Transportation Guidelines

2017 / 2018 Transportation Guidelines

Becker Pubic Schools (ISD726) is committed to providing safe and efficient school bus transportation to its students. We have a long tradition of providing this service safely to all students that are eligible under Minnesota State laws, rules and regulations. The State of Minnesota currently requires transportation services for students who reside more than 2 miles from school.  Becker Schools generally provides transportation to students in grades K-5 who live more than a half-mile from the school and students in grades 6-12 more than 1 mile from the school.  The following will outline the services we provide and explain how we comply with laws and rules that pertain to school bus transportation.

Goal                                                                                             

The mission at Becker Public Schools is preparing self–directed learners to thrive in a changing global community.  Our Goal is to provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation to students within the constraints of a limited and regulated budget, so when students arrive at the school they are ready to learn.

Walk Area

Traffic hazard factors and distance are the two primary criteria used to establish the Non-Transported areas. The distance in the Non-Transported areas are determined by measuring the most direct route, from the roadway opposite the private residence of the student to the nearest driveway of the school. The distance shall be measured on a public street or highway.  Maps of the specific walk areas for Becker Public Schools can be found on the Transportation web site; there are separate maps for K-5th Grade and 6-12th Grade.

Bus Stops

Our intent is to consistently identify bus stops in neighborhoods on the consideration of safety, efficiency, cost, and shortest over-all ride times.  Bus stops are central to where all of the students are coming from.  Some house stops are made on very busy roads.  We generally do not send buses into cul de sacs or dead end roads because of lack of safe access or the ability of the bus to turn around safely.  By law, school buses must also have at least 100 - 300 feet between stops (determined by a road’s speed limit).  Increasing the frequency of school bus stops increases the dangers for an accident because of impatient motorists.  Additional stops also lengthen student ride time to and from school.

Bus Stop Change Request

The school district’s transportation department is the only authority that can make changes to bus routes and stops.  School bus drivers do not have the authority to make changes to routes or student pickup / drop off locations.  If you believe your bus stop is unsafe and /or does not fit the bus stop criteria set forth by the district or MN State Laws, please fill out a “Special Form” listed on the Transportation website.

 

How to look up Student Bus information

Parents will need to log into E-Link to look up each student’s bus information when notified before the school year (bus information will no longer be visual in Skyward).  The E-Link database will give parents and students live bus information directly from the Transportations Department.  E-link directions are located on the Transportation website.

 

Bus Stop Criteria

1.    School buses will use the eight-light system and stop arm at all stops in the School District unless the exception is made in policy or the stop is documented with an explanation. In order to properly operate the eight-light system, all bus stops need to be made within MN State Law.

  1. Buses serving students with disabilities may stop while using their 4-way hazard lights only at house stops where it takes an extended period of time to load/unload the student. . At these stops the bus will pull over to the curb at the driveway and student will not be allowed to cross the roadway. Buses will not go into the student’s driveway, unless prior approval has been given due to the hazard of backing out. The bus horn will not be used to announce arrival.
  2. Buses will not generally travel down cul-de-sacs unless the vehicle is picking up handicapped children. Backing a school bus is a dangerous maneuver. A full-sized bus needs 115 feet to safely turn and most cul-de-sacs are only 90 feet wide.
  3. Unless prior approval has been given and transportation has approved, no school bus will travel on private roads.
  4. Bus stops should be located with a minimal clear visibility for 500 feet in both directions. Stops in a residential area where the speed limit is less than 35 mph or less may not be located within 100 feet of each other.
  5. Stops in or out of residential areas where the speed limit is 35 mph or greater may not be located within 300 feet of each other.
  6. School Buses may load/unload in right-turn lanes only if pre-approval has been given. Eight-way lights will not be used and students must not cross the road in front of the school bus in these situations.
  7. There is not a fixed number of students that warrant adding or moving a stop. All public bus stops are determined on an individual basis.

9.    Visibility from the home/daycare to the bus stop is not part of the criteria for establishing bus stops. 

10. The bus driving by a home or daycare does not warrant adding or changing a stop. The higher frequency of stops can make the motoring public "impatient’ and cause drivers to drive around the bus causing greater safety concern than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also delays the bus, making the overall student time on the bus longer.

Bus Routes

Bus routes are arranged according to geographic area, route flow, student population and bus capacity.  Public bus stops are assigned from 1-2 blocks of a student’s home whenever possible.  State guidelines recommend that no student ride the bus more than 1 hour each way every day. The bus routes are evaluated every year and may change based on the above criteria. 

Bus Ridership Information

Students must notify the District Transportation if transportation will not be used for a period of time.  Students must be at a bus stop before the school bus arrives at the student’s bus stop, this has a direct impact to the length of each student’s ride.  Animal pictures will be placed on the side of the bus near the bus number to help identify each route.  At the discretion of the bus driver, students may be assigned seats at any time. Students will be expected to abide by all the school bus safety rules, which are posted in every bus. Students in grades K-12 must also attend school bus safety training within the first 6 weeks of school every year. This is scheduled during the school day. The results of this training must be reported to the State of Minnesota.

Non-Public Students

Minnesota Statute 123.79 requires the school district to provide equal services to nonpublic students in the Becker School District geographic boundary.

Student Transportation Request Information

Transportation Requests needs to be filled out (for New Student, Daycare change, Change of Address / Phone and Parent chooses to Self-transport).  The Transportation Requests can be found on the Becker ISD 726 Website, under Departments, Transportation and click on the Transportation Request tab.  Please note there are two different types of requests; School Readiness and K-12.

  1. Bus stop options are limited to one am pick up and one pm drop off (explained in #2 &#3).
  2. AM bus options are home, daycare or no bus (only one can be chosen).
  3. Pm bus options are home, daycare or no bus (only one can be chosen).
  4. Students are required to get on and off the bus at their assigned stops only.
  5. Drivers cannot manage your child / children’s day to day calendars if there are specific days they need to stay at school or go to Camp Opportunity, The parent needs to communicate this information directly to your Child’s Administrative Office.
  6. It is imperative that the parent/guardian provide the Transportation Department with the daycare information by June 20th of each year for the upcoming school year. This allows the department to establish routes more accurately with head counts and route flow.
  7. Once transportation request form is received to the Transportation Department it may take 3 days to process because of the timing of routes and possible overload issues.

Parent and Student Safety Information

Parents Information tab on the Transportation website lists safety items such as seat belt laws, child safety seats, school bus stop arms and teen age driver training tools to help out overall safety of the public.  Also under this tab is a list of all emails sent out to parents so you have each of these to review.

 

Other Information

Parents can opt out for Transportation by simply filling out a request form and selecting no bus for all days.


Contact Information

Director of Transportation:  Tom Risley

Email:  trisley@isd726.org

Dispatch:  Jody Brings

Email:  jbrings@isd726.org

Phone:  (763) 261-4588