Under Massachusetts General Laws, transportation at town expense shall be provided to all Duxbury students grades K-6 who live two miles or more from the school they attend. Transportation at town expense is based solely on the student’s home address and is only for transportation between the student’s home bus stop and the school he/she attends. Additionally, specialized transportation shall be provided at town expense for children whose Individualized Education Plan (IEP) requires such transportation or whose physical condition makes such transportation necessary as stated in an (IEP).
The Fee-Based Transportation System provides an option for arranging school bus service for students grades K-6 who live less than 2 miles from their school and for all students grades 7-12. Under the law, a waiver of the school bus fee may be obtained for students eligible for a free or reduced lunch under the Federal School Lunch Program by checking the appropriate box on the application form and providing the requested information by June 15, 2016.
The two-mile measurement is the shortest distance, using a commonly traveled vehicular route, between the nearest walkway or driveway to the student’s residence and the nearest walkway or gateway leading to the front door of the school. The Alden School will be used as a basis for determining measurable distance for students in grades 3-6. Please note that the shortest vehicular route may change from year to year as new streets open to traffic; therefore, the shortest vehicular route will be based on streets existing as of May 1st of each year.
· The complete packet is available on line at www.duxbury.k12.ma.us. The packet contains: the School Committee’s policy on transportation, frequently asked questions, a street guide, and required forms.
· The application form MUST be completed for all fee-based students OR newly registered students who are requesting school bus transportation for the 2016-2017 school year. Failure to complete and return the application form by the indicated dates may result in a loss of school bus transportation.
The list of streets for students grades K-6 is included with this transportation packet and will be posted at school and on the Duxbury Public Schools website, www.duxbury.k12.ma.us, indicating whether the streets are within the two mile limit.
The fee for school bus transportation is as follows:
Amount Per Student
(A) March 15, 2016 - June 15, 2017
(B) June 16, 2016 - June 30, 2017
(C) July 1, 2015 and September 15, 2016
From August 1, 2016 through September 15, 2016 applications for transportation will be held for students registered as of August 1, 2016 and those students will be placed on existing bus routes on a space available basis. Applications may not be accepted after September 15, 2016 except for newly registered students. The fee for students registered as of June 15, 2016 who have completed the application and paid the fee, and for all students newly registered after that date, is as indicated in (A) above. The fee for students registered as of June 15, 2016 who have NOT completed an application and paid the fee, is as indicated in (B) or (C) above. Newly registered students may apply for transportation after August 1, 2016 and we will make every reasonable effort to arrange for school bus services.
BUS FEES ARE NOT REFUNDABLE.
Bus passes will be distributed to all students with an accepted application and paid fee during the first several days of school. The bus pass will indicate the student’s name, grade and school. Each student is required to carry and display the pass. If the pass is not obviously displayed, the student may be excluded from riding the bus. We suggest attaching the pass to a backpack or something similar. This will make the pass easily accessible and allow the student to display it without delay. Lost passes may be replaced for a $5.00 fee.
Routes will be developed following School Committee policy (see attached pages 5 and 6).
Safety is a responsibility that is shared between the family and the school. While the law requires the School Department to provide a defined level of transportation, it does not relieve parents/guardians of students from the responsibility of supervision until the student boards the bus in the morning. Once a student boards the bus, he or she becomes the responsibility of the school district. Such responsibility shall end when the student is delivered to the regular bus stop at the close of the school day. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to escort the student, if necessary, to and from the bus stop where there are no sidewalks, where sidewalks are only on one side, where the bus stop is on the opposite side of the street, and where there are traffic or other safety concerns.
The school bus is an extension of the classroom. School Committee policy requires that the student conduct himself/herself in a manner consistent with established standards for classroom behavior as stated in the student handbook. Bus drivers have the authority and the responsibility to maintain good order while operating the bus. Additionally, bus drivers are instructed to inform the building principal regarding any student misconduct that creates an annoyance or distraction while driving. The building principal will inform the parents/guardians of the misconduct and request their cooperation in monitoring the student’s behavior. Any student who becomes a disciplinary problem on the school bus may have riding privileges suspended on a temporary or permanent basis. In such cases, the parents/guardians of the student will become responsible for transportation of the student to and from school. There will be no fee refunds for denial of school transportation services due to disciplinary actions.
Applications for transportation for newly registering students may be made after September 15th of each school year under the following circumstances:
(1) A prior determination has been made by the appropriate administrator that there is sufficient space on the school bus to accommodate the student(s);
(2) The school bus fee will be as follows:
(a) September 15th – December 31st, $300 per student with a family cap of $600
(b) January 1st – March 31st, $150 per student with a family cap of two fees per family;
(c) April 1st – end of school year, $75 per student with a family cap of two fees per family.
(3) All newly registered students, and students in grades 6-12 after September 15th, may be added on a “rolling basis” throughout the school year if there is sufficient space on the particular bus route to accommodate the student(s);
(4) After routes have been adjusted at the beginning of the school year, students in grades K-5 (other than newly registered students) will be added to routes only on January 1st and April 1st (or the closest date to these dates that school will operate). Since students in these grades are generally transported to the street or house where they live, changing these routes on a “rolling basis” would likely create delays, confusion and related routing problems; and
(5) Situations may occur where we have space available on one route but not another. Therefore, we may be able to accommodate some requests and not others depending on the availability of space on different routes.
Purchasing a block of tickets to ride the school bus
Parents/students may purchase a block of tickets for twenty (20) one-way trips under the following circumstances:
(1) A prior determination has been made by the appropriate administrator that there is sufficient space on the school bus to accommodate the student(s);
(2) A fee of $35 is paid for twenty (20) one-way trips. Once purchased, the tickets are non-refundable and applicable for the current school year (2016-2017). Tickets must be presented to the driver upon entering the school bus. Tickets may be used for the regular home to school/school to home route or for the late bus;
(3) Only students attending grades 6-12 will be eligible to purchase bus tickets since routes designed for these students transport to established neighborhood collection points and do not need to be adjusted to accommodate them; and
(4) Tickets may be purchased at the High School and Middle School offices during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 4:00PM).
The criteria for management of school transportation are:
1. Safety: Does the scheduling and operation of the program take into consideration hazards, potential dangers to pupils, and provide appropriate safeguards?
2. Adequacy: Does the program provide sufficient transportation to and from school and for other school programs?
3. Economy: Is the program operated in the most efficient manner possible after considering the constraints imposed by the criteria of safety and adequacy? This is done in order to maximize the funds available to be spent on the education of students in classrooms.
Although the law requires that a school district furnish transportation under certain circumstances, it does not relieve parents of students from the responsibility of supervision until such time as the child boards the bus in the morning and after the child leaves the bus at the end of the day. Only at that time a child boards the bus does he/she become the responsibility of the Duxbury Public Schools. Such responsibility ends when the child is delivered to the bus stop at the close of the day.
State law requires: that Duxbury bus all K-6 students who live two miles from the school they are required to attend.
The Business Manager, working in conjunction with the principals, shall be responsible for scheduling all bus transportation, including the determination of routes, bus stops, rules and regulations, and all other matters relative to the transportation program.
The school transportation program shall be monitored by the principals and subjected, by them and the Business Manager, to periodic evaluations as necessary.
Adopted: June 14, 2006
SCHOOL BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. THE SCHOOL BUS IS AN EXTENSION OF THE CLASSROOM. STUDENTS RIDING SCHOOL BUSES ARE SUBJECT TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT. BUS DRIVERS ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT MISBEHAVIORS TO THE PRINCIPAL/DESIGNEE WHO WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION. STUDENTS WHO BECOME A SERIOUS DISCIPLINARY PROBLEM ON THE SCHOOL BUS MAY HAVE THEIR RIDING PRIVILEGE SUSPENDED.
2. Bus routes and bus stops will change each school year, due to the different children being transported. The establishment of bus routes and the location of bus stops is the responsibility of the Business Manager. All requests for changes in initial bus routes or the location of bus stops should be submitted in writing to the Business Manager. BUSES WILL BE ROUTED INTO A CUL-DE-SAC ONLY WHEN NECESSARY FOR SAFETY REASONS. Changes in bus routes or the location of bus stops may be made for the following reasons: a) to correct an error in original planning; b) to provide for an emergency situation; c) for reasons of safety. Appeal of the Business Manager’s decision may be made in writing to the Superintendent of Schools.
3. After a route is established, a request for a change in a student’s assigned bus should be made to the principal. Changes may be approved for reasons of an emergency nature, such as emergency illness or family emergency. Examples of reasons which are not considered to be emergencies and will not be approved are: routine medical appointment, day-care route, shopping trip, birthday or other party, tennis/golf/athletic practice, religious instruction, luncheon date, music/dance (etc.) lesson. A request cannot be granted if the result will cause a bus to become overcrowded.
4. Kindergarten students will be picked up and discharged as near to their homes as is practicable. On all trips where the bus goes out and returns by the same route, students in grades K-5 will be discharged, if practicable, on the side of the street of their home or designated bus stop. Students in grades 1-5 will be picked up at collection points, if practicable. Students in grade 6-12 will be picked up at major collection points, if practicable.
5. Visibility to the rear of a school bus is limited; therefore, it is dangerous for a school bus to operate in reverse. Bus routes will be designed so that if at all possible, the bus will not need to be operated in reverse.
Approval: June 14, 2006
1. Who is eligible for Town Paid School Bus Transportation in Duxbury?
As mandated by state law, students in grades K-6 who live two (2) miles or more from their assigned school and students who have a transportation component in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are eligible to ride at town expense. Transportation at town expense is based solely on the student’s home address and is only for transportation between the student’s home bus stop and his/her assigned school.
2. What is the Fee-Based Transportation System?
Students who are not eligible for town paid busing will have the option to purchase a bus pass. Generally, non-refundable passes are $250 per student with a family cap of $500 (see previous section under fees and timelines for exceptions). Bus routes will be designed based on ridership. Payment of the fee reserves a seat on the bus; therefore, fees will not be prorated for one-way or less than full use.
3. How do I know if my home is within two miles of the school my child attends?
Street guides are included with this Transportation Packet and are posted at the Chandler, Alden and Middle Schools and on the School Department website, www.duxbury.k12.ma.us. In compliance with state law, measurement is made via the shortest vehicular route. This may change from year to year as new streets open to traffic; therefore, distances will be calculated based on streets existing as of May 1st of each year.
4. How is the two-mile determination made?
The distance is only measured by using the shortest distance, using a commonly traveled vehicular route, between the nearest walkway or driveway to the student’s residence and the nearest walkway or gateway leading to the front door of the school. The Alden School will be used as a basis for determining measurable distance for students in grades 3-6. The shortest vehicular route will be based on streets existing on May 1st of each year.
6. How do I apply for school bus transportation?
Up until June 15th, bus passes may be purchased online or a paper application will be available at all schools. For those choosing to pay online by credit card, don’t forget to include ALL STUDENTS who want to be transported by school bus during the school year 2016-2017 (town paid and fee based) and submit it with payment NO LATER THAN JUNE 15, 2016 (one form per family is all that is required). Payment will reserve a seat on the bus. Bus routes will be designed based on information obtained through this process.
YES! – All students using the bus are required to carry their bus pass on a daily basis; failure to do so could result in exclusion from the bus. We suggest attaching the pass to a backpack or something similar. This will make the pass easily accessible and allow the student to display it without delay. Bus passes will be distributed during the first several days of school to all eligible riders who are paid in full. Lost passes may be replaced at the School Department Business Office, 93 Chandler Street for a fee of $5.00 (checks only, please).
8. How do I determine when and where bus stops will be located?
Bus stops will be available on the school website www.duxbury.k12.ma.us prior to school opening. The transportation program will transport students to and from established bus stops as outlined in School Committee Policy. The school bus will not make additional stops, even if the bus passes your residence. Buses generally are not authorized to enter cul-de-sacs for student pickup and drop off.
9. May my child ride home on another bus?
In general no, students may only ride their assigned bus. Exceptions may be approved by the school Principal, following School Committee Policy, through a written request submitted in advance.
10. May a student’s conduct result in suspension from the school bus?
A student is expected to behave in a manner which will provide for optimum safety of the individual student as well as the safety of other students aboard the bus. When a student is reported for violating a safety rule in and around a school bus, the appropriate school staff will review the situation with the student. Parents will be notified of the behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense or the frequency of violations, the student may receive: a warning, a brief suspension from the bus, or a suspension for the balance of the school year. If a student is participating in the “Fee Based Transportation Program” and is suspended from the bus, the fee WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
According to State Law, no student eligible for free or reduced lunch, under the Federal School Lunch Program, shall be required to pay a fee. If you are requesting a waiver of the fee because you have been approved as eligible under this program, check the appropriate box on the application and return it as indicated.