The Buena Vista City Public Schools operates a system of public free transportation for the pupils in the city in accordance with applicable provisions of the Virginia Motor Vehicle Code, Regulations of the State Board of Education, state law and federal and state regulations of the school board.
The superintendent shall promulgate such rules and regulations that are necessary to ensure a safe and efficient system of public transportation.
Director of Transportation
The director of transportation shall be appointed by the school board on recommendation of the superintendent.
The director of transportation shall be responsible to the superintendent and the principals for the operation of the transportation program. The director of transportation shall be responsible for the supervision of the bus drivers, routing, scheduling drivers and vehicles for field trips, maintenance of vehicles, safety of the children, school bus emergency drills, training for bus operators, required state and local records and reports, implementation of local and state regulations, and other such duties as may be assigned by the superintendent.
The transportation mechanic is a full-time position appointed by the superintendent on the recommendation of the director of transportation subject to review by the school board.
The transportation mechanic is responsible to the director of transportation. It is his duty to keep all school vehicles in the highest possible state of maintenance for the safe transportation of pupils and staff. He shall perform such other duties as assigned by the director of transportation or the superintendent.
The transportation secretary is a part-time position appointed by the superintendent in cooperation with the director of transportation subject to review by the school board. The transportation secretary is responsible to the director of transportation. The duties of the secretary are to keep all of the required transportation records and correspondence under the direction and supervision of the transportation director and the superintendent.
Qualifications and Health Examination of School Bus Drivers
Bus drivers shall be employed by the school board on the recommendation of the superintendent I cooperation with the director of transportation.
No person shall drive a school bus for the Buena Vista School Board until compliance with the provisions of the State Board of Education, state law, and federal regulations have been made.
The qualifications for a school bus driver in Buena Vista shall be as follows:
1. Annual physical examination including drug and alcohol testing as required by the U.S. Dept of Transportation.
2. Disclosure of driving record from the Division of Motor Vehicles
3. Reference from two reputable citizens
4. School bus driver’s license
5. Must be at least 18 years old
6. Secure and file the above documents in the school board office with the superintendent
Drug/Alcohol Drug Regulations – Refer to Policy GDQ
Communication – Chain of Command
Bus drivers are responsible, through the director of transportation to the superintendent and to the school board. School board members and the superintendent will not interfere with the bus drivers except through the above channel in reverse.
Any complaint from a patron against an individual bus driver shall first be directed to the bus driver against whom the complaint is being made. In order to air the complaint, the complainant should arrange a conference with the bus driver through the director of transportation or the principal of the student’s assigned school. If, after such a conference, the complainant feels the complainant is still unsatisfied, a conference with the superintendent may be requested and as final recourse the school board may be consulted.
Any complaint against school transportation policy or personnel by a bus driver that is general in nature shall be directed to the director of transportation, principal, or to the superintendent. Personnel problems should be resolved by the administrators. Policy matters are subject to review by the school board.
Bus Driver Performance Evaluations
Bus drivers will be evaluated by the director of transportation and this evaluation will in turn be presented to the superintendent and be subject to review by the school board. Written evaluation of each bus driver’s performance is required by the director of transportation on or before March 1st of each year.
Individual performance evaluation conferences will be held between the bus driver and director of transportation with a written copy to the bus driver and the superintendent. The evaluated bus driver may attach a written statement to the evaluation explaining his/her side of the evaluation and/or appear before the superintendent in case of a question concerning the evaluation.
If any bus driver’s performance conference identifies problem areas of deficiencies given a reasonable time and the deficiencies are not corrected probation of dismissal should ensue.
Driver Responsibility and Conduct
The bus driver shall be in charge of the bus while transporting pupils and shall be responsible to the director of transportation and/or the superintendent.
Regular bus driver shall be appointed by the school board on recommendation of the superintendent in cooperation with the director of transportation.
Written contracts approved by the school board for regular drivers shall be on file in the school board office. The contracts shall be approved annually by the school board on forms prescribed by the state superintendent of public instruction.
The drivers shall be responsible for notifying the transportation director of all anticipated absences, the safe operation of the bus, safety and discipline of the children, reporting needed vehicle maintenance, security of the bus while on field trips, daily bus inspection, following the prescribed routes, completing the required local and state reports, implementation of local and state regulations, fulfilling the requirement of the contract, attending driver training classes, and other such duties as may be assigned by the director of transportation and/or the superintendent. Drivers shall not allow sexually suggested, obscene and/or profane musical lyrics to be played on the buses.
Bus drivers may be dismissed or placed on probation by the director of transportation and/or the superintendent subject to review by the school board for violations of safety, violations of the Motor Vehicle Code, failure to maintain discipline, failure to report needed maintenance, failure to perform daily bus inspection, failure to secure bus while on field trips, failure to follow prescribed routes, failure to file local and state reports, failure to implement local and state law, failure to fulfill the contract requirements, failure to attend driver training classes for use of alcohol or illegal drugs (any substance abuse), failure to notify the transportation director of an anticipated absence, or for other good and just cause.
Request for Release
Transportation employees who desire to be released from their contract should submit a letter of resignation with reasons to their immediate supervisor and/or the superintendent two weeks in advance of the expected termination date.
Each vehicle used in transporting pupils and personnel shall be covered by insurance that equals or exceeds the requirements of the state law.
Emergency Procedures in Cases of Bus/Vehicle Break Down or Accident
1. Remain with bus
2. Secure replacement vehicle/bus
3. Notify the director of transportation and principal or superintendent
4. Dismiss students only to authorized persons
5. Have police investigate in case of an accident
The principal shall designate a school board employee to be responsible for the supervision of students on all school sponsored field trips.
Field Trip Approval Procedure
When a field trip is planned, the teacher in charge must obtain the approval of the principal who in turn must secure permission from the superintendent. The principal shall be responsible for coordinating transportation approvals with the director of transportation.