Answer: Drivers are instructed to assign seating as needed on each bus. In general, younger (smaller) students are asked to sit toward the front of the bus and older students in the back. This allows the driver to better monitor the students as he / she drives, and provides a safer environment for the students. Assigned seats may also be based on behavior and special needs accommodations. Please be aware that we receive many requests from parents for children to ride on the "front seat"; however, the limited number of front seats means that only a few students will be assigned to them. Seating arrangements are made on the best available information about all the students on the bus. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Transportation (843-489-8892 ext 2001).
Answer: According to the department’s Regulation F, a regular route pattern is usually established by traveling along main roadways and centralized streets within a community or area. School buses are not permitted to leave the designated bus route to travel along roadways unless the student’s legal residence is greater than three-tenths of a mile from the regular route pattern (SC-59-67-420).
Answer: Based on state regulations ((SC-43-80-F), school bus stops cannot be closer than two-tenths of a mile. Additionally, the stops must be designated as safe points for drop off. If there are multiple stops closer than 2/10 mile together, stops must be combined, unless a safety hazard is present. Additionally, students may not be dropped off close to an intersection, which would constitute a safety hazard.
Answer: According to state regulations, buses are not be permitted to leave the regular route during inclement weather. In freezing weather or after heavy rains, some roads in the county are impassable due to ice, snow, mud (on dirt roads), or because of water covering the road. The district will attempt to contact parents in areas affected by severe weather. If you are aware that weather conditions have made your child's bus stop inaccessible, please contact the District Office (843-489-8892 ext 2001) immediately.
Answer: Buses need wide areas for maneuvering, clear of all hazards (limbs, posts, cars, etc.) with sufficient surfaces to support the heavy bus and a 60-ft radius for turn-about. The district must have signed release to operate on private roads. If you are the owner of a private road or long driveway and would like the Transportation Office to inspect your location for possible turnaround, please contact the District Office (843-489-8892 ext 2001).
Answer: All students are assigned to specific buses and board or exit at specifically assigned bus stops. This is primarily to protect the safety of the student, by preventing a student from going to a location his parent is not aware or does not approve of; preventing students from becoming "lost"; and preventing overcrowding on buses. As most routes in the district are run by buses filled to capacity, it is especially important that students not change buses without approval to prevent an overload of students on any one bus.
Answer: A note from home must be approved by the principal before the driver can allow a student to change buses or get off at another stop. Notes must be turned in to the office early enough in the day that the administration has time to confirm that the request is legitimate and the requested bus is not overloaded. Requests for changes late in the day may not be approved.
Answer: The district generally allows all students to ride the bus, regardless of how close the student lives to the school. Parents should note, however, that students who reside within the 1.5-mile limit of their schools are deemed “courtesy riders,” whereby such privilege is temporary and contingent upon availability of seats on the existing route. If route growth occurs outside the 1.5 mile limit, courtesy riders may lose their riding privilege.
Answer: No student is to cross any four-lane road at any time when engaged in school bus transportation services.
Answer: To protect the safety of our students, we do not allow any adult to board the bus or to carry on conversations with the driver or students during the bus route. Parents and other citizens must never interfere with the operation of or board a school bus or threaten the driver or students. The use of threatening, obscene, or profane language addressed to the driver or any passenger entering, leaving, or waiting for a bus is disorderly conduct.
Answer: If a bus breaks down or additional students have caused a bus to be overcrowded, second trips may be necessary on a temporary basis. In this event, some students may arrive at school or at home later than usual. Please be assured that the district works to keep these disruptions to a minimum.
Answer: Buses hold 45 to 68 students. Different age children can contribute to a bus feeling overcrowded (for example, 20 1st grade students will generally take up less room than 20 high school students). The student roster is monitored carefully and adjustments will be made as necessary to accommodate changes.
Answer: The funding for school buses is the responsibility of your elected state Legislature. Jasper County School District can offer services only within the limits of available resources.
Answer: According to state law, parents and guardians are responsible for the safety and conduct of their children going to and from, and while at, the bus stop. Parents are encouraged to remind their children not to cross the street until the bus arrives, the lights are flashing red, and the driver signals students to cross.
Answer: Bus routes are monitored closely, and stop times are generally very regular. However, buses can break down, resulting in irregular bus arrivals. This cannot be controlled by school district staff. Riders are instructed to be at their stop 5 to 10 minutes before the regular arrival time of their school bus.
Answer: The bus driver has limited opportunities to monitor students while driving the bus. The driver will record any discipline infractions of which he or she is aware and turn these into the appropriate principal's office. Students should report any problems of which they are aware to the school office as well, since the driver cannot observe all student interaction that happens while the bus is in motion.
Answer: Riding the bus is a privilege and not a right. Correct behavior is the responsibility of the student, not the driver. Students will be held responsible for obeying all student transportation regulations and school district conduct code. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the problems that might stem from getting in trouble on the bus.
Answer: School bus drivers are concerned about the safety and well-being of the students they transport. Most decisions are made based on the safety of the students. If a parent has a concern or complaint about a driver, he or she should contact the Office of Transportation. The matter will be addressed at the earliest possible time.
Answer: Parents will be charged should their child damage any bus equipment. Seat covers can cost as much as $50. The loss of riding privilege may remain until payment for damages are received.
Answer: While the district strives to accommodate parent requests as much as possible, parents should be aware there are some hazards and dangers that cannot be controlled by the district. The initial responsibility for community hazards, including concerns with pets and wildlife, lies with city and county government, law enforcement and parents. Please contact the appropriate law enforcement agency to control the problem if the bus stop cannot be changed to meet your request.