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Forms & Guidelines

Transportation Guidelines

Transportation Department Information

The Westlake City School District Transportation Department transports more than 1,500 students to 30 different locations throughout Westlake and surrounding communities.

The Westlake City School District fleet consists of 55 buses and 8 vans. These vehicles are used to transport students to and from school as well as to extra-curricular activities, sporting events and educational outings.

The Transportation Department strives to improve the overall daily operations including communication to all parents, staff and community members.

Our district offers a quality transportation program for its students. This service is a privilege. In order to maintain the safety and quality of our program, we encourage the support and cooperation of our students and parents.

Students are the vital assets of our school system. It is the responsibility of the entire Transportation Department to ensure the safety and well being of all students.

Transportation Services Policy

1. Students in Kindergarten through 8th grade are eligible for transportation if they reside more than one mile from their school.

2. The criteria for establishing bus stops for eligible students are:

a. Grades K-4 - will not walk more than .25 miles from their home to the stop and stops will be established at street corners and mid-blocks taking into consideration the conditions specified in #4 below. Kindergarten students may be picked up or dropped off at the home address where practical during midday hours. Kindergarten children are assigned to group stops in the morning and afternoon.

b. Grades 5-8 - will not walk more than .3 miles to a bus stop and corner and mid block stops will be established taking into consideration the conditions specified in #4 below.

3. Distance shall be calculated in accordance with ODE Administrative Code 3301-83-01(G1a) - "Measurement of distance originates at a point on the traveled portion of the roadway nearest the primary entrance to the place of residence and then along the most direct route traversable, excluding interstate routes by motor vehicle, to the school bus loading area nearest and opposite the entrance door used by pupils transported."

4. Exceptions to the established walk limits to a stop may be made for the following reasons:

a. where, in the judgment of the Superintendent or designee, conditions for those students who normally walk include but are not limited to:

1. lack of sidewalks

2. lack of traffic control devices/crossing guards

3. traffic flow

4. road or residential/commercial construction

5. a cul-de-sac turn-around does not meet the turning radius of a 78 passenger school bus

b. where necessity dictates the reassignment of students to another building.

5. To provide timely transportation for students to and from school with the goal of students arriving 15 minutes before school begins (not to exceed 45 minutes before) and to transport students from school within 15 minutes of dismissal (not to exceed 30 minutes waiting for a bus after school), Students should not be on the bus for more than 50 minutes within the city of Westlake.

6. Buses transporting students will pick up and discharge students only at their assigned bus stop as determined by the Transportation Department and approved by the Board of Education. Drivers do not have the authority to change bus stops.

7. When necessary, students may be required to provide identification as a prerequisite to riding a school bus.

Space Available Guidelines

Space available is applicable when a student lives within the walk distance and does not qualify for transportation service. The student may be assigned, and walks to an established bus stop, if there is sufficient room available for all eligible students. Additional bus stops will NOT be created if space available is granted. Determination for space availability will not be made until Sept. 15, or when the routes have stabilized. Space available forms are available online at wlake.org.

Custodial/Day Care Guidelines

The district provides transportation either to home or a child care provider within the attendance area of the school attended. Providing transportation within the attendance area enables the district to make efficient use of buses.

The transportation department will provide transportation to child care providers or centers as follows:

Bassett Elementary School attendance area – to Kindercare

Dover Elementary School attendance area – to Goddard School and Wise Lil Learners

Hilliard Elementary School attendance area – to Westlake Montessori

Holly Lane Elementary School attendance area – to Le Chaperone Rouge

Dover Intermediate School attendance area - All daycares except Le Chaperone Rouge

If your child is at a day care provider located at a residence, please contact the Transportation Department at (440) 835-6313.

Transportation will be provided to accommodate those resident students who are under the care of a child care provider or day care center at a location other than the student’s residence before and/or after school under the following circumstances:

a. A custodial care form is filed with the Transportation Department a minimum of 5 working days before the required service. For service to start during the first three weeks of school, the completed form must be received by the Transportation Department prior to July 21st.

b. The service must be for 5 days per week. Service is for the entire school year or until permanently changed in writing.

c. The location of the child care provider to or from which the student is to be transported must be located in an area designated by the Board as eligible for bus transportation to the school of attendance. Should a student be placed at a building other than their home school of attendance by district initiative, transportation will be provided to/from the school of attendance or home school area. Students in grades 5-12 and all non-public student attendance areas are defined as the entire city of Westlake.

d. The provision of transportation for such students must not cause the District to incur any additional costs or require the establishment of new bus routes and such transportation shall be provided only if there is sufficient space for students on the appropriate bus after space has been made available for all other students qualified for transportation.

School Closings

During the winter months, the Westlake City School District will remain open unless severe weather conditions prevail. To find out whether the Westlake Schools will be closed, please listen to radio stations and local TV stations. Should Westlake City Schools be closed, transportation will NOT be provided to non-public schools served by our Transportation Department.

Student Rules

Student transportation policies have been developed cooperatively by administrators and transportation personnel. Policies are designed to ensure the safety and welfare of all school bus passengers. Set forth below is the Westlake City School District’s Bus Behavior Code (as cited by Ohio Revised Code 3301-83-08). Students must:

1. Be standing at their DPS (Designated Place of Safety) 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

2. Leave or board the bus at locations to which they have been assigned.

3. Behave at the school bus stop in a manner which does not threaten life, limb or property of any individual.

4. Go directly to an available or assigned seat so the bus may safely resume motion.

5. Remain seated, keeping aisles and exits clear.

6. Observe classroom conduct and obey the driver promptly and respectfully.

7. Not use profane language.

8. Refrain from eating and drinking on the bus except as required for documented medical reasons.

9. Not use tobacco on the bus.

10. Not have alcohol or drugs in their possession on the bus except for prescription medication required for a student.

11. Not throw or pass objects on, from or into the bus.

12. Not carry any objects on the bus that cannot be held in their laps.

13. Not use cell phones on school buses.

14. Not put head or arms out of the bus windows.

15. Not cross the street to enter or exit a bus until the driver motions you to do so.

16. Be absolutely silent at railroad crossings and whenever the driver tells you it is necessary.

17. Ohio law forbids animals, glass, or liquids on school buses. (Ohio Revised code 4511.76)

18. Drivers and bus aides must have access to appropriate information about the child to the degree that such information might affect safe transportation and medical well being. This information must be readily accessible in the transportation office. All information is strictly confidential.

Parent Responsibilities

1. Parents are responsible for reviewing transportation guidelines with their children.

2. A Parent/Guardian must be visibly present when a Kindergarten or Special Needs child is being dropped off.

3. The safety and discipline of students as they go to and from the bus stop is the parents’ responsibility.

4. Parents are financially responsible for any damage done by their children to a bus or to property at a bus stop.

5. Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Our buses operate on a schedule that does not allow us to wait for tardy students. If your child’s bus is more than 15 minutes late, call the Transportation Department at 835-6313.

6. Your child may not ride any bus other than their assigned bus, nor may they board or leave their assigned bus at any location other than their assigned stop.

7. School district responsibility for students begins when the school bus arrives to pick up students and ends when students depart from the bus. Student problems enroute to the bus stop or while waiting for the bus is the responsibility of the parent.

8. Please do not discuss transportation issues or problems with bus drivers who are completing a route. Concerns or problems are to be directed to the Transportation Director (835-6313).

Discipline

Safety is the first priority of the Westlake City School District. Appropriate bus conduct is necessary to insure the safety of students and the driver. Continued inappropriate behavior will result in suspension and/or expulsion from the bus. In the event of suspension or expulsion, due process will be followed.

Discipline Procedure

First Violation – verbally warned by the driver.

Second Violation – written report is sent to the school principal.

Third Violation – written report will be submitted to the principal. The principal may hold a conference with the driver, the student and /or parent(s). The principal may suspend transportation privileges for a designated period.

Continued Violations will result in the repetition of the third violation.

Suspension Sequence

1. First Suspension – three days

2. Second Suspension – five days

3. Third Suspension – ten days

4. Fourth Suspension – removal from the bus for the remainder of the school year.

5. Severe Incident – A Severe Incident, defined as an incident that endangers or causes injury to a student or staff member, may result in immediate suspension from the bus.