Transportation

September 3, 2014

THE NORTH SMITHFIELD PHONE NUMBER FOR DATTCO IS NOW OPERATIONAL.  PLEASE CONTACT MS. PEPLER OR MRS. FORGET AT 401-597-6147.  DATTCO IS LOCATED AT 450 GREENVILLE ROAD, NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI  02896.


The 2014-2015 North Smithfield School Department's Fall/Spring Bus Routes can be found in the Transportation Links box on the right of this page.


Please click here for information regarding Anaphylaxis Relating to School Buses


 **IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ. **

**SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION, SAFETY, AND CONDUCT**

SUMMARY

August 2014

Dear Parents,

Our new School Bus Transportation provider is DATTCO.  The new Terminal Manager is Jane Pepler and can be contacted at the North Smithfield Office, 401-597-6147.  Please know that we have many new drivers.

Mr. Robert Meo continues to be the School Department’s Transportation Coordinator.  He can be contacted at 769-9617.

Following is a reminder of very important practices:

Children are the responsibility of their parents/guardians until such time as they board the bus and after the student leaves the bus at the end of the day.
What this means is that it is up to the parent/guardian as to whether they need to be at a bus stop when their child boards or departs in the afternoon.  It is not up to the bus driver or the school district to decide if you need to be there.

A)    Student that disembarks at a stop by themselves at a single “house” or person stop:
Kindergarten through Grade 5
We will not drop the student off at a SINGLE DROP OFF STOP without seeing a parent or guardian.
This also includes an adult that the driver may have never seen before at this single stop even if the child knows the person.  The driver will continue on route.  You will be contacted before last drop off as to whether we will return child to stop; or for you to pick your child up at the bus terminal.
Exception - Parent notifies the school or terminal manager of a requested change to this protocol.

B)    Student disembarks at a “plat” or neighborhood stop with many other children:
Kindergarten student
1)    It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to be at a stop if you so choose when your child disembarks the bus with other students.  This includes parents waiting in cars.
2)    In this situation, it cannot be the driver’s responsibility to know or be responsible to “dismiss” a kindergarten student to a particular “approved” adult whether present or in a waiting vehicle in a group stop situation.
3)    That being said, our drivers will do their best to “notice” what are typical conditions for a kindergarten drop off and use good judgment and common sense.  They may contact the terminal and inform them of the circumstances.  If no parent or guardian is at the bus stop when an adult is typically there, they may keep the child and continue on route and communicate with the terminal manager on the situation.

C)    What to do when your child does not arrive at the stop:
First, stay calm.  Occasionally, for various reasons, children may still be at school, on a different bus, or remained on the bus {see above}.  Contact your child’s school to inform them.  If you cannot get through, contact DATTCO at 401-349-2770 (Smithfield Office).  If either line is busy, keep trying until you get through.

D)    Bus Stops:
1)    The use of “depot” stops, a gathering point, has been utilized in Plats that are deemed safe walking areas. 
Distance for walking to depot stops will use the same criteria as the eligibility for ridership.

2)    A student’s bus stop will be based on their legal address. 
Any variation to that will have to be approved by the North Smithfield School Department at the building level.  Day-to-day changes in bus stops are not permissible.  The North Smithfield School Department may allow a different morning or afternoon stop five (5) days a week on a permanent basis based upon the address and bus capacity.

Basically, no student can ride a different bus other than to their legal address.  The exception is made for day care according to the following example.  The stop is on the route; there is room on the bus; and it must be five (5) days a week.  If not, the parent/guardian must pick up the student the other days when the student is not on the bus to that residence.

**This includes emergency/ early dismissal.  In other words, if your child attends Kids Klub or private day care using school bus transportation - that is where they will go on an emergency release day(s) unless you choose to call and pick them up.**

Please understand that if you have not already requested a change, we will not be able to approve changes in any of the school bus routes / stops for the first two weeks of school.  This will allow first for adjustments that may be needed to correct overcrowding or route directions.

E)    Eligibility for Ridership:
1)    All children will be eligible for ridership when there is no safe walking area to a school or the distance to a school is greater than ¾ of a mile for students in grades 1 thru 5, 1&1/2 miles for students in grades 6 thru 12.
2)    Only students, school personnel, and emergency personnel are allowed on school buses.

F)    Student Bus Behavior:
1)    School buses are an extension of the classroom and the same behavior expected in a classroom is expected on the school bus and at the bus stop.
2)    Students who misbehave will be reported to the appropriate school principal for disciplinary action.

Riding the bus is a “privilege” - not a right.  Children who misbehave jeopardize the safety of others.  There can be little tolerance for misbehavior on the bus for obvious safety reasons.  Unlike the classroom, it is not a place where we can “work through” certain behaviors.  Suspensions from the bus do happen.  It is not something we like to see occur but safety is most important. 
 

Use of visual surveillance on school buses is authorized and permissible.

G)    Problem Resolution and Communication:
1)    Concerns regarding bus routes and / or location of bus stops should be directed to DATTCO at 401-597-6147 or Mr. Robert Meo, our Transportation Director, at 769-9617.
2)    Concerns regarding student conduct or driver issues should be reported to the School Principal for investigation and resolution. 

H)    Student Dismissal Form:
Click here for a “Student Dismissal Form.”  Please complete only if you are requesting your child be a KidsKlub after school day care program participant or you are requesting school bus transportation to a residence other than home {please be reminded - the request must be for five (5) days a week or you will need to pick up your child on the “off” days}.

I)    Emergency/ Early Dismissal:
If your child attends the after school day care program or private day care using school bus transportation, that is where they will go on emergency release day(s) unless you choose to call and pick them up.**

Please understand that if you had not already requested a change, we will not be able to approve changes in any of the school bus routes / stops for the first two (2) weeks of school.  This allows first for adjustments that may be needed to correct overcrowding or route directions.

The related policy can be found in the Parent/Student Handbook that will be available on our website and on line at www.northsmithfieldschools.com under Quick Links – Transportation – Transportation Links – School Bus Policy.

NSES and Halliwell school times remain the same.
Student school day:  8:30 am to 3:00 pm.
Parents will need to consider this when trying to pick up children at two different elementary schools.

Middle School and High School times remain the same.
Student school day:  7:16 am to 2:05 pm

We all need to work together to make bus transportation a safe and better experience for all.  On behalf of Mrs. Frayne, Mrs. Jolin, Mr. Lahar, Mr. Mezzanotte, Mr. Meo, and Ms. Pepler, thanks, in advance, for your patience and help.

Sincerely,

Stephen F. Lindberg
Superintendent of Schools

P.S.:  Please continue to visit our website periodically for updates.  Thank you.