"We Love and Grow Our Students!"
School bus transportation is a shared responsibility of the State Department of Education (SDE) and School District Five. This shared responsibility provides a transportation system that is safe, economical and efficient.
The South Carolina Department of Education role in school bus transportation is:
- Controls and manages all school bus transportation
- May adopt such rules and regulations necessary to carry out the duty of control
- Purchases buses and assigns the number of buses to districts
- Maintains and services school buses
- Approves bus routes
To this regard, the SDE has established the following laws relating to student transportation:
- Students who live within 1.5 miles of their school are not eligible for school bus transportation.
- The distance is normally measured from where the driveway enters a public access road to where the student lives to the entry point of the school.
- School bus stops cannot be placed closer together than .2 of a mile together.
- School bus stop cannot be added unless a student lives further than .3 of a mile from an existing stop.
- Bus stops should be made where there is an unobstructed view for at least 600 feet in either direction.
During severe weather, the driver may stop at the safest point nearest the home of each passenger on the route as long as they have a least 600 feet of visibility in both directions. However, the bus cannot leave the regular route.
Students attending a school by school of choice program are not eligible for school bus transportation. Students attending programs outside their school attendance zone are not authorized transportation.
Parents are responsible for the conduct and safety of their student(s) from their home to the bus stop and while they are at the bus stop until the bus arrives in the morning and after the bus departs in the afternoon.
School District Five school buses are equipped with video cameras. Parents are not allowed to review or receive a copy of these tapes due to privacy policies. Bus drivers cannot authorize the review of any tape.
School buses cannot be delayed during the route for the parents to talk to the driver. South Carolina law Section 59-67-245 states that "No person shall willfully and wrongfully interfere with the operation of a school bus, either public or private, by boarding, restricting movement or using threats, either physical or verbal, to the driver or any passenger while the bus is engaged in the transportation of pupils to and from school or any lawful school activity or while passengers are entering or leaving the bus nor shall any person willfully fail or refuse to obey a lawful order of a school bus driver relating to the occupancy of a school bus. The use of threatening, obscene or profane language addressed to the driver or any passenger entering, leaving or waiting for a school bus is disorderly conduct and any person convicted for the use of such language shall be punished as provided in Section 16-17-530. Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted to infringe upon the power and duties of duly constituted authorities."
Students riding a school bus home after school must move quickly to the bus after school is dismissed. At the appropriate time (within 5-7 minutes from dismissal) the buses will begin to depart.
Once the door is closed no additional students will be allowed to board the bus. The driver has already begun their safety procedures to move the bus and with the buses parked so close together, it would be very unsafe to stop the buses for any student. Students who miss the bus must report to the school administrator in the bus loading area. They will be instructed to contact an authorized individual who can take them home. Buses will not return to the schools to pick-up students who miss the bus.
When a student’s conduct creates an unsafe condition, the bus driver is required to stop the bus in a safe location or return the bus to the school to restore order. Students may be assigned consequences by the Transportation Office for misbehavior in accordance with School District Five's Student Behavior Code.
Students may use cell phones or computers while on the school bus. However, any use that distracts or disturbs the bus driver or the may cause bodily harm to students the bus driver will direct the student to place in the pocket or bookbag and follow-up with Transportation Supervisor.
Students must be quiet when the bus stops at any railroad crossings in order to allow the bus driver to complete their required safety sensitive requirements.
Pens, pencils and other sharp objects must be stored inside book bags or carrying case to prevent injuries.
Students may not transport any item on a school bus that cannot be safely secured in the student’s lap. This includes band instruments, lunch boxes, science projects, sports equipment and fund-raising items. All items brought on the bus must be secured in the student’s lap between their knees (under 3 feet) for the duration of the trip. No item may be placed in the aisles, under a seat, in another seat or on the engine compartment cover. A book bag with handles that extend must have the handle fully retracted. Students may not sit on any item nor place any item behind them in the seat.
Students interfering with the operation of the bus by pulling the emergency exits, windows or roof hatches or who open doors or attempt to open doors are subject to the Student Behavior Code and S.C. State law.
Students are required to be at their assigned bus stop 5 minutes before and remain at the stop for 5 minutes after the assigned stop time. This allows for delays of the bus due to traffic, weather, etc..
ACTIVITY PROGRAM (Field Trips)
All rules for the safe operation of a school bus and student behavior apply equally to the Activity Buses. Students suspended from a school bus are also suspended from riding any Activity Bus for the length of the suspension.