Policy 7500, Transportation of Students
The Board of Trustees (“Board”), while acknowledging that providing transportation to and from school is a service to students, is committed to establishing a safe, responsive, and accountable system of student transportation, done in partnership with parents/guardians and students. This policy shall delineate the services provided by the Washoe County School District (“District”) and provide guidance to students and their families regarding their obligations as safe riders of school transportation. Through this policy and any associated administrative regulations, the practices of the District shall be established and communicated to staff, students and their families, and the community.
1. Governing Principles
a. Through the oversight of the Board, the District has established operational expectations and eligibility criteria for its student transportation services. The objective of providing transportation shall be an effort to equalize the educational opportunities of all school-age children.
b. ll transportation policies and procedures of the District shall be subject to state and federal laws and regulations, to include the regulations of the Nevada Department of Education. The District is authorized by the laws of the State of Nevada to provide safe and efficient transportation to eligible students residing within Washoe County. However, providing student transportation for general education students is not required under state law.
c. The District shall meet or exceed the safety standards for school buses established by state and federal laws and regulations.
d. Transportation of students shall be provided without regard to gender, race, religion, socio-economic status, disability, or any other distinguishing or protected characteristic in a consistent and equitable manner and in accordance with Board Policy 9200, Harassment and Discrimination Prohibited, and applicable administrative regulations and procedures.
2. Governing Practices
a. Transportation To and From School
i. The District may provide transportation for students to and from school when it is clearly indicated that such transportation is necessary due to educational objectives, distance, or safety. Student transportation to and from school may be provided in the form of District-owned vehicles, a cash subsidy, contracted services, or subsistence allowance for residing near a public school.
ii. The Superintendent or designee shall allocate and assign to the schools the number of school buses sufficient to transport all eligible students to the respective schools.
iii. Transportation vehicles owned by the District will be assigned to routes and schedules in such a manner as to accomplish the most efficient use of resources and available seating capacity. Schedules for students being transported shall be determined in light of the educational programs of the individual schools.
iv. Students eligible for transportation to standard education programs are resident District students who are attending their zoned schools of attendance. Students eligible for standard education transportation may be provided round-trip transportation between District-designated stops and their assigned campuses.
v. Students eligible for transportation to special education programs are resident District students with disabilities, impairments, or both who are eligible for special education services and/or Section 504 Rehabilitation Act services and who would be unable to attend school and benefit from their special education programs of instruction without the availability of specialized transportation.
b. Transportation To and From District-Sponsored Activities/Events
i. Transportation by school buses; District-owned, leased or rented vehicles; or private vehicles may be provided for appropriate co-curricular activities, extra-curricular activities, and other educational experiences. Refer to Administrative Manual 5310, Student Travel – Field and Activity Trips – Procedures Manual, for additional information.
c. Transportation vehicles owned by the District may be assigned to other transportation uses by the District when not conflicting with regular schedules to and from schools.
d. Transportation service or assistance may be denied to students failing to observe established standards of conduct on school buses. The District’s progressive discipline plan is articulated through Administrative Manual 5115, Student Behavior – Administrative Procedures, which includes the District’s student behavior matrix.
e. No person except students, school employees, and other persons authorized in writing by the District may ride a school bus on a regular route or school-sponsored activity.
f. Safety Standards
i. The District shall conduct periodic, not less than twice annually, emergency evacuation training sessions for students and teachers concerning procedures for evacuating a school bus during an emergency.
ii. Bus operators are responsible, under the authority delegated to them by the school principal, for enforcing all regulations necessary to maintain discipline of transported students.
iii. The Board of Trustees authorizes the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) monitoring on school buses under its control. Each school bus in the District will be provided with a GPS system that shall record whenever the bus is in operation. GPS systems are in use on school buses to promote safety, provide logistics data, and to confirm bus location at all times.
iv. The Board of Trustees authorizes the use of cameras on school buses under its control. Each school bus shall be equipped with a video and audio camera that shall record whenever the bus is in operation. Every person on the bus will be subject to video and audio surveillance. Each bus will contain a sign clearly stating that the bus has a video-audio surveillance system.
g. The Superintendent shall create any regulations or procedures necessary to implement and maintain the standards expressed in this policy. This may include, but is not limited to:
i. The distance to and from a school from which transportation may be provided to students of a particular elementary, middle, or high school;
ii. Any rules applicable to student behavior and potential consequences while using transportation provided by the District; and,
iii. The responsibilities of administrators, bus drivers, and other staff, as well as trip volunteers/chaperones, related to student transportation.
1. “Bus” means a motor vehicle used to transport persons and designed to accommodate more than ten persons, including the driver.
2. “Passenger car” refers to a motor vehicle, other than a motor-cycle, used to transport persons and designed to accommodate ten or fewer passengers.
3. “Passenger van” means a motor vehicle, other than a motor-cycle or passenger car, used to transport persons and designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.
4. “School activity bus” means a bus designed to accommodate more than 15 passengers, including the operator, that is owned, operated, rented, or leased by the District and is used to transport public school students on a school-related activity trip, other than on routes to and from school. The term does not include a chartered bus, a bus operated by a mass transit authority, or a school bus.
5. “School bus” means a motor vehicle that was manufactured in compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards for school buses in effect on the date of manufacture and that is used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary students to and from school or on a school-related activity trip other than on routes to and from school. The term does not include a school-chartered bus or a bus operated by a mass transit authority.
6. “Motor bus” means a vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver.
1. Through this policy, the Board and Superintendent seek to ensure:
a. The procedures related to the provision of student transportation within the District are clearly defined and provided to students and their families;
b. Students and their families understand that the provision of student transportation to general education students within the District is a privilege, not a right; and
c. A safe, efficient, innovative, and professional system to transport students to and from schools and district sponsored activities.
IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES & ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS
1. This policy reflects the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan and aligns/complies with the governing documents of the District:
b. Board Policy 7505, Use of District-Owned Vehicles, and its associated administrative regulation
2. This policy complies with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC), to include:
a. Chapter 386, Local Administrative Organization, and specifically:
i. NRS 386.790 – 386.845, Transportation
b. Chapter 392, Pupils, and specifically:
i. NRS 392.4636, School transportation policy.
3. This policy complies with federal laws and regulations, to include:
a. U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines related to school buses
b. Federal Transit Administration
c. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
REVIEW AND REPORTING
1. This document shall be reviewed as part of the bi-annual review and reporting process, following each regular session of the Nevada Legislature. The Board of Trustees shall receive notification of any required changes to the policy as well as an audit of the accompanying governing documents.
2. Administrative regulations, and/or other associated documents, will be developed as necessary to implement this policy.
Revised: January 15, 2019