Bus Safety and Rules

Safety is the primary concern in transporting students. Safety on school buses is the shared responsibility of students, parents, school staff, bus contractors and bus drivers.

Parents and guardians should read and explain these rules to their children. We ask your cooperation in helping us provide a safe and pleasant ride for all students by impressing upon your child(ren) the importance of bus safety and courtesy at the bus stop and on the bus.

Rules on the Bus for a safe and pleasant drive

1. Immediately follow directions of driver.
2. Sit in your seat facing forward.
3. Talk quietly and use appropriate language.
4. Keep all parts of your body inside the bus.
5. Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.
6. No fighting, harassing, intimidating or horseplay.
7. Do not throw any object.
8. No eating, drinking, or use of tobacco.
9. Do not damage the school bus.


Breaking the Rules

1. Driver will warn student.
2. Driver may assign a seat to student
3. Report will be filed with the Transportation Office and the school.

A report is filed immediately for any act that is dangerous or destructive.

Rules at the Bus Stop

1. Get to your stop 5 to 10 minutes before scheduled pick up time.
2. Respect property of others while waiting at your stop.
3. Stay away from the street while waiting for the bus.
4. If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Wait for the driver to signal to you before crossing the street.

Getting on the Bus

1. Stand several feet back from where the bus will stop.
2. Line up and wait your turn. Wait for the bus to stop before moving forward to board it. Pushing and shoving causes accidents.
3. Use the handrail while boarding the bus.
4. Take a seat quickly, filling seats in the back first. Delays in getting seated cause buses to be late.
5. Do not save seats for friends.
6. On many buses, students must sit three to a seat. Move over so each student can be seated.

Riding the Bus

1. Small radios or tape players may be carried and used on the bus only if you use headphones.
2. Do not open windows without asking the driver’s permission.
3. Do not bring large musical instruments (tuba, baritone, string bass and cello) and other items you cannot hold on your lap.
4. No animals are allowed on buses, except service animals used by students with disabilities.
5. In cases of emergency, follow the driver’s instructions.
6. Drivers will pick up and drop off students only at designated bus stops.

Leaving the Bus

1. Leave the bus in an orderly manner. Move quickly, but do not push and shove.
2. Use the hand rail when getting off the bus.
3. After getting off the bus, move away from the bus.
4. Absolutely no “skitching” - holding onto the back of the bus while it is moving on snowy and icy roads. Skitching is dangerous and ILLEGAL.

Change of Address

If you move during the school year, please complete a Change of Address Form at your earliest opportunity. It will take three to five working days to change your child’s routing. Early notification will prevent interrupted bus service.

Bus Assignment

Allowing children to ride buses they are not assigned to may cause overcrowding on those buses, preventing the students assigned to them from having a safe and comfortable ride. Consistency of routes is also very important for safety. Therefore, students must ride only the buses to which they are assigned. In order to be fair and consistent, this policy applies to all students. Students will not be allowed to ride with friends for any reason. 

Temporary Transportation

Temporary transportation is available if the parent/guardian is going to be out of town i.e. family emergency and can be accommodated by an existing route. A Temporary Care Request Form (available in the Transportation Office) must be completed at least three days prior to departure.

Route Timing

When school opens in the fall, inconsistencies in route timings are often experienced. Fortunately, the weather during that time of the year is usually quite pleasant and we appreciate your patience as the drivers get familiar with their routes and riders. As the year progresses, the times should be more consistent, but it is still a good idea to be at the bus stop no more than 5 to 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick-up time. The weather, traffic, and students not riding can affect the timing.

Bus Stops

Bus stops are determined by need and location of bus riders and may change from year to year. Students must use the stop assigned unless another stop is approved by the Transportation staff. It is not unusual for students to walk several blocks to an assigned bus stop. Bus drivers are not required to stop if there are no students waiting, so it is important for students to be at the stop a few minutes before bus time, waiting to board the bus.

Medical Conditions

If your student has a medical condition that could result in a medical emergency while being transported, such as; seizures, diabetes, asthma, and/or a life threatening allergy, please obtain and complete the Transportation/Health Form at your child’s school before the first day of school.


Students in grades K-5 who live more than 1.25 miles, grades 6-8 who live more than 1.5 miles and grades 9-12 who live more than 2 miles from school are bused at district expense. If a student is in child care, the district will bus from the child care address if it meets the criteria listed below.

Child Care

Transportation can be provided to and/or from child care if the following circumstances exist:

  • The child care is in the attendance area of the school your child attends.
  • The child care address is more than 1.25 miles from the school.
  • Child Care Request form is completed in its entirety and signed by both parent and child care giver.
  • The child care, in cases of kindergarten students, has the same AM/PM assignment.
  • Requests for transportation from child care must be made every school year using the form available in the Transportation Office } Room 122, Edison Building, 615 7th Street SW, Rochester, MN. 

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, some route adjustments may be necessary. On occasion, the driver may have to make spontaneous decisions based on localized conditions. Announcements regarding school closing/late starts will be broadcast on area television and radio stations. 

Discipline Procedures
If a student does not follow the rules on the bus, the driver will try to resolve the problem as explained in the “Rules on the Bus” section. If the driver cannot obtain cooperation from the student, he/she will file a discipline report with the Transportation Office of the School District. Telephone conversations and/or written notification will be made to student, principal and parent/guardian concerning all reports. Video/Audio Cameras will be used as a tool for improved safety and student management.