Seattle Public Schools


Transportation Information

The following information provides information regarding transportation for students who are utilizing district provided Transportation. These should be reviewed by families with their students so that they are aware of the responsibilities of the parent(s)/guardian(s), the responsibilities of the drivers, the rules for riding the bus, and the Bus Incident and Student Progress Report.

  1. Student Pick-Up
    • Students with specialized transportation as a required service in their IEP will be picked up according to what is specified in their IEP (curb-to-curb, closest corner, etc). This is normally curb-to-curb. In a situation where it is not possible to access the address (dead-end street, wrong side on a one way street, inaccessible area), the closest alternative will be used. Yellow bus drivers will not be placed in a situation that requires the bus to back up.
      • Known absences due to vacation or illness should be reported to the transportation department to avoid service disruptions. Service will be temporarily discontinued if a student fails to show for three (3) days in a row. Service can be reinstated by contacting the transportation department.
    • Students receiving general education service will generally be picked up at an intersection at a neighborhood stop that serves multiple students in the area. Stops can be up to a mile from the student’s service area, but are usually much less.
    • The parent/guardian is responsible for helping their child to and from the bus/bus stop.
    • Students should be ready five (5) minutes before their scheduled pick-up time and watching for the bus. The driver is not able to return to pick up students who were not ready.
  2. Student Drop-Off
    • Students with specialized transportation in grades Pre-K and Kindergarten are required to have a responsible person receive them at their bus stop
    • Students with specialized transportation in grades 1-12 are required to have a responsible person receive them at their bus stop unless they return a Release of Responsibility form, allowing for them to get off the bus without someone to meet them.
    • Students on general education service are not required to be met and will be able to get off the bus without someone to meet them.
  3. Changes to Service
    • Home address changes must go through Admissions before new transportation arrangements are made.
    • Changes to childcare or alternative address can be provided to the Transportation Office. You must provide the name, address, and contact information for the non home address.
    • Drivers are not allowed to change a student’s transportation. Contact the Transportation Department for changes.
    • Information about students who are eligible for specialized transportation comes from the Special Education Department. The Transportation Office does not determine service level.
  4. Changes in Route and/or Time
    • There may be changes to routes as new students are added or existing students decline service or are withdrawn from school. If there are changes to which route your student is assigned to, notifications will generally come through the mail. Please keep your mailing address up to date.
  5. Illness
    • Students who are ill should stay home so that they do not make others sick.
    • If a child becomes ill during the school day, the school will call the parent, who will be responsible for picking up the student.
  6. Damages
    • The parent/guardian of a student who damages the school bus or alternative vehicle they are riding will be responsible to pay for the damages.
  7. Student Identification/Contacting the Transportation Office
    • When communicating with the Transportation Office you will need the following information to expedite the request/inquiry. Please have this information handy
      • Student’s SPS ID#
      • Student’s School
      • Student’s Bus Route (If they have an assignment.)
  8. Safety Restraints
    • Children must use appropriate safety restraints.
    • Law requires that children below a certain height or weight be seated in booster seats.
    • If a student requires a safety vest to ride safely, they need to have it on to be allowed to ride.
  9. Medications of School Buses
    • If a student needs to take prescription medication while at school, the student may carry the medication on the bus under the following conditions:
      • The medication is in the original container
      • The student is capable of carrying their own medication
      • Medication is not pinned or secured to the student
      • The medication is kept in the student’s possession at all times.
    • If the conditions can not be met, then the parent/guardian should bring the medication to the school directly.

The driver is in charge of the bus and the passengers, and must be obeyed.  If a monitor is on the bus, they will be responsible for the behavior of the students while the driver is responsible for the safe operation of the bus.  Students must obey both the driver and monitor.

  • Students shall ride only on their assigned bus unless written permission to do otherwise has been received by school authorities.
  • Unless school authorities have written permission, no student will be permitted to leave the bus except at his/her regular stop.
  • If a student is assigned to a seat, he/she will sit in that seat unless the driver gives him/her permission to change.
  • Noise must be kept down to avoid distracting drivers.
  • There will be no lighters or matches on buses, and smoking is not allowed.
  • Buses must be kept clean; eating is not allowed (unless there is a medical exception).
  • Students will not open bus windows without the driver’s permission
  • Students will not stick any part of their body out of bus windows at any time.
  • Students may not have anything on the bus that can hurt the other passengers. Such items include, but are not limited to, sticks, breakable containers, weapons or firearms.
  • Animals are not permitted on buses, except service animals.
  • Students are may not sit in the driver’s seat or to the immediate left or right of the driver.
  • Students should not speak to drivers unless necessary.
  • Once inside the bus, students must go directly to a seat and remain seated at all times, unless the driver instructs otherwise.
  • Students must get on/off the bus in an orderly manner and must obey the instructions of school safety patrol, if on duty. There will be no pushing or shoving when getting on or off the bus. Once off the bus, students must follow the rules for pedestrians.
  • Students must never cross the street behind a yellow school bus unless they use the pedestrian crosswalks or traffic lights.
  • Students must stand away from the roadway curb when any bus is approaching or leaving a stop.
  • If there are not sidewalks, students going to and from their bus stop must walk on the left-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
  • If lap belts are available on the bus, students must use them.
  • Emergency Exit Drill procedures will be followed as ordered by the driver.
  • Parents of students who damage the buses will have to pay for the damage. Students causing the damage may be suspended from transportation. Student misconduct is sufficient reason for suspending transportation privileges.
  • In compliance with WAC 392-145-040, an emergency evacuation drill will be held within two (2) weeks of each school semester for all students riding school buses, except those excused by the regulation. Students excused from the drill will be orally instructed three (3) times a year (by September 15, January 15 and March 15). Drills will be held at school bus loading zones.
    • A verbal review of the emergency exit procedures will be given to the students during the first week in November and the first week in April.
  • Drivers will make sure that all students are seated and safety belts fastened prior to moving the bus.
  • Drivers will make written reports of misconduct by pupils, and will report parents’ lack of cooperation, accidents or any other problem to the dispatcher and the principal/administrator or Head Start staff as soon as possible.
  • Drivers will not leave their buses while students are on board except in extreme emergencies.
  • Drivers will only let students off the bus at their regular stops unless told to do so by dispatchers or the District Transportation Office.
  • Drivers will not leave corner bus stops before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Drivers will not wait at a door-to-door stop for more than one (1) minute.
  • Drivers will not allow students to eat or drink on the bus, except for approved medical situations or IEP approval.
  • Drivers will not allow animals on the bus, except for service animals.
  • Drivers will ensure that a responsible person is present to receive the student with specialized transportation unless a release letter, signed by the parent/guardian is on file in the Transportation Office.
  • Drivers will not allow any student to sit in the driver’s seat or to the immediate left or right of the driver.
  • Drivers/Monitors will not transport medication to and from school.

To ensure safety in driving, all students provided with transportation must comply with the “Rules for Students Riding Transportation and Chartered Buses”. Failure to adhere to these rules or other abusive-type behavior, which may affect the safe operation of the bus, will result in a Bus Incident and Student Progress Report.

  1. Issue of a Report: If a student misbehaves on the bus, the driver will fill out a Bus Incident and Student Progress Report describing the incident or damage that occurred. The driver or bus monitor will keep a copy of the report and turn the remaining copies in to the school principal/administrator or Head Start staff.
  2. Action on Report: The principal/administrator or Head Start staff, upon receiving the report, will investigate the incident and take appropriate action. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the procedures set forth in the District’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
    • Warning: This action is considered when a student’s misconduct is of a minor nature and does not jeopardize the safety or welfare of other students or the operation of the bus.
    • Suspension: This action is considered when a student’s misconduct can effect the safety of passengers and bus operation, when repeated warning notices fail to correct abusive behavior, or when a student damages the bus. Depending on the degree of misconduct, the suspension may be for one or more days.
    • Expulsion: This action may be necessary depending on the degree of misconduct or number of repeated violations. A student may be expelled from the bus when the safety of the bus operation and/or passengers was willfully and seriously threatened (i.e. student assaulting the bus driver or supervisor).
  3. Disposition of Report: The action taken by the principal/administrator or Head Start staff will be written on the Bus Incident and Student Progress report and sent to the student’s parent/guardian for signature. The transportation office and driver will also be notified.

Note: Suspension or expulsion of a student’s school bus riding privileges does not suspend or expel the student from school but places the responsibility for getting the student to and from school on the parent/guardian. (RCW 28A-27-010)