In the state of Nebraska, bus transportation is a privilege, not a right. School districts do not have to provide bus service to families, so we are fortunate to have a district that offers this increasingly expensive service.
The only students allowed to be transported by bus are students who live in the Lake Minatare School attendance center. This includes those students living in the former Highland and Lake Alice attendance areas as those schools are now part of the Lake Minatare School. Students who are in-district transfers (i.e.: live near Longfellow but are attending Lake Minatare through parental choice) or option transfers (i.e.: live in Gering but are attending Lake Minatare through parental choice) are not permitted to use the bus.
The primary concern of this service is the safe pickup, delivery and dropoff of ALL bus riding students. Because our bus route area is 160 square miles of country roads the routes are long in distance and time. This adds an additional challenge to the safety issue. We rely on parent support in helping us train our students to be well mannered on the bus and to find ways to appropriately occupy their time (reading would be a good choice). Some buses have the ability to use VHS recording equipment which allows student behavior to be reviewed after a route.
We maintain bus lists for each driver's route so that at the time of loading and departure (roughly 3:35) the list has notes as to children Not Riding that day due to absence or other circumstances which have been called into our office (Cheryl) or sent in by written note (which we prefer). If the driver finds a discrepancy on the list once students have boarded, the driver calls in to the office by cell phone and the problem is solved before the bus leaves. These issues (i.e: parent picked up their child without telling us) take time and make for a longer route for everyone. We count on parent cooperation in keeping us informed as to transportation changes. We really want to know how each child is getting home and who they are with (driver, parent, other parent-designated adult).
There are three strikes and you're off (for one day up to an entire year)
- Verbal warning from the driver
- Courtesy slip from the driver (copies to parent, central office, principal) requiring parent signature. This slip states the behaviors that earned the slip. If the slip is not returned, SIGNED, the next day, parents are called.
- Final discipline slip stating the behaviors and the consequences (time off the bus)
- We do talk to children about bus behavior and encourage appropriate use of bus time. Positive bus behavior is on our Behavior Chart which is posted in each classroom and throughout the halls in the building.
- We are always open to all suggestions for bus safety.