John Riley, Transportation Director
** WINTER WEATHER NOTE **
Please dress your children for winter weather conditions. Occasionally a bus may break down, or become stuck, at which point you will want your children dressed/prepared for colder weather.
**Important Transportation Information **
2012 - 2013
The Caro Community Schools Transportation Department continues it's assigned task of consolidating school bus stops as one measure to assist in reducing the budget deficient facing our school as the result of revenue cuts from the State, and cost increases.
Each school bus stop has a cost factor associated with it. At this time with current fuel prices, each bus stop costs approximately $.74, or about $250 each year. While this figure may seem minimal, when it is expanded to the potential number of stops that can be consolidated, the savings can add up quickly, over 21 bus routes, and a school year.
The State of Michigan in their school bus training programs has recommended no more than 4 bus stops per mile. Our school, and many others, have attempted to accommodate students and parents over the years by establishing bus stops as close to the actual home as legally possible. Unfortunately we are placed into a position that will no longer allow us to continue that type of accommodation. Some students will need to meet at a bus stop location, as opposed to their residence.
In addition, some routes will be altered to reduce mileage as much as practical as well, eliminating some areas where we travel the same roadway twice, or may require your child to meet at a bus stop at an intersection. Again, these efforts are a small part of helping to solve a large financial deficit facing Michigan Schools. We regret any inconvenience caused by these changes.
The bus routes will begin this school year (2012-2013) similar to how they ended last school year. Changes should be expected in the first few weeks of school, as route adjustments take place.
Please note that based on this need, you child’s bus stop location may change. Be sure to continue reading this web site for other potentail changes to your child's school bus transportation.
Welcome you to Caro Community Schools Transportation Department. During the first week of operation, we would like parents to be aware that bus schedules will most likely vary until students-parents and drivers have the timing of the route down.
Caro Community Schools Transportation Department currently operates 22 buses on regular morning and afternoon routes. Our drivers meet and/or exceed all state requirements for school bus drivers and have one of the most difficult jobs in our school system. Please work with them to provide an overall pleasant experience for everyone. Please read this information carefully as Board of Education Policy changed beginning the 2011-2012 school year.
a) Limitations - Each student may have on record; only one morning bus stop, only one afternoon bus stop (may be different than the morning stop), and only one emergency alternate bus stop.
Bus stop record changes;
· Must be made in writing, phone request changes will not be permitted
· Changes shall be for a minimum of three weeks
· Request for changes may not exceed four per year.
Transportation will be denied to addresses not on file. Parents in split custody situations need to designate the one morning and one afternoon bus stop; we will no longer be able to accommodate bus stops for each parent.
b) Locations - Due to several factors, bus stops will be consolidated where feasible. We are not able to provide direct door to door service for many students, who must then meet at bus stops. It is the parent’s responsibility for their child going to and from, and while waiting at the bus stops. For residents living in the City of Caro within the area bordered by: Hooper St, to Gilford Rd., to Ellington Street, to Frank Street to Columbia Street, to Green Street, to Park drive, and out to M-81, we provide only shuttle locations to assist students. Other options besides these shuttles would be, parent transport, Thumbody Express, or walking.
c) Bus Passes will be used in emergency situations for the alternate address listed on file, or students shuttling from one school to another. Students are not allowed to ride home with friends for birthday parties, sleepovers, study groups, scouting, etc., as some examples.
· Bus Route Schedules - The Board of Education has indicated it is the parents/students responsibility to be ready for the bus. Bus times may vary 5-10 minutes either way, earlier or later than normal. The responsibility of the parent and the student is to ensure the student is at the bus stopand ready for pick-up in the mornings. This means the student is to be waiting/standing out, within 10 feet, of the bus stop. Bus stops are at the curb/roadway where the student boards the bus, and not at the doorway to the residences. If the student does not ride on a daily/regular basis, you will need to call the Transportation Department on the days the student needs a morning pick-up. Please understand the best way for our buses to be on time, is for you to be on time. Dress your children appropriately for inclement weather.
· We are able to control the departure time of the bus from the school, the rest of the timing depends on parents and students. We ask that you keep in mind the following. Any additional time spent at bus stops will add time to stops further down the route. For example, even as little as an extra 30 seconds per stop adds six-minutes to the route time, twelve stops down. Many parents are not aware of how a few seconds can impact the rest of the route. I have had parents who have criticized the bus drivers because the bus was not on time; not realizing many times it is other students/parents that have caused a delay.
· Due to a frequently changing kindergarten class list, up to and including mid/late August, estimated pick-up and drop-off times will not be available until around the start of school. Any change in the class list, the adding or deleting of students, affects the timing of the bus routes.
· Meeting the Bus: An adult, or sibling (Middle or High School age or older), must meet the school bus when we drop off kindergartners. It is your responsibility to ensure you are visible to the driver. Please meet the bus and wave to the driver to ensure you can be seen. If we cannot verify someone is home, your child will be brought back to their school, and it will be your responsibility to pick them up at the school.
· Out of District Students who ride our buses, must arrange a bus stop through the Transportation Department, and must be met by an adult at the bus stop.
· Loading/Unloading - When waiting for the bus at the bus stop, choose a safe location approximately ten feet back from the bus stop/roadway. As your child enters or exits the bus, work with them to do this quickly, but not to run. We make an effort to pick-up and drop-off kindergarten students on the same side of the road; however we can not always achieve this goal.
· In case your child needs to cross the road, this is the procedure our drivers will use:
1) Loading the bus - have your child stand ten feet back from the road, when bus arrives, walk slowly to within two to three feet of the road and STOP. Wait for the driver to signal to cross the road. The driver will use one hand, and make a motion from left to right (wave) to signal it is time to cross the road. Your child should still look in both directions and if clear, walk across the road and board the bus. We encourage the parent/guardian to walk with their kindergarten student.
2) Leaving the bus - your child should walk about ten giant steps out along the roadside in front of the bus and STOP. Look at the driver and wait. When the driver has checked for traffic, they will use one hand and this time move their hand in a right to left motion (wave). At that time the child should walk to the center of the road and STOP, look for traffic, and then proceed across the road if clear. We encourage the parent/guardian to walk with their kindergarten student.
AT NO TIME WILL WE ALLOW STUDENTS TO CROSS A STATE HIGHWAY, PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR PERMISSION FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.
· Bus Rules - Please review some basic bus rules for your child to follow:
a) Use the same behavior as in the classroom.
b) Stay in your seat, facing forward, until it is your turn to exit the bus.
c) Do not move on the bus while the bus is moving.
d) Leave Others Alone – Physically (Keep your hands & feet to yourself) & Verbally (No name calling/Teasing/Saying anything mean).
e) Do not throw items on the bus, and nothing goes out the bus windows (including their body).
f) Always follow your driver’s instructions, who may assign specific bus seats, at any time.
g) Anything sent from home to school, or school to home, should remain in their backpacks until they reach their destination. Any items must remain under the student’s control at all times (on their laps or if a backpack on their person.
THANK YOU !!
"DON'T LOSE YOUR RIDING PRIVILEGE!"
Positive Behavior Support (PBS) - A school wide support program for our students!
FOLLOW THESE RULES . . .
- Observe same conduct as in the classroom.
- Be courteous, use no profane language.
- Do not eat or drink on the bus.
- Keep the bus clean.
- Cooperate with the driver. Follow their instructions.
- Do not be distracting.
- Do not be destructive.
- Stay in your seat.
- Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.
- Bus driver is authorized to assign seats.
- School rules apply to the bus.
SAFETY IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY . . .
It is necessary for parents and guardians to support school safety rules and help their youngster to abide by them, for their own safety as well as for the safety of others.
Student management on the school bus is probably the biggest problem facing school bus drivers today. As in the classroom, student management on the bus is an important issue. There are, however, some major differences. Unlike the classroom teacher, the school bus driver has her/his back to the students. Unlike the classroom teacher who has 20-30 students, the bus driver has 50-65 students.
A bus driver must control thousands of pounds of steel, glass and rubber as they drive through traffic in varying road conditions. The school bus driver is constantly aware that a single lapse in concentration could result in a serious accident and possible injury or death to students on board the bus or to persons off the bus. To avoid distractions, it is imperative that the students be in control at all times.
Please work with your child to follow a few basic rules: 1) Stay seated facing the front of the bus; 2) Do not bother others; and 3) Use classroom behavior while riding the bus.
If your child is new to riding the bus, please contact the Transportation Department for further information. Support the decision and the authority of the bus driver, as we all want a safe trip to and from school.
My - My... how times change... this Caro School Bus is from our fleet in 1946. The color of this bus was not the traditional 'yellow' but was actually Red, White & Blue. Anyone who might have information on the color sequence, please feel free to contact us at (989) 673.7718.
Gingerbread School House - the Transportation Department's entry for the Parade of Lights during Caro's Gingerbread Festival , December 2008. A special thanks to Shirley Schaefer, for her designing of the float, and the work done by Shirley, Zetta Wilson, Jared Bush, Pat Price, Sonja Rajkovic, Jackie Riley, John Riley, and the support from the Caro Bus Drivers Association. Congratulations for the 3rd Place Finish!!
Caro Community School's Transportation Departments entry into The Gingerbread Village Parade of Lights in Caro on December 8, 2007. We would like to extend thanks to those who helped with this project; Charlie Witkovsky, Shirley Schaefer, Zetta Wilson, Chuck Altizer, Sonja Rajkovic, Jared Bush, Jill Riley, Jackie Riley, and John Riley.