Chapter 8

  • TRANSPORTATION

    GENERAL OVERVIEW

    Your child is entitled to bus transportation at no charge if you are a resident of District 15 and live 1½ or more miles from the District-assigned school he or she will attend, or in an area declared to be hazardous as determined by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

    All bus assignments, as well as routes and stops, are determined by the Transportation Department. Parents whose children ride school buses are asked to be sure the information on the bus assignment is accurate. If the information is not correct, please call the school office.

    NOTE: Snow, ice, and extremely cold temperatures may affect bus pick-up and/or drop-off times, occasionally causing buses to run late.

    PAID TRANSPORTATION

    The Board of Education makes transportation available to other areas on a paid basis and accepts riders to the extent that transportation services are available and are approved on a case-by-case basis by transportation. No stops will be made less than one-half mile from the school building.

    Transportation fees for pay riders for the 2018-19 school year are:

    On or before August 1, 2018*     After August 1, 2018

    One child .......................................$370 .....................................$420
    Two children ...................................$470 .....................................$520
    Three or more children ..................$520 .....................................$570

    *Families new to the District after the beginning of the school year will pay a pro-rated amount dependent on the date of registration.

    Payment in full must accompany the application for paid transportation. Unless you are new to the District or are leaving the District, the annual transportation fee cannot be pro-rated, waived, or refunded. Applications for paid transportation are available at all schools or on the District website at www.ccsd15.net | Departments | Transportation Services. Questions should be directed to Transportation Services at 847-963-3900.

    BUS RULES AND SAFETY GUIDELINES

    Please encourage your child(ren) to wear their seat belt while riding the bus.

    School District 15 Transportation Department will not release kindergarten or younger students without a parent meeting the bus, unless the school has a letter from the parent authorizing the driver to release students to another adult. If a kindergarten or younger student is not met at the bus stop by the parent or if there is not a letter indicating otherwise, transportation will try to contact the house before leaving the bus stop. It is important that the school office has your current phone numbers. If there is no response, transportation will then bring the student back to school for pickup.

    • All students who ride buses must follow the District’s School Bus Safety Guidelines:
    • Students are to board and depart the bus at their assigned stop only. Students are not permitted to ride another student’s bus.
    • Student walkers may not ride the buses.
    • Students should be at the bus stop 5 minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the bus. At the end of the school day, students are to go quickly to their bus’ designated area and wait in an orderly fashion for the bus to arrive.
    • While waiting for the bus, students are not to stand or play on the road or street. After exiting the bus, students who must cross the road must do so 10 feet in front of the bus and only when the stop arm is out and the flashers are operating, and must follow instructions from the bus driver.
    • Students are to remain seated throughout the entire bus ride.
    • Windows are not to be lowered below the safety mark. Students’ heads, hands, arms, and feet, and all objects must be kept inside the bus.
    • Loud conversation, profane language, throwing objects, and discourteous actions toward the bus driver or other passengers will not be tolerated.
    • Students are responsible for any damage to the bus.
    • Glass containers, live animals, and large objects may not be carried on the bus.

    Students who display inappropriate behavior will have their transportation privileges taken away. Gross disobedience or misconduct providing grounds for suspension from riding the school bus includes:

    • Prohibited student conduct as defined in the Student Behavior Policy;
    • Willful injury or threat of injury to a bus driver or to another rider;
    • Willful damage and/or defacement of the bus;
    • Repeated use of profanity;
    • Repeated willful disobedience of the bus driver’s directives; or
    • Such other behavior as the administration deems to threaten the safe operation of the bus and/or its occupants.

    To enhance bus safety, video cameras are installed on all District buses to assist the driver in monitoring student behavior. Students who display inappropriate behavior will be subject to consequences, which may include but are not limited to loss of bus riding privileges, detention, and/or suspension.

    VERSATRANS MY STOP™ GPS PARENT PORTAL PROGRAM

    District 15 offers the Versatrans My Stop GPS Parent Portal program, providing parents with online access to a wide range of information regarding the transportation services that the District provides their children, via web browser (desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) or through an app available for both Apple and Android devices.

    Access to My Stop is available to District 15 parents at no cost. My Stop allows parents to see an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for the bus arriving at their child’s specific bus stop. The ETA is updated frequently and My Stop will also inform parents if the bus is running late based on the pick-up and drop-off times. Use of the app version of My Stop also includes push notifications where District 15 may communicate other alerts to parents including manual and automatic notification of late buses, school closings/delays, or other pertinent messages. These can be targeted to a specific group or broadcast to all users by District 15, resulting in more relevant notifications to parents.

    To access My Stop, parents can download the app for free through the Apple or Android marketplaces. Login credentials are the same as with Versatrans e-Link. No other app-specific account creation is required. Further instructions on accessing My Stop and other frequently asked questions, including the URL for the browser-based version (without push notifications), can be found at: www.ccsd15.net | Departments | Transportation Services | My Stop.

    TRANSPORTATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Q: Can my child get off at a stop other than their assigned home bus stop?

    A: No. A driver is only permitted to drop students off at the designated stop indicated on their route sheet. Student school bus rosters need to remain consistent for the safety of all.

    Q: My child is staying over at a friend’s house. Can they ride their friend’s bus?

    A: No. A driver is only permitted to drop students off at the designated stop indicated on their route sheet. Student school bus rosters need to remain consistent for the safety of all.

    Q: Why are students asked to arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus pickup time?

    A: We ask students to arrive at their assigned bus stop at least five minutes prior to pick up time so that they are ready and waiting for the bus to arrive. This helps to ensure a faster loading time. It also ensures that they are there in case the time on their clock or watch differs slightly from the time for the driver.

    Q: My child’s bus frequently arrives later than the scheduled pickup time. What causes the delays?

    A: Bus routes are planned to run on a fairly set schedule. Sometimes there could be traffic delays for various reasons. Sometimes children are not ready and waiting at earlier bus stops, which can cause the bus to run behind schedule on all future stops. This is another reason why we ask all children to be ready and waiting at their bus stops so we can minimize delays.

    Q: The bus didn’t show up on time for my child. How long should he/she wait at the stop?

    A: Your child should arrive at the stop at least five minutes before the regular arrival time of the bus. If there is a substitute driver, the times may not be absolutely consistent with the regular times. If the bus is late, ask your child to remain at the stop. Buses can break down, roads can be blocked, a driver may be ill or have emergencies, etc. which may result in a late bus. If the wait becomes extreme (approximately 20 minutes), please call the Transportation Office at 847-963-3909/3912.

    Q: My child’s bus arrives later/earlier than I want. Can the time be changed?

    A: All District 15 buses operate on a comprehensive schedule, completing two or three routes in the morning and again in the afternoon. This helps to ensure that the system operates safely and efficiently, while working to deliver students to school on time. Because of the number students needing transportation, and to ensure effective scheduling, the overall bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate an individual request.

    Q: My child missed the bus. Can the bus come back to the bus stop?

    A: Buses cannot return for students who missed the bus. Please be sure your child arrives at the designated bus stop at least five minutes ahead of schedule.

    Q: My child missed the bus at school this afternoon. Can the bus come back?

    A: At most schools, the drivers receive a signal from school staff when they can depart after a sufficient time has been allowed for students to exit the school to board the buses. Sometimes students are held up at school for unforeseen reasons and miss their school bus. Once buses depart the school, if the Transportation Department is notified that a child is left behind, every effort will be made to return for the student. However, if the bus is no longer in the proximity of the school the driver will not be able to return until the entire route has been completed.

    Q: I can’t see my child’s bus stop from my house. How can I get the bus stop moved closer?

    A: Bus stops are placed at centralized locations that can be safely accessed by a significant number of students to minimize the time length and mileage of the run. If you have concerns about your child’s safety you are encouraged to accompany your child to the bus stop or arrange a neighborhood buddy to walk with your child.

    Q: The bus drives right past my house. Why can’t it stop at my house?

    A: Bus stops are placed to allow the buses easy access and egress through neighborhoods while keeping safety a priority. Bus stops are designed so that no child has to walk more than an average of two tenth of a mile (2 blocks). In addition, adding bus stops causes further delays on our bus routes and extends the student’s ride time. This means that bus routes would have to start earlier in the morning to arrive to school on time. Similarly, in the afternoon it would mean students arrive home later.

    Q: Does the driver have the right to assign seats on the bus?

    A: The bus driver may assign seats as he/she feels necessary to maintain order and safety on the bus.

    Q: To who should I speak to about problems that occurred on my child’s bus?

    A: If there is an issue or a concern on the bus or with a bus driver, route, or general questions, please call the Transportation Department Office at 847-963-3900.

    Q: Another child is harassing or bullying my child while they are on the bus. What should I do?

    A: Community Consolidated School District 15 has a policy that specifically prohibits bullying at school, during school events, field trips, and on a school bus. The bus driver’s main focus must be on operating the school bus safely. As a result, the majority of the driver’s attention is focused on the road and traffic conditions, so he/she may not see or hear inappropriate behavior among the students on the bus when it occurs. Students who engage in bullying or harassing behaviors are subject to disciplinary action. Please report any problems to your child’s school or the Transportation Department at 847-963-3900 so appropriate steps may be taken.

    Q: Are there consequences if a student misbehaves on the bus?

    A: Yes. Bus drivers report problems to the student’s school. Administrators investigate and follow progressive disciplinary action as needed.

    Q: The bus driver disciplined my child on the bus today. Does the driver have the right to this?

    A: The school bus driver is responsible for the safe operation of the bus. He/she should receive the same level of respect afforded to a classroom teacher, assistant, or other school employee. When necessary, drivers may correct a student. In most cases, that resolves the problem. If the misconduct continues, the driver may complete a conduct report to notify the school of the event for further review, if appropriate, disciplinary action.

    Q: What is a student conduct report?

    A: A student conduct report is completed by the bus driver or bus aide and used to report a student who violated the safety rules on the bus that may cause harm to the student, to another student, or the public. This includes actions that distract the bus driver’s attention from the roadway. If the student conduct report is completed for a student, the school staff members will contact the student’s family if they need to speak to the parent or guardian as part of the disciplinary steps taken to resolve the problem.

    Q: Can a family member or other adult board a school bus at the bus stop or at school?

    A: No. It is illegal for any unauthorized individual to stop or board a school bus. Please do not attempt to board a school bus along the route or at school. The safety of the children is always our priority.

    Q: Can students bring large musical instruments with them on the bus?

    A: Musical instruments are permitted on the school bus as long as the student can carry the instrument or object on and off the bus by him/herself. They must be placed in the lap or stored between the student’s legs and the barrier in the front of the student. Instruments or large objects cannot block the aisle. Large instruments such as drum kits, cellos, and basses are too large to be transported on school buses safely. In an accident, these items can easily become a projectile object and can injure a student. If you are unsure, please check with your child’s school before bringing a large musical instrument or object to the bus stop.

    Q: How do I locate a lost item on a school bus?

    A: If a driver finds an item on the bus, he/she will hold it until the following day. The student may ask the driver if his/her item was found on the bus. If it remains unclaimed, the driver will bring the item to the Transportation Office. If you contact the Transportation Office, please provide us with a full description of the item. Often drivers are not able to inspect buses while they are on the road and will check for lost items at their next assignment. Because electronic devices such as cell phones, tables, iPods, and games are very popular, the recovery rate is very low. We recommend that students store all personal items in a secure place such as their backpack while traveling to and from school.

    For additional assistance, please contact Judith Bramer, Assistant Director of Transportation, 847-963-3904; Tom Bramley, Director of Transportation, 847-963-3905; or Mike Adamczyk, Chief School Business Official, 847-963-3032.

    To find out your child’s student identification number, please contact your school. For questions regarding the Versatrans My Stop GPS Parent Portal program, contact Transportation at 847-963-3900.