Bus Safety

Our transportation system is designed to accommodate almost 2,800 students each morning and again each afternoon on a fleet of 18 buses.

Cooperation is necessary among students, bus drivers, bus mechanics, administrators, instructors, parents and motorists in order to provide the safest transportation possible. School bus safety is everyone's concern. The responsibility for safe, reliable transportation is shared when all who are involved work together as part of "The School Bus Safety Team."

The purpose of this website is to share pertinent information concerning school bus safety with you- the students, parents and other concerned citizens of District #832. The information conforms to the laws and regulations of the State of Minnesota. We hope this information will help all members of "The School Bus Safety Team" provide the safest school transportation system possible.

During the first few weeks of school students will receive

A student shall be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of at least the following competencies and concepts:
a. transportation by school bus is a privilege not a right;
b. district policies for student conduct and school bus safety;
c. appropriate conduct while on a bus;
d. the danger zones surrounding a school bus;
e. procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus;
f. procedures for safe street crossing; and
g. school bus evacuation and other emergency procedures.


Top Ten Safety Tips

1. Always stay out of the danger zone around the school bus. The danger zone is in front of the bus, behind the bus, and on both sides of the bus. The danger zone is 10 feet all the way around the bus.

2. Before crossing the street, wait for the bus driver to give you the signal. If you have to cross the street to get on or off the school bus, cross in front of the bus. Make sure you see the driver and that the driver sees you. Never cross in front of the school bus until the driver gives you the signal, and always look both ways to see if cars are coming before you cross.

3. Use the buddy system when crossing the street. It's usually safer to cross the street in a group than it is to cross the street alone.

4. Whenever possible, stay out of the last three seats of the school bus. Remember the driver can usually adjust to what's going on in front of, and on the side of the school bus, but cannot easily see behind him.

5. Younger students should always sit toward the front of the school bus. This helps the school bus driver to keep track of them so that they get off at their proper destination.

6. If you drop something when getting on or off the school bus, leave it. Tell the bus driver, your teacher, or your parents about whatever you dropped. Remember we can replace everything, but we can't replace you.

7. Never approach a moving school bus. Stand 10 feet back, away from the curb. No pushing or shoving and always wait for the school bus to make a complete stop before trying to get on the school bus.

8. Never stand up on a moving bus. If your driver had to make a sudden stop you could fall and get hurt and no one wants to see anyone get hurt.

9. Tell someone if there's trouble. If something happens to you on the school bus tell your bus driver, teacher, principal, or parents about it. Everyone should have a safe and comfortable ride on the school bus. A safe ride is a happy ride.

10. Never talk to strangers (STRANGER DANGER). If someone approaches you that you don't know and tries to talk to you, go away from them and tell an adult you can trust. (If this happens while you are waiting for your bus, let your bus driver know when he arrives.) Never tell a stranger your name, or take anything from a stranger, and definitely never get into a strangers vehicle.


Passenger Information and Rules


Use sidewalks where provided.

If there are no sidewalks, walk single file on the left side of the street or roadway facing traffic.

Cross streets at corners.

Use a direct route. Avoid using alleys or crossing through private property to get to the bus stop.

Arrive at your bus stop five minutes before your scheduled pickup time. The school bus driver will not wait for late students.

Be aware of suspicious individuals (young, old, male, female) on foot or in motor vehicles. Report such persons to your bus driver or school principal. EVEN IF YOU MISSED THE BUS, DO NOT ACCEPT RIDES FROM STRANGERS.


Stay away from the street, road, or highway when waiting for the bus. Line up at least three feet away from the street in an orderly fashion and wait until the bus stops before boarding.

Respect the property of others while waiting at your bus stop. Do not pick flowers or shrubs, throw stones, snowballs, litter, etc.

Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.

Do not use offensive or foul language.

Avoid standing in and blocking sidewalks and driveways.

No pushing, fighting, harassment, intimidation, or horseplay.

Do not run to the curb when the bus comes. Stay back until the bus is actually stopped. (A push at the middle or end of the line can send the front person into the bus or under it's wheels.)

Older students should be helpful to younger ones.

No use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.


Wait until the bus has stopped and the door is open before walking toward the bus.

If you must cross the street, always cross in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Wait for the driver to signal to you before crossing the street.

Board the bus single file - do not push or shove.

Use the hand rail to keep from slipping, falling, or tripping.

Say "hello" to your bus driver.

Move immediately to a seat without crowding, shoving, disturbing, or stopping to talk to others. Make room for others needing a seat.

Put large items (book bags, packages, etc.) in seat area or under the seat, but never in the aisle.

Drivers may assign seats in the front of the bus to students who have special needs or whom have not followed the bus rules. Drivers, at their discretion, may assign seats throughout the entire bus to avoid misconduct. We strive to ensure the safety of our passengers and ask that when the bus in not at a full capacity, that we not use the three rear rows of seats in the buses.


Cooperate with the driver.

Do not push or shove for any reason.

Absolutely no smoking, lighting of matches or lighters on the bus.

Keep arms and legs out of the aisle to prevent tripping others while they board or exit.

Open windows half way only if the driver permits you to do so. Keep hands, arms and heads inside the bus.

Do not stand or move around while the bus is moving. You are only safe if you are seated.

Absolutely no tampering with the bus radio, controls, or equipment.

Keep conversations tones to a normal level. Too much noise by yelling, screaming, etc. can interfere with the bus driver's duties and create a safety hazard.

Do not distract the driver. A bus driver needs to keep his/her attention on driving.

Be especially quiet at railroad crossings of other busy intersections.


If an item can be safely carried in a bag and on a student’s lap, without interfering with the space of another passenger, it will be accepted.
Certain items listed below will NEVER be accepted.

French Horn

Balls (all types) not in a bag
Bat not in a bat bag
Fishing Poles
Golf Clubs
Skates not in a bag
Skis/Ski Poles
Tennis Rackets not in a bag
Lacrosse Sticks
Hockey Sticks & Equipment
Rakes & Shovels

Live or Dead Animals (mice, rats, snakes, cats, dogs, insects, fish, etc.)
Shop Projects (tables, gun racks, shelves, etc.)
Small Engines

Archery Equipment
Guns (loaded or unloaded)
Toy Guns
Metal Knuckles
Tear Gas
Throwing Stars
Gas Cans (full or empty)
Lighter Fluid
Spray Paint

Glass breakable objects
Laser Pens

Any items not on this list that are of dangerous or objectionable nature will not be permitted and will be determined by the Transportation Department or Bus Company at any time.

Discipline Process

Student Conduct reports are used to inform parents/guardians of disciplinary incidents involving their children on the school bus. These reports are written and mailed only after other attempts to eliminate problems have been explored. Consequences for school bus/bus stop misconduct will be in the sole discretion of the administration of the child's school. Riding privileges can be suspended or revoked due to excessive or repeated violations of ridership rules. Parents or guardians will be notified of any suspension of bus privileges.

The following is a list of consequences generally used, but the school's administration may jump steps if they deem appropriate.

· 1st Report: Warning with a copy of the report sent home to parent or guardian.

· 2nd Report: Student will be placed on probation and the parent/ guardian will be notified that further infractions will result in loss of ridership privileges.

· 3rd Report: Student will be suspended from the bus for 3 days.

· 4th Report: Student will be suspended from the bus for 5 days.

· 5th Report: Student will be suspended from the bus for 10 days.

· 6th Report: Meeting with parent/guardian. Possible loss of bus ridership privileges for the remainder of the school year


Parent Responsibilities

As a vital member of the "School Bus Safety Team", the parent or guardian can help provide a safe and pleasant experience. One of the primary ways in which you may help is by reviewing safety training with your children on a regular basis.

What do I need to do as a parent of a student who uses transportation?

Provide the school office and transportation office with accurate student information including the student's name, home address, home telephone number, emergency contact information for the parent/guardian, and day care information.

Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Under no circumstances should students arrive at the bus stop more than 10 minutes prior to the schedule pick-up time.

Be aware that the bus will pick up and drop off students at the same stop every day school is in session.

Help your children learn their school name and bus numbers. Students in grades K-2 should have a "bus pass" fastened to their backpack.

Review with your children the bus safety rules.

Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or child care provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.

Understand that the bus pick-up and drop-off times are based on existing weather and road conditions. Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pick-up times. Parents will be notified of any major changes in bus schedules that will affect their child.

Remain alert to impending weather and have your child properly clothed for the current weather conditions. Also, consider in advance how long you child will be waiting at their bus stop possibly during conditions that may include extreme cold and wind chills.

Provide the child with a book bag or knapsack for books and loose papers, pencils, etc.

Bus Driver Training & Requirements

The transportation of school children is an integral part of our educational system and requires the dedication and cooperation of many individuals. However, the ultimate responsibility to ensure the safe transportation of our children rests with the school bus drivers. The Transportation Department and First Student go to great lengths to ensure the quality and skill of its bus drivers, and the safety of the children they drive to school everyday. The following is a list of requirements for each of our bus drivers.

Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Requirements:
- Class B License with both School Bus & Passenger Endorsements

Background Checks:
-Motor Vehicle Moving Violation Record Check
-Criminal Background Check

Other Pre-Employment Requirements:
-School Bus Physical (Must be renewed every 2 years)
-Pre-Employment Drug Test

Driver Training:
-Classroom Instruction 10 hours
-Behind-the-Wheel Training 6 hours
-Pre-Trip Inspection Training 2 hours

Driver In-Services & Evaluation:
-15 Hours of Annual Driver In-Services
-Ride-Along Evaluations

Student Safety Training:
-Student Classroom Instruction in Bus Rider Safety
-Emergency Evacuation Drills

Our Mission

The mission of the Mahtomedi School District, the unified community of courageous hearts and curious minds dedicated to inspiring personal excellence, is to ensure that each student is a bold agent of learning who successfully pursues their passions while advancing the greater good, through a vital system distinguished by:

  • environments that inspire curiosity
  • an inclusive learning community
  • an array of exceptional learning experiences
  • teaching and learning that imparts a global view
  • culture of empathy that empowers the whole person

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