WASHOE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BUS RULES AND REGULATIONS
Bus Safety Equipment:
- Washoe County School District uses audio-video cameras on all District operated school buses for the purpose of reducing discipline problems and thus providing a safer environment for the transportation of students. Camera recordings may be used to identify and determine discipline levels for unsafe or inappropriate behavior.
- Video and audio surveillance is always in operation on every school bus.
- The driver has no control over its operation. To be eligible to ride a Washoe County School District General Education School Bus, an elementary student MUST reside one and a quarter miles or more from school. A middle school student MUST reside two and a quarter miles or more from school. A high school student MUST reside three miles or more from school.
Requesting alternate drop off within the student’s school zone: Special permission to ride a different zoned bus or exit at another existing zoned bus stop may be granted if the room is available on the zoned bus for a day. A parent or guardian must send a written note to the school with their student. The note must include the date, assigned student bus stop, requested bus stop, contact number, and the reason for the request. If riding home with another student, please include the name of the other student. The school office needs to approve and sign the note to be presented to the driver. Written parental/legal guardian permission is required for students to request long-term or permanent changes to be dropped off or picked up at an existing zoned bus stop that is not the student’s neighborhood zoned stop. This needs to be approved and signed off by the school office and the Transportation Department in writing.
Parents/Guardians: Remember that the bus is an extension of the classroom. Behaviors and property not allowed in the classroom are not allowed on the bus. Please take a few minutes and review the rules below with your student. These rules apply to all bus routes, field trips, and athletic or school-sponsored events. Our responsibility is the safe transportation of your students in our care. Bus routes and bus stops will be limited to state and county maintained roads and city streets. At the beginning of the school year, students will be given a Transportation Information Form that must be filled out and returned back to the driver the next day. This applies to all new riders throughout the year.
Passenger Conduct: Riding a school bus is a privilege. Students are expected to follow bus rules and driver directions. Rules for bus riders help ensure that every student has a safe ride to and from school. Proper and appropriate behavior keeps our buses safe. Following the Bus Safety Rules and Regulations will ensure safety, prompt arrivals and departures of buses, and positive attitudes on the part of the students on the bus. The bus driver has the authority to assign seats if needed to keep a safe environment. Failure to comply can result in a loss of riding privileges.
If you have any questions about the rules below or actions on a bus, please call the Transportation Department at 775-337-7769.
On the way to the bus stop: Parents are responsible for their student's route to the bus stop. Bus passengers should arrive at the bus stop five (5) minutes prior to the scheduled stop time. The bus will not wait. At the school, the bus will depart seven (7) minutes after the bell rings for school dismissal. Students are to be on the bus and seated within that seven (7) minutes. Again, the bus will not wait past the seven (7) minutes. The rules and regulations listed below also apply to student conduct at all bus stops.
General Bus Rules:
- Students are to know and follow all Bus Safety Guidelines.
- Students transported on a district bus are under the direction of the bus driver. The driver has the authority of a classroom teacher on the bus. Students must listen to the driver and follow the driver’s directions.
- Students who refuse to obey the directions of the bus driver promptly or refuse to obey regulations may forfeit their privilege to ride the bus.
- Always be respectful and cooperate with all bus drivers including substitutes.
- Students are to conduct themselves on the bus in such a way that will not distract the driver. Distracting the driver puts everyone on the bus at risk.
- Outside of ordinary conversation in a normal tone, classroom conduct is to be observed when on the bus. The driver has the authority to prohibit any conversation if it is distracting the driver from operating the bus safely. Students shall be courteous to the driver, students, staff, and community members.
- Respect others by keeping your hands to yourself.
- Pupils may be assigned seats by the bus driver for safety or student management issues.
- If the bus driver asks a student to sit in a particular seat, the student should follow that request.
- Do not take photos or videos of students or the driver without their permission.
- Participate in all bus evacuation procedures.
- Be aware that other students, the bus driver, or other District staff may have allergies to scents such as perfume, etc.
- Unless being used for acceptable educational or entertainment purposes with a headset or on silent mode, all personal electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
- If you are using a cell phone, use it appropriately and with the permission of the driver so that, it does not create a disturbance for the driver or other students.
- Do not abuse or deface the bus or bus equipment. Parents/Guardians will be held liable for any damages.
- Students shall not interfere with any of the school bus operating controls except in an emergency or as instructed by the driver. This shall include the service door, which could deactivate the school bus safety warning system and the emergency exits that set off alarms. Emergency exits include doors, windows, roof hatches, etc.
- Students are not to touch the emergency equipment on the bus. This includes body fluid/first aid kits, two-way radios, etc., except as directed by the driver or during an actual emergency. Have student school identification ready to show the driver when boarding the bus or at any time the driver asks for identification.
- Sit in only one seat; do not save seats for others.
- If there is a seat belt, keep it fastened.
- Help keep the bus clean by using the trashcans provided or by taking your trash with you.
- Keep the aisles of the bus clear of backpacks, band instruments, litter, etc.
- Keep cases, band instruments, and other belongings under control at all times.
- You must get off at your assigned stop unless written permission is granted from parent or guardian and school officials.
- Students must ride their assigned bus to and from their assigned stop. Switching buses for any reason is strictly prohibited unless approved by School Officials and the Transportation Department.
Behavior Rules on the Bus:
- Bullying, fighting, wrestling, boisterous activity, vulgar or foul language or gestures, and inappropriate written material or activity is prohibited in any school bus or district vehicle. (Bullying and Cyber Bullying is Prohibited in Public Schools and on School Buses - NRS 388.134).
- Students are not to use abusive language or profanity, obscene or rude gestures or spit while on the bus.
- Students shall not possess or use tobacco, pipes, vapes, or electronic cigarettes in any form.
- Narcotics, drugs, or alcohol possession or use of said items on the bus is prohibited. Students shall not possess or use drug paraphernalia in any form on the bus.
- Students shall not light any type of combustibles on the bus.
- Students are not to throw objects of any kind either inside the bus, out of the bus, or around the bus.
- Students must remain out of the driver’s seat area and refrain from unnecessary conversation with the driver while the bus is in motion.
Safety Rules at the Stops:
- Walk to and from the bus stop. Never run to or from the bus. Be safe.
- Behavior at the bus stop must be orderly. Practice safe, appropriate behavior at bus stops.
- Be respectful of the neighbor's property at the stop and going to and from the stop. Be respectful of other students' property while at the stop.
- Never crawl under or pick up anything around the bus.
- Stand to the side of the road, at least ten (10) feet from the road, when waiting for the bus.
- If on a sidewalk, stand back from the curb a safe distance and keep your hands and feet to yourself.
- When waiting at a bus stop, wait in a line that starts well back from the curb.
- Do not push or shove in line at the bus stop. Be respectful of one another.
- When it is necessary to cross the road, students shall cross in front of the bus only when the driver makes eye contact with them and instructs or motions them to cross in front of the bus. Students should always cross at least ten (10) giant steps in front of the bus.
- If crossing the street to board the bus, students MUST look both left and right for cars, make sure the RED lights are flashing on the bus.
- Before boarding and after exiting the bus, students must keep a safe distance from the bus. Keep at least 10 feet away from the bus in clear view of the driver.
- Students are not to leave the bus without the driver’s permission, except on arrival at their assigned bus stop or at school.
- Students should remain in line and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the door opens before moving toward it.
- Do not run up to the bus after the doors have closed.
- If crossing the street at an intersection, cross with the green light and WALK signal
Safety Rules on the Bus:
- Assigned seating is used on Elementary and Middle School buses for safety identification in an emergency as well as for student management.
- Stay seated until the bus door is completely open.
- Enter or exit the bus one person at a time. Use the handrail. Walk; do not run up the steps.
- Students are to enter the bus promptly, immediately take their seats and stay seated.
- Students must remain properly seated at all times (Back to Back; Bottom to Bottom; Bookbag on the lap).
- Students MUST sit in their seats, not stand or get up on their knees when the bus is moving.
- Students are not allowed to walk on the bus while the bus is in motion.
- The bus windows should not be opened without permission from the driver.
- Students shall not extend any part of their body (including hands, arms, legs, or head) through the bus windows, hatches, or doors at any time. Be safe.
- Students shall keep the bus clean and shall refrain from causing damage to the bus. Parents/Guardians will be held accountable for any damage caused by their student.
- Students shall not eat (this includes chewing gum) or drink on the bus. *Bottled water is allowed. This rule protects students or drivers that have food allergies and prevents choking.
- There will be absolute quiet at all railroad crossings so the driver can listen for oncoming trains.
Items Not Allowed on the Bus:
- Illegal or prohibited items. These include tobacco, alcohol, drugs, drug paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes, vapes, etc. Fireworks, knives, martial arts weapons, batons, explosives, guns, mace, harmful chemicals, Tasers, and/or any other instruments which can cause injury or property damage are not allowed on a district bus. Lookalike instruments/weapons are treated as real articles.
- The following items are not allowed on a district bus: balloons, glass containers or objects, aerosol cans, fishing poles, snowboards, hockey sticks, unicycles, vaulting poles, golf clubs, skis, or shovels. Large school projects and craft projects must be in a bag or box.
- Students may NOT bring large musical instruments onto the bus. Review Musical Instrument Guidelines on the Transportation webpage menu.
- Animals including reptiles, insects, spiders, rodents, and other animals except for service animals cannot be transported on the bus.
- Any item used in an unsafe manner may be confiscated and the student must bring a parent/legal guardian to the School Office to retrieve the item(s).
- Do not bring anything onto the bus that could affect the safety of other bus riders. This includes laser pens, breakable containers of any type, straps or pins sticking out from clothing, anything flammable, etc.
- Any object that cannot be safely controlled by the student in the seat or upright on the floor between their knees. The bus driver has the authority to make the final decision if the object can be on the bus or not.
- Items that cannot be safely transported on a pupil's lap, stowed in an empty seat, or directly under the seat, are prohibited.
- Items not allowed at school are not allowed on the bus. See the Student Handbook.
- All sports equipment (e.g. balls, bats, skateboards, roller blades) must be fully enclosed in a backpack, bag or box.