• Transportation Guidelines and Procedures

    The ISD 318 Transportation Department has provided the following information to familiarize you with our district guidelines and procedures related to the bus routes and bus stops. Our primary goal is the safe transportation of students to and from school. It is also important that parents assume a scope of responsibility at the bus stop, including getting children to and from bus stops.

    Transportation Guidelines

    Bus routes shall be planned to achieve maximum safety of operation with maximum economy within the limitations of rules and regulations governing transportation. Transportation services must also be efficient and cost-effective.

    • Bus routes will not be extended or stops scheduled unless an eligible pupil (grades K-12) would otherwise be required to walk in excess of 3/4 mile. Exceptions are cul-de-sacs, non-through streets, and private property. (This provision shall be used to reduce excessive time and miles traveled whenever possible and practical).
    • In establishing bus schedules, the objective is to arrange for buses to arrive at school no later than ten (10) minutes before the scheduled beginning of classes. When taking students home our buses pick-up at multiple schools and actual departure from the last school serviced may be as much (20) minutes beyond the scheduled end of class.
    • All pertinent rules and regulations of the State of Minnesota and its agencies are followed in planning routes, determining stops, etc.

    Transportation Procedures

    Minnesota State law has a significant impact on our operating procedures. These regulations include distance requirements that are intended to assure that buses operate in a safe manner and can be easily seen by approaching motorists. The two fundamental criteria used in determining bus routes and stops are safety and efficiency of scheduling.

    Every student needing busing (new to the district, current rider with address changes, etc.) is required to submit a completed Student Busing Request Form. Either select the electronic form, fill it in and send it electronically or print out the form, complete form and mail to the Transportation Department.

    Safety of routes/stops

    1. State laws related to school bus transportation must be met.
    2. Students are not scheduled to cross main roads to reach their bus stop.
    3. For safe pick-up and drop-off, students need to have a consistent, established schedule for both AM and PM locations. Pick-up and drop-off locations may be different, but they need to be consistent and regular. For example, students with split families (2 households) can have one AM location and one PM location for each household. A daycare stop can be included in a student's regular schedule.
    4. Students will not be allowed to change routes for parties, going home with other students, meetings, appointments or any other short term event. Calls and notes regarding these changes are not accepted.
    5. Bus stops will be permanent whenever practical, allowing the public to become familiar with stop locations.
    6. District 318 transportation is available to all district students and includes YMCA Educare Program and other YMCA Afterschool Programming, Public Library, St. Joseph's School Age Care (SAC) Program, and Grand Rapids High School Afterschool Programs.

    Efficiency of Routes

    1. Roads must be at least 20 feet wide.
    2. Provide a location for change of bus direction with no backing.
    3. Have adequate shoulders to allow the bus to pull off the roadway.
    4. Be kept clear of snow, sleet, ice, vehicles, and other obstructions that would prevent safe travel of school buses.

    Transporting Instruments and other objects

    • The school bus is not to be used for transporting freight, goods, or merchandise other than which is carried on the laps of individuals passengers.
    • Music instruments have to be able to be carried in the laps of passengers.
    • Ice skates must be in a cloth bag or have skate guards.
    • Perfumed items such as hair, body sprays (including pumps and/or aerosols), fingernail polish, etc., may be carried but not used inside the bus.
    • NOT PERMITTED ON SCHOOL BUSES: animals, insects, hazardous materials (knives, guns, flammable solutions), skateboards, skis, ski poles, fishing gear, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, color guard flags, baseball bats, golf clubs, golf bags, sleds, balloons, and oversized school projects.

    Bus Stops in subdivisions and densely populated areas

    ISD 318 buses may not go into all subdivisions for student loading and unloading. If we granted all of the many requests for additional bus stops in subdivisions, it would have an enormous effect on the bus schedule and your student’s time on the bus. Therefore, additional stops are normally not provided even though the bus drives past your home.

    Parent's Responsibility

    • Parents/Guardians are responsible for selecting their children’s walking routes to and from bus stops, schools, and homes.
    • Parents/Guardians are responsible for providing supervision that is appropriate to the student’s age, maturity, and conditions that exist on the walk route.
    • Make sure you know your children’s bus number and stop location. You can review the corresponding bus number and symbol on our website.
    • Review the bus rules with your children.
    • Walk route safety concerns should be directed to the association or law enforcement agency responsible for the specific location/area.