Student Transportation Education Plan
(To Teach Students How To Ride On The Bus)
S.O.A.R. (Safely, Orderly And Respectfully) on the school bus every day!
Forsyth County Schools Transportation believes that one of our most important responsibilities is to help students learn & develop safe school bus riding behaviors. To protect the safety of each individual student on the school bus, all student bus behavior is expected to be Safe, Orderly and Respectful.
The FCS Transportation School Bus Behavior Management Plan is an extension of the FCS Code of Conduct. FCS Transportation uses a three step approach to help the school bus driver and students to achieve our goal of Safe, Orderly, and Respectful school bus behavior. These three steps are: 1) Prevention, 2) Intervention, and 3) Consequences. The first two steps (Prevention & Intervention) are the primary responsiblity of the school bus driver. The third step of the program (Consequences) is administered by the school administration with the support of FCS Transportation school bus drivers & staff.
Prevention: Prevention steps are used by the bus driver to educate the students about safe and appropriate riding behaviors, to clarify the behavior expectations for all students on the school bus, and to assist students in understanding how to successfully demonstrate safe school bus riding behaviors every day.
Intervention: Intervention steps are used by the bus driver to help the student identify and stop unsafe and/or inappropriate school bus behavior. Intervention steps will provide notification to the parent/guardian so that the parent can be involved in assisting our school bus driver to change student unsafe and/or inappropriate bus behavior.
Consequences: If prevention and intervention steps are unsuccessful at resolving student unsafe and/or inappropriate school bus behavior, then a bus discipline form will be submitted by the school bus driver to the school administration. The school administration is then responsible for applying the Code of Conduct and assigning appropriate, effective disciplinary consequences for student unsafe and/or inappropriate school bus behavior. The purpose of these disciplinary consequences is to change and improve student school bus riding behavior as may be needed to keep 100% of the students on our school buses safe 100% of the time.
PREVENTION: FCS Transportation school bus drivers are expected to clearly communicate safe riding & student behavior expectations. These expectations are based developing Safe, Orderly And Respectful school bus behavior for all students.
Knowing Students Names & Bus Stop Locations: FCS Transportation school bus drivers are expected to learn the name of each student and their bus stop locations.
Assigned Seats: Every student who rides an FCS school bus will be assigned to a seat. Assigned seating will help the bus driver with the following safety-related responsibilities:
Establishing School Bus Rules & Expectations: Throughout the school year, students will receive ongoing instruction in safe bus riding procedures and safe bus riding behavior. FCS Transportation school bus drivers will explain these expectations to students starting the first day of school and continue the teaching process throughout the year to enhance the safety of the children being transported. We encourage all parents to review these rules with their children and help instill in their children the importance of Safe, Orderly, and Respectful school bus behavior. These rules & expectation include the following:
- Ownership of property surrounding the student seating area.
- Knowing if a student is / was on board the school bus.
- Knowing who is on board for emergency purposes.
- Emergency evacuation procedures.
- Students are expected to respect & follow directions given by their school bus driver.
- Students should be at the bus stop at least five (5) minutes before the bus arrives and wait at their designated bus stop.
- Students will wait in an orderly manner and respect the property/area where the bus stop is located.
- Students will cross the roadway in front of the bus only after: (1) the bus has come to a complete stop, (2) the student has received a hand signal from the bus driver that it is safe to cross the street, and (3) the student has looked in both directions for traffic; left, right, left to be sure the road is free of traffic or other dangers.
- Students will signal the driver with a waving motion if the student has dropped something and has received a hand signal from the school bus driver that it is safe to retrieve the dropped object. Students should never, ever lose sight of the school bus driver when they are in or around the school bus or do anything that would make the school bus driver lose sight of the student.
- Students will go directly to assigned seat when entering the bus and keep both the aisles and exits clear.
- Students will remain properly seated, back against the back of the seat, bottom against the bottom of the seat (safely seated within the seating compartment) and keep hands to themselves (respectful to others and their personal space).
- Students will not eat, drink, chew gum, or bring tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or any controlled substances on the bus.
- Students will not use a cell phone/electronic device in any way while loading or unloading the school bus. Students will remove earbuds from their ears so they can both hear and see the activity around them when loading or unloading the school bus.
- Students will not talk on the phone or play audio from a cell phone/electronic device while riding on the school bus. FCS Transportation school bus drivers have full authority & discretion to direct a student to stop using, turn off, and store any cell phone or electronic device while on the school bus.
- Students will not carry animals, oversized objects (that may block aisles, seats, or impact the school bus driver's ability to safely drive the bus, observe the interior of the bus, or observe activity outside of the bus), glass objects, nuisance items, hazardous materials, or weapons onto the bus.
- Students may carry only objects that can be held in their laps/personal seating space while riding the school bus. This helps maintain an orderly environment and reduces safety issues that would occur in the event of a sudden stop or emergency evacuation.
- Students will refrain from using loud voices, profanity, and / or obscene gestures, and respect the safety of others.
- Students will not extend their head, arms, or any other objects out of the bus windows. This is critical for student safety in every circumstance. This is a non-negotiable safety requirement.
- Students will be totally silent and follow the direction(s) of the school bus driver at railroad crossings. The driver is required by Georgia law to look and listen for railroad traffic at all railroad crossings after establishing silence on the bus. This is a non-negotiable safety requirement.
- Students will stay seated in their assigned seat until time to get off the bus. The driver will signal students when it is the correct time to get up from the bus seat. Students are expected to use classroom voices until the unloading (or loading) process is complete. This increases student safety by minimizing distractions to both the school bus driver and the student(s).
- Students will help keep their bus clean and in good, safe condition.
INTERVENTION: FCS Transportation school bus drivers may use the interventions listed below to assist in keeping 100% of the students on the school bus safe 100% of the time.
Documentation: Your school bus driver is expected to maintain daily written documentation of all unsafe and/or inappropriate student behaviors in a driver daily log book.Verbal Reminder: Your school bus driver will remind the student of the bus rule(s) that are not being followed.
Any or all of the above steps may be bypassed at the discretion of the school bus driver when a student engages in behavior that is considered a major behavior offense. Major behavior offenses are actions that are illegal or judged by the driver to be so unsafe or disrespectful that immediate corrective action is required.
Student behavior and FCS Code of Conduct violations that are considered major offenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
- drug use and/or possession (includes alcohol, cigarettes, vapes/vape pens, cigarette lighters, etc.)
- throwing objects off the bus or out of the bus windows/doors
- fighting or violent behavior (pushing, shoving, etc.)
- weapons, dangerous instruments, and explosive / implosive devices
- threats/bullying (includes verbal and/or physical threats)
- sexual behavior or harassment
Such major behavior offenses and violations of the Code of Conduct will be reported in writing by the school bus driver to the school administration on a Bus Discipline Form.
CONSEQUENCES: When student behavior escalates beyond the school bus driver's control or has not improved after using the appropriate intervention steps, the bus driver will submit a Bus Discipline Form bus discipline form to the school administration. The school administration will assign appropriate disciplinary consequences based on a) the severity of the misbehavior and b) frequency of the misbehavior.
The school administration may assign consequences to account for individual circumstances in each situation. The goal of assigning disciplinary consequences is to bring about the desired Safe, Orderly, and Respectful student behavior on the school bus and the Transportation Department supports any consequence that achieves that goal.