Student safety is a primary concern for Spokane Public Schools. One of our most important duties is to provide each student with a learning environment that is safe and secure. This includes buses and bus loading areas. SPS Transportation and Durham School Services have worked together to establish expectations for student behavior that we believe will improve the safety of all students who ride school buses.
Remember: Riding a bus to school is a privilege that can be lost if students repeatedly refuse to follow bus-riding expectations. In addition, Washington State Law, RCW. 392.145, makes certain behaviors on the school bus a crime. Student behaviors that require the driver to divert his/her attention from the road place all students’ safety at risk and will not be tolerated.
- Students and bus drivers must wear face coverings at all times while on the bus. Students who refuse to wear a mask may not be allowed to ride the bus.
- Drivers have disposable masks for students who may need one (both child and adult sizes).
- On special program buses, the driver and monitor will also wear gloves. The monitor will wear a face covering and face shield.
- Windows will remain open for increased air flow as necessary.
Buses will have assigned seats, two students per seat, one when feasible. Families may sit together.
- Do not sit in seats near the driver to maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
- Kindergarteners will sit near the front of the bus, socially distanced from driver.
- Drivers will remind students to keep face coverings on and to socially distance while exiting bus and entering school.
- Buses will be disinfected after the morning and afternoon routes are completed.
- Please remember to social distance at bus stops and keep face coverings on!
- Complete the student health check before getting on the bus to school.
Students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior while riding the bus (this includes the activity bus) and at bus stops. Bus riders are required to:
- Arrive at their assigned bus stop no more than 5 minutes prior to pick-up time, and be in a single line, ready to load the bus.
- Be respectful of people’s property. No running through yards or in the street, climbing trees, littering, yelling or screaming, etc.
- Sit in their assigned seats and remain seated.
- Follow all directions of the driver.
- Show respect for the driver and other riders.
- Not eat or drink on the bus.
- Keep all parts of their bodies inside the bus and out of the aisles.
- Speak in a “classroom” voice level, and use appropriate behavior and language.
Drivers will make every effort to work with students to remind them of appropriate conduct, review rules/expectations, create and enforce a seating chart, and change seats prior to issuing a citation.
Students who leave school grounds without permission will not be allowed back on school property to ride the bus.
There will be five progressive steps for citations written by drivers, bus-loading supervisors, school district resource officers or Transportation staff:
- Warning with no bus suspension, parent contact from school, letter sent home with copy of citation and rules
- Loss of riding privileges for 1 school day; meeting with student, parents, transportation
- Loss of riding privileges for 3-5 school days
- Loss of privileges for up to 20 school days
- Loss of privileges for the remainder of the school year.
Any behavior that is determined to be exceptionally dangerous, defiant, or disrespectful may result in immediate loss of riding privileges for a time to be determined by the Transportation department. Students can receive citations and/or be suspended from the bus for behaviors at the bus stop or while waiting at school for the bus.
When suspended from riding the bus, students are suspended from all school buses, including activity buses. Parents have the right to appeal any loss of privileges to the Transportation department.
The final decision regarding bus privileges resides with the director of Transportation. Principals or a designee must have approval for alternative bus discipline from the director of Transportation.