Administrative Procedure 589: Transportation

Legal References

Education Act: Section 21 (2) Transportation Distances; Section 190 Transportation; Section 265 Duties of Principal: Care of Pupils; Section 286 Duties of Supervisory Officers: Supervise Business Ontario Regulation 298 Operation of Schools Section 23 (4) Pupils Responsible to Principal for Conduct on a School Bus; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 161 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools; Public Vehicles Act; Highway Traffic Act

Related References

1.0 Safe and Reliable Transportation

1.1 Avon Maitland District School Board provides safe and reliable transportation, within the financial resources available, for certain students within the jurisdiction of the board.

1.2 Broad parameters for implementation are identified below.

2.0 Implementation

2.1 Bus Eligible Distance

Transportation may be provided to students from their designated bus stop to and from school, within the home school attendance boundary as per Huron Perth Student Transportation Services (HPSTS) Policy No. 7 – Bus Eligible Distance.

2.2 Service Parameters

Service parameters are defined as per HPSTS Procedure S-6 – Service Parameters.

2.2.1 District Exceptions
Reduced distances may be implemented for the following exceptions as determined by the Director of Education or designate:
      1. Poor road conditions;
      2. The absence of safe “turnarounds”; and/or
      3. Limiting one-way bus rides to one hour or less wherever possible.
2.2.2 All of the above terms and conditions shall also apply to return trips after school closes for the day.

2.3 Early Learning Program Pupils

Transportation of early learning students (in designated early learning classes) to or from school is consistent with all of the above terms and conditions.

2.4 Transportation for Students with Special Needs

Transportation for Student with Special Needs will be as per HPSTS Procedure T-1 – Transportation of Students with Special Needs

2.4.1 Most exceptional students are able to travel on regular bus routes to and from school. Special transportation to and from school may be provided to identified pupils upon approval of the Director of Education or designate provided that their exceptionality prevents them from using regular transportation as provided by the board. Students who require special vehicles to accommodate their wheel chairs are transported together whenever possible to reduce travel costs.

2.4.2 When arrangements for transporting exceptional students to and from school are being made, consideration must be given to:
      1. Safety (for them and for others);
      2. The physical capability of the student, including any students [exceptional or not] who have a temporary physical disability as a result of an injury suffered at school or on a school-sanctioned event;
      3. Behavioural or developmental capability of the student;
      4. Distance to the school;
      5. Length of time the student is on the bus;
      6. Use of existing bus routes; and
      7. Sharing bus routes with the coterminous board.

2.5 Health Concerns –Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions Transported on a School Purposed Vehicle

School Principals shall ensure that all Transportation Staff (e.g., Managers, bus operators, dispatchers, bus drivers, etc.) that come into direct contact with students with prevalent medical conditions are informed of the student(s) medical condition and emergency response procedures as per HPSTS Policy No. 5 and HPSTS Procedure M-1 – Medically-At-Risk Students on Buses.

2.6 Integration of Elementary and Secondary Students

Where it is practical and economical, secondary school pupils and elementary school pupils will be transported on the same bus as per HPSTS Procedure S-6 – Service Parameters.

2.7 Route Limitations

2.7.1 The maximum permissible number of transportation routes under the control, whether directly or indirectly, of a single student transportation operator shall not exceed 49% of the total routes available as per HPSTS Policy No. 6.

2.7.2 The Director and Board shall be notified prior to any change of control of any Operator. If the result of such change of control of an operator would be to have more than 49% of the total routes of the district under the control of a single student transportation operator, the board may decline to renew or extend contracts with that operator until the number of routes under the control of that operator is reduced such that it does not exceed 49% of the total routes of the district.

3. Administrative Procedures

The following procedures provide guidelines for the HPSTS General Manager, Principals and other staff members for various transportation decisions.

3.1 Route Scheduling

Transportation routes will be structured in such a manner that:

3.1.1 Contract bus routes are established by the HPSTS General Manager and the contractor and, upon request, in discussion with the Principal.

3.1.2 Arrival/departure times are established by the HPSTS General Manager in consultation with district administration, school personnel, and administrative procedures and practices.

3.2 Special Request for Transportation

3.2.1 The board may provide home-to-school and return transportation services for its eligible students on a daily basis in accordance with Section 190 of the Education Act, which states in part that a board may provide transportation for pupils “to and from the school that the pupil attends” and “to and from any activity that is part of the program of such school”.

3.2.2 Notwithstanding the above, schools receive many special requests for transportation. Accommodating these requests may increase the payment size of the vehicle contracted, alter the existing route or require additional stops, and cannot be considered.

3.2.3 However, if there is no additional expense, special transportation requests may be approved as per HPSTS Procedure A-3 – Alternate Transportation.

3.3 Procedures for Temporary Removal of Bus Riding Privilege

The principal has the authority for removal of bus riding Privileges for specific reasons as per HPSTS Procedure D-1 – Discipline Reporting and Temporary Removal of Bus Riding Privileges.

3.4 Transportation of Students in Privately-Owned Vehicles

3.4.1 The use of private automobiles to transport students on school business is acceptable but discouraged. Teacher/adult(18 and older)/age-of majority and adult (18 and older) student drivers are covered by the board's liability insurance provided they are in possession of a valid driver's license. Such insurance coverage applies only beyond the coverage carried by the owner of the vehicle.

3.4.2 When private vehicles are to be used to transport students the following steps must be followed: The drivers of such vehicles are approved by the Principal and made aware of the responsibility they bear in assuming control and custody of other people's children; The responsibility for approving use of privately-owned motor vehicles rather than board-contracted buses to transport pupils on authorized school business rests with the Principal; In making the decision to use privately-owned motor vehicles the principal must consider both the safety of pupils and the economics of that mode of transportation; Any private vehicle, with a seating capacity of up to seven passengers, which is used to transport students on behalf of the board, should carry a minimum Third Party Liability Insurance Limit of $2,000,000. Teacher/adult(18 and older)/age-of-majority and adult (18 and older) student drivers shall be made aware that the automobile insurance carried by the owner of the vehicle will be primary coverage in the event of any claim. The board’s non-owned auto insurance only applies to claims that exceed the liability limit carried by the vehicle owner; The owner's insurance company shall be informed that transportation of students may take place, voluntarily, from time-to-time; Adult (18 and older) student drivers must have prior written permission of the parent/guardian and must indicate that the vehicle is insured and the insurance company has been notified of the proposed transportation of students; and The parent/guardian has granted prior consent to permit a student to travel in a privately owned vehicle. NOTE: Under the Highway Traffic Act, a vehicle with a seating capacity of 6 or more (excluding the driver) being used to transport students on behalf of the board, for compensation, becomes a school Purposes Vehicle. If the vehicle is transporting between 6 and 9 passengers, the safety requirements for the vehicle change. If the vehicle is transporting 10 or more passengers, the licensing of the driver also changes. The HPSTS General Manager shall be consulted before any arrangements are made in this context. The Public Vehicles Act defines “for compensation” as follows: ““compensation” includes any rate, remuneration, reimbursement or reward of any kind paid, payable or promised, or received or demanded, directly or indirectly”. Students enrolled in a co-operative education program are not covered by WSIB for travel to and from the training station. While the board's insurance coverage does apply to this travel, it is necessary to determine that the student driver does have both a valid driver's license and automobile insurance. Where such is not the case, principals must ensure that all parties involved know that the student is not to drive on school business, including to and from the work site.

3.5 Transportation to and from Special Schools and Centres

Transportation will be provided to The Robarts School, Amethyst School, London and The W. Ross Macdonald School, Brantford and Trillium School, Milton as per Procedure T-2 – Transportation To and From Special Schools and Centres (i.e. Provincial Centres).

3.6 Video Cameras on Buses

Video surveillance on School Buses is used to promote proper behaviour and the safety of Pupils, Monitors, EAs, and School Bus Drivers and is utilized as per HPSTS Procedure V-1 – Video Cameras on Buses.

3.7 Pre-school Bus Safety

A Pre-school Bus Safety Program will be coordinated by the HPSTS General Manager and scheduled by the School Bus Company in accordance with HPSTS Procedure S-2 – School Bus Safety Programs.

3.8 Medication, Administration of

See Administrative Procedure 314 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools and 315 Medication: Administration, Storage & Disposal.

3.9 Field Trips

For the safety, well-being, comfort, and inclusivity of students on field trips, important consideration shall be given when out-of-classroom excursions are planned.

3.9.1 These events are an extension of the classroom and as such, all regular requirements shall be met for supervision of our students.

3.9.2 All supervising individuals must remain with the students during the trip until they are returned to the school and disbanded appropriately.

3.9.3 Only bus contractors who are regular operators for the board should be used. If another contractor is to be considered, the contractor will be required to give the same proof of liability insurance and abide by the same rules and regulations that the board requires for the regular operators. It is important to contact the HPSTS General Manager in these instances. Sufficient lead-time is required to investigate an operator. This operating procedure also applies to the use of highway coaches.

3.9.4 The guideline for the number of passengers is recommended for the comfort and safety of all riders as per HPSTS Procedure F-1 – Field Trips/Excursions.

3.9.5 Follow Administrative Procedure 266 Field Trips and Excursions and Administrative Procedure 314 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools.

3.10 Bus Accidents

In case of a bus accident, actions should take place as per HPSTS Procedure B-2 - Bus Accidents.

3.11 Inclement Weather

Due to changing weather patterns in Huron and Perth Counties, School Bus Routes may be delayed or cancelled as per HPSTS Procedure I-1 – Inclement Weather.

3.12 Out-Of-Boundary Students

Students requesting to attend a School other than their designated Home School may receive transportation as per HPSTS Procedure O-1 – Out-Of-Boundary Students.

3.13 Programs of Choice

Programs of choice are defined as programs that are not available within all local areas of the Board. Transportation may be provided as per HPSTS Procedure P-2 – Programs of Choice.

Examples of Programs of Choices program include but are not limited to:
    1. French Immersion
    2. Gifted Programs
Updated July 2021