School Sets Stronger Bus Rules For Improved Student Safety
The safety of students and staff is a key responsibility of the Ankeny Community School District. Consequently, bus passes have been identified as an important point of security, and the district will strictly enforce rules that require students to show a bus pass to ride the bus.
The district's guidelines for bus passes help ensure the rule is being followed consistently. Eligible elementary students should not be denied a ride because they forgot their pass, but the same time, everyone needs to understand and follow the rule to present their bus pass.
It is critical for student safety that bus drivers be able to identify and allow only those students authorized to be on the bus to ride the bus. As the district continues to grow and experience a rapid increase in bus riders, we must understand that temporary drivers, substitute drivers, and even some regular drivers do not always personally know every student. While drivers carry rosters as a backup, route timing, multiple-household families and other factors make it impractical to check numerous students against the roster every day to confirm they are authorized to be on a particular bus.
Ensuring that students riding the bus are quickly and strictly accounted for improves safety for both students and others. A number of scenarios could easily arise when bus pass rules are lax, such as inability to contact parents in the case of an emergency, medical concerns, and ensuring students are dropped off at the correct stop where they will be appropriately supervised.
Bus drivers will strictly check for passes when picking up students. Eligible Kindergarten through fifth grade students who forget their pass will still be allowed to ride the bus, but their parents will be notified by the building principal. At the middle- and high school level, parents will be notified each time their student forgets the pass. Students who forget the bus pass more than three times during the year will not be allowed to continue to ride without a pass.
Please note that the primary reason for enforcement of the bus pass rule is for safety purposes: safety of students, drivers and the school district. Strong bus rules are just one component of a district-wide comprehensive safety and security plan.