FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW ARE BUS STOPS DETERMINED?
We try to place bus stops no more than ¼ mile from each rider’s home, although the distance to most stops is usually far less. Bus stops are located at street corners and centrally located stops on the street. Even though we may pass your house during the route, we cannot stop at your house.
WHY DOES MY BUS STOP CHANGE FROM YEAR TO YEAR?
Students move in and out of subdivisions and students advance grade levels. Therefore, stops change to accommodate all students. Our routing software, VersaTrans, calculates all students in the area and walk distances to each stop then determines the safest location for all students.
Our subdivision does not have sidewalks and is poorly lit. How can I get the stop moved closer to our home?
With VersaTrans and our knowledge we try hard to place our bus stops at the safest location possible. Please remember that we transport more than 6000 students every day, so it is impossible to prove door-to door service for everyone, and do it in a timely manner. It is very important to remember that it is the parent’s responsibility for the safety of the child to and from the bus stop.
THE WEBSITE SAYS ONE PICK-UP TIME AND THE DRIVER NEEDED TO CHANGE IT TO AN EARLIER TIME, WHY IS THAT?
Our routing systems, VersaTrans, calculates the mileage of the route based on the number of stops along the route, and the speed limits of the roads to determine the “approximate” pick-up and drop-off times. What the routing system cannot calculate is the traffic, weather and road conditions.
It sometimes becomes necessary for the driver to make adjustments When adjustments are needed, the driver must contact our office and the students in advance to let them know of the change. Our office will contact the school and send a letter home with each student explaining the correct pick-up and or drop-off time. The times can vary depending on who is riding, traffic conditions and weather. If you feel your bus is running later than normal, 15 minutes or more, please call the bus office at 317-535-7255 to see if there was a delay.
THE BUS WAS LATE DROPPING OF MY CHILD BY 15 MINUTES OR MORE. WHY DID i NOT GET A PHONE CALL INFORMING ME OF THE LATE BUS?
We strive to get calls out through our corporation All CALL system in a timely manner.
Depending on the circumstances and time frame we may not have been able to send an all call. Again if your bus is 15 minutes later than normal please feel free to call our office at 317-535-7255.
MY CHILD IS BEING THREATENED OR BULLIED BY ANOTHER STUDENT ON THE BUS. WHO DO I CONTACT?
The drivers first and foremost responsibility is to drive the bus safely. They cannot see everything that is happening on the bus at all times. If something is happening on the bus that concerns you and your student, please contact the bus office @ 317-535-7255 so we can assist you. Most often the driver is not aware that there is a problem. However, each driver is happy to assist and make every student’s bus ride a safe and enjoyable ride.
MY STUDENT WAS RUNNING TOWARDS THE BUS AND THE DRIVER LOOKED AT HIM/HER THEN DROVE OFF. WHY?
Most importantly never let your child run after a moving bus. This is dangerous practice.
It might look like the driver “looked at your student and drop off” it is simply not the case at all. Drivers must check all the mirrors on the bus before moving. By looking at the mirrors it may seem as though the driver looked at your students, however; the driver never saw the student. The best way to make sure your child does not miss the bus is to be at the stop earlier, about 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled stop time.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS MUST BUS DRIVERS HAVE TO DRIVE A SCHOOL BUS FOR CLARK PLEASANT SCHOOLS?
In order to qualify to drive a school bus in Clark Pleasant (Whiteland) Community School Corporation, a person must be at least 21 years old, possess a valid Indiana Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL) with a Passenger (P), school bus driver (S) and air brake endorsements, and must maintain a safe driving record. Clark Pleasant does offer training to obtain these credentials. In addition, drivers must pass the State Department of Education approved physical examination from an approved physician.
Drivers must also complete a comprehensive School Bus Driver Training Program provided by the state of Indiana and the Clark Pleasant Transportation Department that is evaluated on their driving skills and attend regular safety and training meetings.
Our drivers also undergo a thorough criminal background check.
HOW MANY STUDENTS CAN RIDE THE BUS?
Under Indiana law, the maximum number of students that can be transported in a school bus corresponds to the seating capacity designated by the manufacturer. A 84-passenger bus can carry 84 students, regardless of their age and size. Federal regulations govern how manufacturers determine seating capacity, using a 15-inch block for each designated seating position and rounding up to the nearest whole number. Most school bus seats are 39” wide; dividing by 39/15 produces 2.6, which rounds up to 3 seating positions per seat.
While state law does not limit the number of students per seat, it does require that aisles and exits be free of obstruction. This means that students cannot be hanging off the seats into the aisles, and their belongings cannot block emergency exits.
WHAT THE BUS DRIVER’S ALLOWED TO KNOW ABOUT STUDENT RECORDS?
The FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) imposes significant obligations on local school units in regards to how they treat student education records. The state of Indiana has incorporated the requirements of FERPA into its own laws dealing with student records without parental consent; specifically, school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in specific student may have access to student records without the parents’ permission.
Under these laws, a school bus driver is defined as a school official, and if that driver operates the school bus in which that specific student rides, it is recognized that the school bus driver has a legitimate educational interest in those parts of a student’s record relating to transportation. The “legitimate educational interest” is applicable whenever a school official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. If a student has a cognitive disability, such as autism or ADD, and the disability is likely to manifest itself on the school bus ride, the driver needs to be familiar with appropriate responses to this behavior in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to all the students on the bus.
WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE TRANSPORTED ON A CLARK PLEASANT SCHOOL BUS.
Below is a list of items that we cannot transport on a Clark Pleasant School Bus:
Glass objects of any kind.
Balloons if any kind
All plants and dirt
Animals, insects and reptiles
Large band instruments or large school projects that cannot be held on the student's lap without leaving the student's lap area or hanging into the aisles.
We would like to be able to transport anything for the student’s, however, we cannot for safety and health reasons.