Transportation Policy

Updated 8/14/2008

Revised

TRANSPORTATION POLICY

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The Bristol Board of Education will, in a manner not inconsistent with Section 10-186 of the Connecticut General Statutes, furnish by transportation or otherwise, school accommodations so that each child over five and under twenty-one years of age who resides within the jurisdiction of the Board and is not a graduate of high school or vocational school (or who is not otherwise legally excluded from school) may attend the public schools maintained in the Board pursuant to Section 10-220 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

All school age students, who reside in Bristol and are attending Bristol Schools , or State RegionalTechnical Schools , shall be eligible for transportation or renumeration in lieu of transportation.

The Board of Education shall provide transportation for school age children in the town whenever it deems transportation is reasonable and desirable.

A. WALKERS AND RIDERS

Transportation of both public and private school students who are living at the following distances from their respective schools will be at the expense of the Board:

1. Kindergarten studentsliving more than (1) one mile from their schools;

Kindergarten students who receive transportation both to and from school will embark and disembark as near their residence as practical during the mid-day bus trip only. At all other times, those students will utilize the normally planned bus stops.

Kindergarten students who are designated walkers will be offered transportation accommodations during the mid-day to school and from school changeover.

2. Elementary schoolstudents in grades one – five living more than (1) one mile from their schools.

3. Middle school students in grades six – eight living more than (1 ½) one and one half miles from their school.

4. High schoolstudents living more than (2) two miles from their school.

Walking Distance, means the linear measure of a prescribed or authorized pedestrian route between the pupil’s residence and his/her school from a point at the curb or edge of a public road or highway nearest the pupil’s residence to the nearest allowable paved access of the school.

The prescribed walking distance will also take into consideration the health and physical fitness of the student and environmental and safety hazards.

A doctor’s certificate, verified by the Bristol Burlington Health District physician, and/or statement from the school nurse shall determine the physical fitness of the student.

B. AUTHORITY

The Bristol Board of Education or its designee shall have full authority to:

1. Fix the routes and establish loading and discharge points along the routes.

2. Determine the safest walking distance based on the extent and seriousness of the highway and road hazards. The appropriateness of all walking routes will be determined by school staff (Assistant to the Superintendent for Business, Transportation Coordinator). In making such decisions the expertise of the local police traffic division staff and the school bus provider will be utilized. The following general guidelines will apply:

a) Any walking route in excess of Bristol walking guidelines shall be deemed hazardous.

b) Walking routes that call for the crossing of heavily traveled roads that do not have a pedestrian crossing light, crossing guard, stop sign or safety provision shall be deemed hazardous.

c) The consistent presence of nuisance or distracting conditions along the route, (i.e. open man hole cover, unprotected construction site, snow plowed or piled in walk area, loading zones, commercial vehicle entrance or exit sites that vehicles use traveling at a high rate of speed) will cause the route to be deemed hazardous.

d) Walking routes on secondary roads as determined by the Bristol Police Traffic Division, involving no sidewalks where the walk area is restricted or narrowed by snow, to a width of less than twenty two feet, or road debris will be considered hazardous.

e) Walking routes where conditions obscure walkers and limit line of visibility by drivers will be considered hazardous.

f) An area adjacent to the walking route where a lake, pool, stream, waterway, drainage ditch, bridge or severe drop off will be considered hazardous when a fence or suitable barrier is not present.

3. Accommodate physically exceptional children and require acceptable data or a physician’s certificate concerning the health or condition of the child at any time.

4. Delegate disciplining to building administrators.

5. Routes and Services:

School Transportation services are provided exclusively for the benefit and safety of the student population and are to be used only in support of programs authorized by and under the auspices of the School Board.

6. Children may ride buses other than their own only at the convenience of the school district in accordance with bus safety regulations. A written request must be submitted by the parent/guardian to the principal of the school for his/her official approval each time a child is to take a bus other than his/her regular one.

7. In all cases covered by this policy, the parent or guardian is jointly responsible with the school system for the student until he/she boards the bus, or if walking, arrives on the school grounds. At the end of each day, the parent or guardian is jointly responsible with the school system for the student at the time he/she exits the bus, or if walking, exits the school grounds.

C. CUL – DE – SACS

For safety reasons the Bristol school buses do not enter into cul-de-sacs unless the child has a physical impairment that would prohibit the child from walking to the entrance corner. Bristolhas various sizes of cul-de-sacs that may or may not accommodate the wide turning radius of a school bus. Problems arise with snow clearing and snow buildup during winter. For safety reasons school bus backing must be avoided. Traveling in and out of cul-de-sacs is also another time consuming and costly process.

D. DAY CARE TRANSPORTATION

  1. Transportation shall be provided for children who live in an elementary public school area who are normally eligible for transportation and attend a parent authorized babysitter.
  2. Children within an elementary public school area not normally eligible for busing who attend a parent authorized babysitter whose location is eligible for busing will be allowed busing privileges on a space available basis. Space available basis shall mean that the children who are not normally eligible for transportation and are permitted to ride buses to or from a parent authorized babysitter who is located in an eligible transportation are shall NOT be permitted to continue with transportation, if/when the bus reaches capacity.
  3. All children, private and public, must attend a parent authorized babysitter within the elementary public school attendance area in which they live, in order to be eligible for transportation from or that parent authorized babysitter.
  4. Transportation shall not be provided to or from a parent authorized babysitter located within one mile of a private or public school unless other health, welfare and safety factors prevail.
  5. Each parent must complete the parent authorization form (attached) in order to be eligible for Day care transportation.

E. APPEALS

Any Parent, guardian, student at majority, or any agent or officer whose duty it is to compel the observance of the laws concerning school transportation in the following manner:

1. Discuss the matter with the principal of the school to which the student is assigned.

2. If no resolution is reached under (1) above, discuss the matter with the Transportation Coordinator.

3. If no resolution is reached under (2) above, discuss the matter with the Assistant to the Superintendent for Business.

4. Any Parent, Guardian, Student at majority or officer whose duty it is to compel the observation of the laws concerning attendance of school, who believes that the Superintendent. Or his/her designee, is not furnished school accommodations, by transportation or otherwise to himself or herself or to his/her child manner consistent with the laws of the State of Connecticut or the Guidelines pursuant to this policy may, in writing, request a hearing before the Board to show Board the manner in which the Superintendent has so failed to furnish such accommodations.

The Board shall hold a hearing within (10) Days following receipt of such request.

The hearing before the Board will be in compliance with the provisions of Section 4-177 to 4-180 inclusive of the Connecticut General Statutes.

5. In conducting a transportation hearing, the role of the Board of Education may be fulfilled by any of the following options:

A. A hearing conducted by the Board of Education with at least three members present.

B. A hearing conducted by a sub-committee (typically three members) of the Board as appointed by the Board chairperson.

C. A hearing conducted by a hearing officer as designated by vote of the Board of Education.

A stenographic record or tape recording shall be made of such hearing.

The superintendent of Schools and the chairperson of the Board of Education will use their discretion in determining which of the above options will be utilized in the scheduling of each individual transportation hearing.

F. TRANSPORTATION COMPLAINTS

All transportation school bus safety complaints must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Superintendent for Business using the applicable form. Transportation safety complaints must be specific as to date, time and location of the incident; the name of the driver or number of the bus involved; nature of the complaint; names of witnesses; and name, address, and signature of the complainant.

Based on the nature of the complaint, the Assistant to the Superintendent for Business may elect to take immediate action and/or forward the complaint to the appropriate authority, School Principal, Police Department, Transportation Coordinator, ETC. The Assistant to the Superintendent for Business will respond in writing to the complainant within (30) days.

Each transportation safety complaint with its response will be submitted to the Superintendent or his/her designee.

LEGAL REFERENCE: CONNECTICUT GENERAL STATUTES

9-177 to 4-180 Contested cases. Notice. Record

10-97 Transportation to Vocational Schools

10-186 Duties of local and regional Boards of Education Hearing. Appeal

10-220 Duties of Boards of Education

10-220c Transportation of children over private roads immunity from liability

10-280a Transportation for pupils in non-profit schools outside school district

14-126a Commissioner to make regulations regarding reporting of school bus accident

14-275a Use of standard school bus required

14-275b Transportation of mobility impaired students

14-275c Regulations re school buses and motor vehicles used to transport
special education students