School Bus Safety

School Bus Safety

Student Behavior Management Plan
GCPS provides bus safety education for students on how to keep themselves safe in and around the school bus. The Student Behavior Management Plan is a three-part program that helps the bus manager achieve appropriate student behavior on the school bus. The following information outlines the plan’s three components— prevention, intervention, and consequences.

Prevention steps are used by the bus manager to educate the student about safe and appropriate riding behaviors, to clarify the bus driver's expectations for the students, and to assist students in successfully demonstrating safe riding habits every day. The bus driver will communicate and reinforce those expectations which are based on the School Bus Safety Guidelines. These guidelines also are posted on all school buses.

Assigned seating provides structure and a consistent routine while aiding in student behavior. All students are assigned seats at the beginning of the school year. Age-appropriate school bus safety education programs are included in the Health and Physical Education curriculum at the elementary and middle school levels. GCPS school bus drivers conduct simulated emergency evacuation drills with all grade levels on a monthly basis. Students in grades K–5 perform an actual emergency evacuation drill annually.

Intervention steps are used by the bus driver to correct unsafe or inappropriate behaviors.
  • Verbal reminder— The bus driver will remind the student of the rule(s) not being followed.
  • Talk individually to the student— The bus driver will discuss the unsafe/inappropriate behavior with the student.
  • Reassign bus seat— The student’s seat will be reassigned to allow the driver to better monitor the student.
  • Communication with parent/guardian:
– Courtesy call to parent/guardian— A phone call to the parent is made by the bus driver, making him or her
aware of the unsafe or inappropriate conduct, or
– Parent Notification Form— The bus driver sends written notification of the student’s minor inappropriate or
unsafe behavior to the parent/guardian for signature.
  • Bus Discipline Form— The bus driver completes and forwards to the school administrator a bus discipline form for any major offense.

When prevention and intervention steps are unsuccessful in improving the student’s behavior, a bus discipline form is submitted by the bus driver to the school administrator. The administrator is then responsible for issuing appropriate consequences for the student. Serious offenses may lead to suspension from the bus or from school.

Safety Procedures
The following School Bus Safety Procedures are posted on all GCPS school buses:
  • Students will follow directions of the driver.
  • Students should be at the bus stop five (5) minutes before the bus arrives, waiting in a safe place, clear of traffic and 10 feet from where the bus stops.
  • Students will wait in an orderly line and avoid playing.
  • Students will cross the roadway in front of the bus after the bus has stopped, they have looked at the driver for a hand signal, and they have looked in both directions for traffic— left, right, left.
  • Students will signal the driver with a waving motion if something is dropped and wait for the driver to give a signal before picking up object.
  • Students will go directly to assigned seat when entering the bus and keep the aisles and exits clear.
  • Students will remain properly seated, back against the back of the seat, bottom against the bottom of the seat, and keep hands to themselves.
  • Students will not eat, drink, chew gum, or bring tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or any controlled substances on the bus.
  • Students will not carry animals, glass objects, nuisance items, hazardous materials, or weapons onto the bus. Students may carry only objects that can be held in their laps to include musical instruments.
  • Students will refrain from using loud voices, profanity, and/or obscene gestures, and respect the rights and safety of others.
  • Students will not extend head, arms, or objects out of the bus windows.
  • Students will be totally silent at railroad crossings.
  • Students will stay seated until time to get off the bus. The open door is the signal to get up from the bus seat.
  • Students must provide a written note, signed by a parent/guardian and a local school official who will provide a bus pass giving permission to ride a different bus or to get on or off at a different bus stop location. A bus pass only will be issued in the event of an emergency, determined by a local school official.
  • Students will keep their bus clean and in good, safe condition.
  • Students shall be prohibited from using any electronic devices during the operation of a school bus, including but not limited to cell phones; pagers; radios; tape, CD, or MP3 players; or any other electronic device in a manner that might interfere with the school bus communications equipment or the school bus driver’s operation of the school bus. The bus driver may allow the wearing of headphones with an audio system on a case-by-case basis as long as it is in accordance with local school rules.
  • Students shall be prohibited from using mirrors, lasers, flash cameras, or any other lights or reflective devices in a manner that might interfere with the school bus driver’s operation of the school bus.

For more information about school bus safety in Gwinnett County Public Schools, please click here to access a parent information brochure.