the ultimate responsibility to check these restraints before leaving the school. Only the driver and monitor should load, unload, and secure students in wheelchairs.

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3. Bus Evacuation Plan

Special education students who are able to get on and off of the bus unassisted or with little assistance are expected to participate in bus evacuation drills. Drivers that transport non-ambulatory or orthopedically handicapped students are expected to maintain an up-to-date bus evacuation plan. The plan should contain the following:

  • The exact roles of the driver and monitor during an evacuation.
  • Identification of children who have special medical conditions, such as brittle   bone syndrome or attachment to a respirator, that need to be considered   in planning for an evacuation.
  • Determination of whether or not students should be removed from their wheel   chairs during an evacuation.
  • Seating location of all passengers on the route.
  • Brief description of the physical disability of each passenger.
  • Exact location of every emergency exit on the regular bus used on the route
  • Exact location of emergency equipment on the bus - extinguisher, first aid kit,   etc.

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4. Student Behavior

School Board Policy

It is the school system's responsibility to provide safe transportation for students who ride school buses to and from school and on school-related trips. In the absence of a teacher or school administrator, the school bus driver is responsible for ensuring that students behave in a safe and responsible manner. Any behavior which interferes with the safe transportation of students must be reported. This policy applies to all students for whom bus transportation is provided by the AISD School System. Exceptions are made for special education students whose behavior is a result of their handicapping condition. Behavior problems with special education students are dealt with in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations. Notwithstanding the exceptions, the procedures outlined in the policy are applicable to special education students. Specifically, drivers and monitors are to use the Notice of Unsatisfactory Conduct report to refer inappropriate behavior to school administrators, and, when applicable, administrators are to follow a progressive discipline procedure.

Dangerous Behavior on the Bus

  • The following are Pupil Transportation Office guidelines for bus drivers responding   to unsafe behavior on the bus:
  • Any unsafe behavior should be reported to the school administrator as soon   as possible. A Notice of Unsatisfactory Conduct report should   be submitted as a follow-up.
  • When the behavior of a student on a special education bus poses a potential   or imminent danger to others on the bus, the driver should immediately   call the Pupil Transportation Office.

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5. Restraint Devices

Car Seats & Booster Seats

By law, the State of Texas requires the use of car seats and booster seats in cars, trucks, and multipurpose vehicles. Car Seats are not required on school buses.

The following guidelines are followed regarding car seat use on AISD school buses:

  • Infants who weight under 20 pounds and are less than 1 year old will be secured in a rear-facing infant car seat.
  • Early Childhood and Pre-School students do not require a car seat.
  • Students needing support to help them remain seated may need a car seat due to a disability.
  • Students riding in a small school bus (school bus weighing less than 10,000 lbs) will wear a seat belt.

Safety Vests

A Safety Vest may only be used at the direction of the Pupil Transportation Office after consultation with the school staff and parents and is ARD approved.

  • A safety vest is designed for students with behavioral or emotional disabilities who need to be restrained while on the bus. The safety vest is equipped with a zipper in the back that, when properly attached, is not accessible to the student.   It may have straps that attach to front of the vest and go under the crotch to fasten in the back of the vest.  The safety vest is attached with a strap mounted to the bus seat. The safety vest allows for some freedom of movement but the student is unable to get out of their seat.

The Pupil Transportation Office is committed to providing safe and efficient transportation services for special needs students. It is our sincere hope that this handbook will contribute to a clearer understanding of special education transportation services.

The Pupil Transportation Office hopes that each student has a safe and successful school year.