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550

Student Transportation

Background

The Division has a statutory obligation to provide for the transportation of its resident students to and from the school it has directed them to attend, if the parent of the student resides at a distance greater than 2.4 kilometers from the site of that school.  Transportation for resident students who live more than 2.4 kilometers from their designated school is available at no cost.

The Division also offers enhanced transportation service, for a fee, for approved distances less than 2.4 kilometers from the designated school.

The Division shall maintain a transportation service for kindergarten to Grade 12 students for the purpose of transporting eligible students to and from school.

 

Guidelines

  1. Transportation will be provided to rural students residing less than 2.4 kilometers from the school they are directed to attend, provided the bus is not required to deviate from its normal route, where safety conditions warrant, the bus fee is paid, and space is available on the bus.
  2.  Whenever a student accepts only part of the regular transportation, that student must provide evidence of parental permission to the Principal or designate.
  3.  Pick Up and Unloading of Students
    1. Rural - Where a bus picks up or unloads students in a rural area, gate service (the point of intersection of a private driveway or road and a municipal roadway) will be provided. Distances from other residences or time may require, that a stop point other than the rural gate be designated by the Director of Transportation Services.
    2. Hamlets, Subdivisions and Summer Villages - Where a bus picks up or unloads students in hamlets, subdivisions, or summer villages where there is no school, the following guidelines for the provision of transportation services shall apply.
      1.  Factors such as distances from other residences or time may require that a stop point other than the gate be designated by the Director of Transportation in the course of designing scheduled routes;
      2.  For ECS and Elementary students the maximum walk distance from the student’s gate to a bus stop shall be no greater than four hundred (400) meters; and
      3.  For Junior and Senior High School students the maximum walk distance from the student’s gate to a bus stop shall be no greater than eight hundred (800) meters.
    3. Towns and Villages - Where a bus picks up or unloads students in towns and villages where there is a school, the following guidelines for the provision of transportation services shall apply.
      1.  Factors such as distances from other residences or time may require that a stop point other than the gate by designated by the Director of Transportation Services in the course of designing schedule routes;
      2.  For ECS and Elementary students the maximum walk distance from the student’s gate to a bus stop shall be no greater than four hundred (400) meters. No such bus stop shall be closer to a school than eight hundred (800) meters;
      3.  For Junior and Senior High School students the maximum walk distance from the student’s gate to a bus stop shall be no greater than eight hundred (800) meters. No such bus stop shall be closer to a school than (one point six) 1.6 kilometers; and
      4.  ECS and Elementary students shall remain on the same bus from boarding point to destination unless the requisite transfer is made at an appropriately supervised transfer point.
  4. Gate service will normally be provided for rural students. However, safety factors, nearness of residences, turn-about points, time element, etc. may require a parent meet a loading or unloading point other than the rural gate.
  5. Yard Service – Special Needs Students - The Director of Transportation Services, after consultation with the Coordinator of Student Services, is responsible for considering requests for transportation of special needs students subject to the following conditions:
    1. Requests for yard service – whether for regular or temporary service – must be made in writing to the Director of Transportation Services prior to the expected commencement of the service; and
    2. Requests must be accompanied by a properly executed “Hold Harmless Agreement” (Form 18-1) where provision of the requested service necessitates the entry of a Division-owned or contracted bus onto private property.
  6. The Division designates which school the student will attend and provides transportation to the designated school as stated above.  The pick-up and unloading points are determined by the Division.
  7. In circumstances deemed appropriate to the Division and resident parent, the Division, instead of providing transportation on a regular bus route, may contract with the parent(s) or guardian(s) whereby the parent or guardian will convey the student(s) to and from a school located in another school jurisdiction, and receive payment in accordance with Alberta Education Regulations.
  8. In situations where the Division contracts with a parent to transport his/her student, the Division is not liable for negligence arising out of the student being conveyed under such an arrangement.
  9. The Division will maintain current documentation on file to support and verify Alberta Education transportation grant claims including:
    1.  Names and grades of eligible passengers.
    2.  Tuition transportation agreements.
    3.  School bus route maps.
    4.  Route distances.
    5.  Attendance areas.
    6.  Names of parents and contractors providing transportation services.
    7.  Details regarding transportation of disabled students to specialized schools or programs out-or-jurisdiction.
  10. The Division expects bus drivers and school Principals to maintain levels of student discipline on the bus consistent with the student code of conduct. From time to time, on selected routes, cameras may be used to monitor behavior on the bus, at the discretion of the Division. 
  11. The Division authorizes any teachers, parents or individuals acting in a supervisory capacity to ride a school bus operated by the Division.
  12. With the exception of those specified in Guideline 11 above and unless authorized by the Director of Transportation, adults are prohibited from being transported on jurisdiction-operated buses.
  13. If a student is enrolled in a school in a jurisdiction in which the student does not reside, the parent of the student must provide for the transportation of the student:
    1. To and from the school in which the student is enrolled; or
    2. To and from a bus route in the transportation area that serves the school in which the student is enrolled.
    3. Note:  The jurisdiction in which the student is enrolled has an obligation to transport the student between the school and a bus route in the transportation area only after the transportation needs of all resident students have been met.
  14. Resident students of the Division entitled to a special education program not available in the school in their attendance area shall be transported to and from the school that enrolls the student in that special education program.
  15. Transportation fees may be charged according to rates, which are established from time to time by the Board.
  16. Transportation fees will be refunded, only upon completion of the Bus Cancellation Form (in the Parent Portal – forms tab) and the return of the student bus pass to the Transportation Department.  Fees will only be refunded to full months remaining in the school year, not for a portion of a month.

Procedures

  1. The bus driver is responsible for maintaining acceptable level of student discipline on the bus.  Problems, which cannot be resolved by the bus driver, are to be referred to the school Principal who will evaluate the situation and initiate an appropriate response. 
  2. The Principal is responsible for informing students and parents with regard to transportation policies, guidelines and regulations. 
  3. Parents are expected to notify the Transportation Department in writing through the Parent Portal or via email when they will no longer require bus service (applies to both urban and rural) or when bus service is to resume after an extended absence (applies to rural only). 
  4. Refunds will be given to the original payee only upon return of the bus pass to the Transportation Department.  No refunds will be provided after January 31 of any given school year, when cancellation is requested while still a student in the Division.  Refunds for service cancellation will be processed when a student is leaving the Division.  If payment was received by the Transportation Department a cheque will be processed and mailed to the original payee.  
  5. Where allowed, school buses operating for the jurisdiction shall use their red and amber flashing lights and activate the stop arm at all stops involving students entering or leaving the bus except when loading or unloading where bus bays have been provided.

References:

Sections 25, 45, 51, 52, 60, 61, 113, 117 School Act

Traffic Safety Act

School Bus Operation Regulation

Student Transportation Regulation 250/98 (amended AR 197/2000)

Board Policy 12 Role of the Superintendent

Board Policy 18 Student Transportation Services

 

July 2019