C3: Transportation

  • Policy Code: C3

    First Reading: November 6, 2018
    Second Reading: November 27, 2018
    Adopted:   December 18, 2018 

    This policy will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

    arrow Related: See Procedure C3: Transportation



    Resident Students

    Where it is reasonable and necessary to enable a student entitled or required to attend an elementary or a secondary school within the Essex Westford Educational Community Unified Union School District (EWSD), the School District will furnish transportation to and from school on public roads to students, particularly our youngest and most vulnerable, who do not reside within the designated walking zones. Except where mandated by federal and state law, the provision of transportation is a privilege and it is not required or mandated for most students.

    Transportation to and from school will be provided for students receiving services under an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan for the student when such transportation is necessary to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

    Non-resident Students

    The administration will develop tuitioned student transportation procedures establishing the circumstances in which non-residents may be transported.

    The Center for Technology, Essex (CTE) may provide transportation to its students. The Superintendent or their designee will develop procedures for CTE transportation in consultation with the CTE Director.

    Extracurricular Activities Transportation

    The EWSD is also committed to providing full or partial transportation for approved field trips and for approved extracurricular activities, such as athletic events, as availability and budget constraints allow.

    Supporting School Access and the Wellbeing of Our Community

    The EWSD is committed to access to education for its students. Safe travel to and from school is an integral part of that access. Where possible, the district wishes to encourage wellness for students, staff, and the community by supporting safe pedestrian and bicycle travel and public transit utilization.

    The district will advocate for improved safety of travel conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the district.

    Standards of conduct and disciplinary consequences for students are the same during travel to and from school via the district’s transportation system as they are during the school day, as detailed in Policy C20: Student Conduct and Discipline and the student handbook. Violation of these rules may result in the student’s loss of transportation privileges.

    Administrative Responsibilities

    The Superintendent or their designee will:

    1. Establish walking zones to school for each grade level, designating a distance that students will be expected to walk, subject to safe travel conditions.

    2. Provide crossing guards as deemed necessary.

    3. Determine projected bus ridership for portions of the district outside the walking zones for each school on an annual basis.

    4. Identify stops and routes after considering both the safety of children and the efficiency of operation. Upon establishing which riders can be served safely with public transportation and with congregated bus stops, they will establish maximum walking distances to the public transit routes and to the district congregated stops.

    Following consultation with any district vendors and service providers involved in the district’s transportation system, the Superintendent or designee will consider the following factors (non-exclusive list, in no particular order) when establishing routes and stops:

    ●     Age and maturity of students transported.

    ●     Presence or absence of sidewalks or paths off the highway.

    ●     Width, condition, and class of highways, including curves, hills, intersections, turnarounds, and seasonal road conditions.

    ●     Density and speed of traffic.

    ●     Proximity of dwellings, factories, or industrial areas.

    ●     Ability of any congregated stop location to safely accommodate the assigned students.

    ●     Health or physical impairment of students being transported.

    ●     Distance traveled on a single route, and the length of time spent on a bus by any given student going to or returning from school.

    The Superintendent or designee may consider other factors they deem appropriate when establishing routes and designated stops.

    5. Prepare bus schedules indicating time and designated bus routes for the entire district annually and provide them to families in August. The Board empowers the Superintendent or her/his designee to make changes to any bus route at any time in order to meet current needs. Such changes, however, require notification to the parents/guardians of affected students. Every effort will be made to notify at least three days before any change takes effect.

    6. Develop procedures identifying and prioritizing how services may be modified and/or reduced if resources (e.g., drivers or buses) are insufficient to provide the intended level of transportation services.

    7. Submit to the School Board for approval any contracts, leases, or purchases over $15,000 necessary to maintain and operate transportation equipment.

    8. Include in his or her annual report to the board information as to all pupils transported by the school district and the expense thereof.

    9. Provide an annual report to the board as to the performance of the transportation system.

    Legal References:

    ●        16 V.S.A. §§1222, 1224 (Student transportation)

    ●        16 V.S.A. § 11 (a)(32)(C)

    ●        16 V.S.A. § 1162 (a)

    ●        16 V.S.A. §1551.