Bus Behavior and Discipline

This letter was sent home with all bus riders on Friday, March 6, 2009.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of some new guidelines that will be put into effect immediately to address bus behavior issues. Providing safe transportation to and from school is a priority. The bus driver cannot do this alone. They need our support and, more importantly, the cooperation of the students.

Today all drivers discussed the following three important rules with the students riding their bus.

  • All students will SIT on their assigned seat until the bus comes to a complete stop at which time they can stand to get off at their assigned stop. No changing assigned seats unless determined by the driver or principal.
  • All students will use a quiet voice when speaking to those around them. No screaming or yelling will be tolerated.
  • All students will respect others by keeping their hands and feet to themselves. They will also speak in a respectful, appropriate manner to others. Inappropriate language or topics for discussion will not be tolerated.

These rules are not new but unfortunately we have many students who are choosing to disregard the rules, making the bus ride unpleasant for others. Despite constant reminders by the bus drivers and myself, as well as me riding the bus on several occasions, the overall behavior of the students has not improved. For this reason a strict disciplinary plan will be implemented.

We will now be using a “Three Strikes, You’re Off” system to address students who disregard the bus rules. Be aware that the following disciplinary steps will now be taken when bus issues are brought to my attention.

First strike:

  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the day.
  • The student will write a note home to their parents.
  • This note will need to be signed and returned the following school day.

Students may not regain their recess until the signed note is received by the office.

Second strike:

  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the week.
  • The student will write a note home to their parents.
  • This note will need to be signed and returned the following school day.

Students may not regain their recess until the signed note is received by the office.

  • In addition, the student’s seat will be moved to allow for closer supervision by the bus driver.

Third strike, you’re “OFF”:

  • Parent(s) will receive a phone call from the principal.
  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the week.
  • The student will lose their bus privileges for a period of time to be decided by the principal. Parents will need to provide transportation for their child during this time period.

We appreciate your support by talking with your child about the importance of following the three rules listed on the front of this letter. Riding the school bus is a privilege that can be revoked. I do not wish to take such action but, in the case of continued disregard for rules, I will not hesitate to do so.

I am looking forward to hearing positive things from our bus drivers, students, and parents about the behavior on the school bus. It our goal to improve bus behavior to ensure the bus ride is both a pleasant and safe experience for all students. Let’s work together to make this happen!

Sincerely,

John A. Matusek, Jr.

Principal

Other important reminders:

  • As per the elementary handbook sent home at the beginning of the school year, NO electronic devices should be brought to school. If a student is carrying a cell phone, as per their parent’s request, this should remain in their book bag at all times and should not be taken out for any reason on the bus or at school. Students may also turn their phones in to the school office for the day.
  • All school supplies should remain in the book bag while riding on the bus. The only item that is permitted to be out is a book to read. Small items such as pencils, erasers, paperclips… pose a safety hazard in a moving vehicle.
  • If a student is bringing a project or playground ball to school that does not fit in their book bag, it should be carried in a separate bag.
  • I have advised all bus drivers to refrain from playing music on their bus.
  • All kindergarten students must have an adult waiting at their bus stop to greet them. Drivers are not permitted to let kindergarten students off the bus without seeing a responsible adult ready to receive them. This policy does not apply to students in grades 1-6.
  • Please make sure you are reading teacher newsletters, checking the school calendar or website for early dismissal days. We do an excellent job of keeping you informed by sending home notices so please take the time to read these.
  • Breakfast is served in the school cafeteria on a daily basis. Bus drivers will dismiss those students who would like to eat breakfast upon their arrival to school. NO BREAKFAST IS SERVED WHEN WE HAVE A SNOW DELAY.

Students receiving strikes will be bringing the following note home.  This note should be signed and returned the following school day.

Three Strikes Bus Discipline Report

Date:_________________________ Bus: _____________________

Dear______________________________________________________,

Today my bus behavior was reported to the office. I was not following this important bus rule:

_______ All students will SIT on their assigned seat until the bus comes to a complete stop at which time they can stand to get off at their assigned stop. No changing assigned seats unless determined by the driver or principal.

______ All students will use a quiet voice when speaking to those around them. No screaming or yelling will be tolerated.

______ All students will respect others by keeping their hands and feet to themselves. They will also speak in a respectful, appropriate manner to others. Inappropriate language or topics for discussion will not be tolerated.

To follow this rule I should have been:

We are using a ‘Three Strikes’ system for bus behavior. Please be informed that I received my:

_____First strike:

  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the day.
  • The student will write a note home to their parents.
  • This note will need to be signed and returned the following school day.

Students may not regain their recess until the signed note is received by the office.

_____Second strike:

  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the week.
  • The student will write a note home to their parents.
  • This note will need to be signed and returned the following school day.

Students may not regain their recess until the signed note is received by the office.

  • In addition, the student’s seat will be moved to allow for closer supervision by the bus driver.

_____Third strike, you’re “OFF”:

  • Parent(s) will receive a phone call from the principal.
  • The student will lose their recess privileges for the week.

The student will lose their bus privileges for a period of time to be decided by the principal. Parents will need to provide transportation for their child during this time period.

Student Signature:______________________________________________________

Parent Signature:_______________________________________________________