Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year!
Below you will find the Parent Memo which includes the Transportation Guidelines. There have been many changes this year including some consolidations. Please be sure to review your student's bus stop location and times. Please utilize the Inquire button at the top right hand side of the page for general questions. If you have a request for changes please use the form below.
- August 2018 Memo
- General Information
- School Closing Information
- School Bus Rider Responsibilites
- School Bus Discipline Procedures
- School Bus Administrative Guidelines
- School Bus Driver Responsibilites
- Hanover Bus Route Narrative shared with School Board, August 18, 2018
SAU 70 - Hanover, Norwich & Dresden School Districts
To: Students, Parents and/or Guardians
From: Jamie Teague, Business Administrator
Subject: School Bus Transportation
Date: August 2018
We are sending home this document that outlines the responsibilities for all parties involved in the safe operation of all school buses operating in SAU 70. It also states procedures for handling discipline issues on school buses. These responsibilities and procedures have been endorsed by the Dresden, Hanover, and Norwich School Boards.
While these rules and procedures have been in existence and a part of the contracts with our bus contractors for some time, we update them annually and make them available to all parents and students. We believe it is important for parents and the school district to work together in promoting a safe pupil transportation system in which high standards of safety and decorum are maintained. Please give us your support by taking the time to read and understand the outlined responsibilities with your child(ren).
In regards to discipline, the respective school principal may make a judgment, in accordance with the seriousness of the offense, as to the consequences, which might include, but are not limited to, assigning seats, temporary suspension from the bus, or permanent suspension from the bus.
Questions from parents that deal with day-to-day issues concerning discipline, behavior, and unusual daily circumstances (late or early bus, missed stop, etc.) should be referred to the appropriate administrator:
Bernice A. Ray School - Lauren Amrhein - (603) 643-6655
Marion Cross School - Bill Hammond - (802) 649-1703
Frances C. Richmond School - Mike Lepene - (603) 643-6040
Hanover High School - Justin Campbell - (603) 643-3431
If a question deals with the bus contractor - equipment, driver qualifications or behavior, ongoing issues related to routes, schedules, or stops - it should be referred to Jamie Teague, Business Administrator, (603) 643-6050 and/or Mike Gaudette, Manager for Student Transport of America/VT, (802) 698-8528 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases, the superintendent, and then the board, can be involved if the questions are not resolved.
The information to follow pertains to the section included in the InfoSnap registration software where by parents confirm they have read the General Information for Student Transportation including the Guidelines for School Bus Rider Responsibilities and the School Bus Discipline Procedures, and agree to abide by them.
SAU 70 - Hanover, Norwich & Dresden School Districts
General Information - Student Transportation:
We believe it is important for parents and the School District to work together in promoting a safe pupil transportation system in which high standards of safety and decorum are maintained. Many parents will have questions about the use of school buses. You will find the answers to many of your questions in this section of the website or in your school handbook.
Day-to-day issues concerning discipline, behavior, etc. should be referred to the appropriate school administrator:
Bus Route Change
Please don't assume you know the routes. We review routes often and make appropriate changes to accommodate actual rider needs. Bus routes and stops are accurate as of the date of publication, but are subject to change during the course of the year depending on actual ridership patterns. All times are estimated. Students are advised to be at their stop five minutes before the scheduled stop time. Please check back here under the Bus Routes Section for the most up to date information.
Kindergarten students ride the regular route buses to the Marion Cross and the Bernice Ray School in the morning and home at the end of the school day. It is essential that an adult receive kindergarten students at their stop. Drivers are instructed NOT to drop Kindergartners at stops without an adult to receive them, unless other arrangements have been requested in writing.
How does the SAU make the decision to cancel school or issue a delayed start?
Determining school cancellations and late starts is taken very seriously by the administration of SAU 70 and the Dresden, Hanover and Norwich School Districts. Our students, employees and bus drivers safety is of utmost concern. Because we are a collaboration of integrated school districts, we must be consistent in cancellations and late starts across all three. We currently contract with Student Transportation of Vermont/America (STV/A) to provide transportation services to our districts. They employ the drivers and own the buses, which carry our District’s names on them. We run 20 routes across many different types of terrain and elevations. Many of our 450 District employees travel from towns near and far via highways and secondary roads.
In order to account for the different weather conditions depending upon location and keep everyone safe, we follow many steps before a decision is made to close school or start school late. Close attention is paid to the weather every evening during the winter months. As soon as the National Weather Service issues a storm advisory, we begin watching the national and local weather channels as well as Doppler radar via the Internet. Tracking active storms is done all night long in preparation for possible school closings.
We also base our decision on the following extremely important factors:
- Temperature, including wind chill factor
- Number of inches and timing of projected snowfall
- Freezing rain and/or icy conditions
- Wind velocity impacting the blowing and drifting of snow, along with visibility issues
- Buses running routes at a slower pace having an impact on the length of time students may be waiting at bus stops
- Parents driving their sons/daughters in poor driving conditions and high school age students with little experience driving
A decision to close schools or start late must be made by 5:45 am, as buses begin picking up students at 6:45 am. At about 5:15 am the Business Administrator contacts the district’s police and highway departments as well as the transportation company to determine road conditions. Drivers who live in various district locations are polled about conditions of their roads as well. The Business Administrator, Transportation Manager of STV/A and Superintendent then consider all the information that has been gathered to make a decision.
Late starts are used when we are seeing the end of a storm and highway departments have advised that the extra time can aid in the clean up. It also provides better visibility for drivers during daylight. Late starts will normally be a two-hour delay from your normal school start. For example, if your child’s school normally starts at 8:00 am, a late start causes the school day to begin at 10:00 am. When school is canceled or evening activities are canceled, it is important to contact your child’s after-school program providers to see if they too are closing early or canceling their programs. Our decisions do not necessarily affect programs run by the individual towns. Once a decision is made to close school or start late, a District “phone-tree” goes into effect, which notifies District parents, employees, radio and television stations.
Unless there are unusual circumstances, SAU 70 and its Districts will not implement early dismissals for bad weather situations. An early dismissal introduces the risk of sending a young student home to an empty house. We believe that knowing students are inside, safe, warm and learning is far better than sending them home to an empty house. However, it is important to remember that you are the parent and know what is best for your child. If you believe your child would be safer at home in poor weather conditions, your young learner’s absence will be marked as excused. Likewise, if uncomfortable with the weather conditions throughout a poor-weather day as you access the weather conditions, we would encourage you to act upon that belief, communicate with your school’s principal, and make the necessary arrangements to pick up your child.
Overall, buses are very safe modes of transportation. Drivers can and do pull over to call for on the spot sand deliveries should conditions warrant. Please encourage your teenager to ride the bus during inclement weather rather than drive. They are safer having an experienced driver take them to school.
What may appear to be a simple decision, as you can tell, includes many components: transportation, communications, before/after school child care programs within and outside of our elementary schools, the timing of the decision, road crews, the transportation company and the bus drivers. The decisions to close school are based on the ability of the buses to safely and efficiently transport students and the ability of our employees and student drivers to arrive safely at school and home again. Ultimately, the decision lies with the superintendent and it is, indeed, a difficult one, but like you, our first priority is to ensure the safety of our students. Although some may choose to disagree, we will never compromise that basic principle when making the decision, and we support your decision in keeping children home if and when you find it necessary. It is often a judgment call and we strive to do the best we can for everyone involved.
In an effort to cut down on cancelations, we have reviewed all of our bus routes to determine which have proven especially difficult to navigate on poor-weather days. Approximately 20% of the terrain falls into this category. After speaking with our School Boards, we have been working with our transportation provider about the possibility of temporary suspension of certain route stops and using “weather-advisory stops” during days of severe weather conditions. The process is still being set up through our messenger system and we are working with drivers to determine alternative stops for those sections of our routes that are particularly challenging.
The winter weather advisory procedure will work as follows:
If you live in a section of town or on a road that has historically proven difficult passage on weather-advisory days, we would notify you by 6:00 am that we cannot make it to your regular stop, but will pick your student(s) up at another agreed-upon location. Alternatively, you may choose to bring the student to school with your own vehicle, or choose to keep the student home. We are currently in meetings with the local town maintenance employees so once these road areas and alternative stops are determined, you will be contacted directly by the Business Administrator’s office by November 1st if this may affect your location.
How does the SAU communicate changes in school openings?
If school is to be closed due to inclement weather conditions, announcements will be broadcast on WMUR TV9, WTSL/WGXL (1400 AM, 92.3 FM), WNHV (910 AM), WKXE (95.3 FM), WMXR (93.9 FM), WHDQ (Q106–106.1 FM), KIXX (100.5 FM), V-101 (101.7 FM), WNTK (1020 AM, 99.7 FM), and WCVR (102.1 FM). This announcement will normally be made by 6:00 A.M. School closing information is also posted on WMUR TV’s website www.thewmurchannel.com, which is accessible through a link on www.sau70.org during the winter season.
The District also operates an automatic call and email system (school messenger) that will notify parents on days when there are school cancellations and delays. This automatic call/email will normally be initiated by 6:00 a.m., or shortly thereafter. If you are not receiving these calls (emails), or if you would like to receive them at a different phone number (email address), or you would like NOT to receive those phone calls (emails), please contact your school’s secretary.
Delayed Openings and pick up times
If, for weather or other reasons, a two-hour delay is called, all school related schedules will be moved two hours later. Therefore, if your child customarily waits for a bus at 7:20 a.m., he or she should wait for the bus at 9:20 a.m. If your child’s school’s start time is 8:00 a.m., the starting time will change to 10:00 a.m. If a two hour delay has been announced as described above, and it is later determined that conditions have NOT improved and schools will be closed, an announcement to that effect will be made on the radio and TV stations listed above before 8:00 a.m. Continue to monitor radio stations and the web in case school is subsequently canceled.
School Bus Rider Responsibilities
- Riders and drivers will treat others with courtesy and respect at all times.
- The use of profanity, vulgar, obscene, or abusive language will not be tolerated.
- Fighting, shoving, or bullying others on the bus, or while waiting for the bus, will not be tolerated.
- Throwing anything on the bus is prohibited.
- Taking should be carried on in conversational tones.
- Smoking, or other use of tobacco, is prohibited on the bus at all times.
- Students must comply immediately with any request or suggestion from the driver pertaining to safe pupil transportation.
- Defacement of or destruction to the bus will not be tolerated. Any vandalism of the bus or bus seats will be billed to the person responsible for the damage.
- Aisles are to be left free of books, lunch boxes, coats, and other objects at all times. Students should sit totally in their seats, and not put their arms, legs, etc., into the aisles, except when inadequate space makes this impossible.
- Students must remain seated at all times when the bus is moving; arms and heads must be inside the bus at all times. All of the contracted buses are equipped with seat belts for use by students. Although seat belt use on buses is not presently required by NH, VT, or federal mandate, many agree the best practice is to fasten the seat belts while the bus is in motion.
- Students may be required to walk up to one and one half miles to a bus stop, or two miles to school.
- Students must be ready to board the bus at least five minutes prior to its scheduled stop. In order to keep all of the students on time, drivers are not to wait for pupils who are not present at the designated stop times. Pupils should not crowd onto the street or road waiting for the bus; instead, they should line up and enter the bus in an orderly fashion when it arrives. Middle and high school students boarding buses in front of the Richmond School in the afternoon should stand behind the white line until the buses have come to a complete stop at the curb.
- Students must board the bus in an orderly and courteous manner, go immediately to a seat, sit down, and secure their personal belongings. The driver may assign seats.
- For Norwich middle and high school students only - when boarding the afternoon buses in front of the Richmond School, students should board the first bus until it is filled, then the second bus should be filled, and so on.
- For Norwich students only - when the bus reaches the Marion Cross School in the afternoon, all middle and high school students will fill in the seats from the back of the bus forward, unless a seat has been assigned. The younger children will fill in the front of the bus back.
- Students loading and departing from the bus will do so from the front door of the bus. If the road must be crossed, students will wait for the drivers signal and then (using caution) will cross at least 10 feet in FRONT of the bus.
- All school rules are in effect on the school bus for transportation to and from school or any school event.
- For unacceptable behavior in the judgment of the driver, the driver will complete a Bus Conduct Report form, which notifies the principal of the problem.
- The principal will speak to the student(s) and, if appropriate, speak to or send a letter home to the parents. The principal will advise the bus contractor of action taken on each conduct report submitted by drivers.
- A serious offense, or behavior which creates a safety hazard, may result in a suspension of up to two weeks, at the discretion of the principal. The driver may insist on a suspension for a student whose behavior creates a safety hazard.
- Unusually serious offenses may result in permanent suspension from the bus. If this action becomes necessary, the principal will notify the parents and the Superintendent in writing. The actual suspension will be made by the Superintendent, with the right of appeal to the School Board.
- If a student is suspended from the bus as a consequence of a bus conduct report, or of a reported poor behavior on the bus, the punishment will take effect the following morning. However, if at the discretion of the school administration the safety of other children is in question, the student may be suspended from the bus immediately. In that case, an attempt will be made to contact parents to make other transportation arrangements for the suspended student. If the parent cannot be contacted, the school will arrange for the student to be transported home only on the day suspension occurs. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the parents to arrange for their students' transportation to and from school. If a suspension occurs on one bus, it includes ridership on all route buses.
- Transportation will be provided to eligible students from a designated stop near their home to school, and from school to that stop. Tuition students will be allowed to ride only if there is room on the bus, and if those students meet the bus at one of its regular stops. Students will only be picked up and/or dropped off at other than their designated stop (i.e. at a babysitter's, etc.) if it is at a regular stop, and if no student is deprived of a ride to his or her designated stop because of the special drop off.
- Bus stops in rural areas will be at least 500 feet apart.
- Inspected school vehicles driven by certified school bus drivers will be used for all regular pupil transportation routes. Where possible, inspected vehicles and certified drivers will also be used on field and athletic trips, and for special education requirements. In some cases, however, it may be necessary or prudent to use personal or rented vehicles on such trips; in such cases, the drivers of private or rented vehicles must present evidence of insurance.
- Elementary school students will only be discharged at school, at their designated stop, or at another designated stop if they present evidence of permission to do so. They will never be discharged at an unauthorized stop.
- Kindergarten students will not be discharged from buses unless the child's parent, guardian, or other adult designated by the parent or guardian, is present to take charge of the child. Exceptions to this policy will be made only upon the written authorization of the parent or guardian. Depending upon locations, conditions or other extenuating circumstances, parents may be asked to meet 1st and/or 2nd graders as well.
- The majority of students should be on the bus as little as possible; routes should be designed so that the bulk of the students are picked up last in the morning, and discharged first in the afternoon.
- Only authorized students are to be transported on school buses. Parents, friends, teachers, etc, are not to ride the bus on regular routes. However, teachers, coaches, or other authorized chaperones may accompany field and athletic trips.
- In determining the location of bus stops, primary consideration will be given to safety. Secondary considerations will include fairness, convenience, and availability of budget funds. No stop will be established which, in the opinion of the school administration, will unreasonably compromise the safety of students who are expected to use that stop. In cases where the safety of a stop is questioned, the NH Department of Education and NH Department of Safety's School Bus Stop Evaluation Criteria will be used and the local police chief may be consulted.
- Small musical instruments which students can hold in their laps, or can put under their seats on the bus, will be allowed. Larger musical instruments, or other large items which require the use of another seat on the bus, may not be allowed, depending on how crowded the bus is. Items requiring the use of the center aisle will not be allowed. Effective April 2017, we are allowing smaller athletic equipment such as hockey and lacrosse sticks, tennis rackets, and baseball/softball bats to be carried on the buses. The ability to bring these items is a privilege not a right and must be accompanied by strict behavior. The equipment must be secured in an upright position, beside or between the rider's legs. The equipment should not be flailing about, poking the roof or bounding up and down off the floor, lying on the floor, impeding the aisle way, or infringing on other riders space. Any behavior of this type will be reported by the drivers to the Administration and will result in the privilege being revoked. At this time, skis, poles, and equipment bags such as hockey and golf are too large to accommodate.
- Questions from parents about school bus matters should normally be directed to the appropriate school principal. If the question deals with day-to-day issues concerning discipline, behavior, and unusual daily circumstances (late or early bus, missed stop, etc.), it should be referred to the appropriate school principal. If the questions deals with the bus contractor (equipment, driver qualifications and behavior, etc.), or ongoing issues relate to routes, schedules, stops, etc,. it should be referred to the Business Administrator. In all cases, the Superintendent, and then the School Board, can be involved if the questions are not resolved.
- Drivers are expected to exhibit the same levels of respect and decorum, which are expected of the riders.
- Buses will not be backed up while students are still outside the bus.
- Where possible, students will be picked up and discharged on the proper side of the road, so they are not required to cross a road.
- It is permissible to require three students to sit in one seat on a school bus; where possible, however, the driver should make allowances for larger students.
- If a child is on the wrong bus, he or she will be returned to the school at the end of the route; unless other arrangements can be made. If, for any reason at any time, there is no one at the school who is able to assume temporary responsibility for that student, the driver should contact the SAU office and must make sure that the student is assigned to someone who can assume that responsibility. If parents, guardians, or other previously agreed-upon caretakers are not available and the SAU office is closed, as a last resort the driver should leave the student with the local police.
- In case of a breakdown, the driver will notify the bus contractor, who will dispatch a substitute bus as soon as possible. Before the substitute bus arrives, the driver will not release any children to anyone other than a parent, guardian, or school official, or to someone authorized by the parent to make decisions on behalf of the child.
- When determining which students will be allowed to ride on a crowded bus in the afternoon, priority will be given to elementary students, then middle school students, then to high school students.
- In case a bus cannot complete its afternoon route (because of road conditions, disruptive behavior, etc.) students will be taken back to the school. They will not be discharged at another place, unless prior arrangements have been made with parents.
- Unusually bulky objects may not be allowed on a bus during its regular route. The bus driver will determine whether or not there is room to safely transport "extra" items.
- Drivers should keep to their approved time schedule as closely as possible, and should never be more than five minutes early. If a driver discovers that bus is approaching that five-minute limit, the driver will wait at appropriate predetermined places on the route until the bus is back on schedule.
- Drivers will maintain a log, or diary, on their bus, which will contain documentation of verbal warnings issued to students for disciplinary purposes. The log will also be used to record other noteworthy items, such as the license plate numbers of motorists passing the bus illegally. While drivers are expected to note any significant events, this log is not be to considered an all-inclusive record of bus incidents.
Policy EEA, Effective May 20, 2009
Student Transportation: Bus Routes and Stops
The SAU staff under the direction of the Superintendent shall establish bus routes and stops. These routes and stops will be developed in conjunction with the transportation contractor and the school administration. Routes will be over the most direct roads practicable and safe for bus travel to serve those entitled to transportation service statute or district policy. Routes will be designed to employ the full carrying capacity of each bus trip and to minimize the time student spend in transit.
Authorized bus stops shall be located at convenient intervals in safe locations. Bus stop locations must be sited so that pupils can be safely loaded or unloaded, cross highways and await arrival of buses based upon road conditions, terrain, and visibility. The number of each stops on each trip shall be limited to facilitate shorter riding times for students. Changes in designated bus stops may be made only by the Superintendent of Schools.
The Superintendent or designee will provide transportation only to sites located within district boundaries.
Ray School students may, upon written permission of their parents and with the consent of the principal, be transported to places other than their own residence provided that the capacity of the bus is not exceeded, the bus is not required to make additional stops, the request is submitted and approved in advance in accordance with guidelines in the Ray School Student Handbook.
Students and parents must adhere to the transportation guidelines and regulations included in the Ray School Handbook.
Hanover School Board
Policy EEA, Effective June 3, 2009
Student Transportation: Bus Routes and Stops
The SAU staff under the direction of the Superintendent shall establish bus routes and stops. These routes and stops will be developed in conjunction with the transportation contractor and the school administration. Routes will be over the most direct roads practicable for bus travel. Routes will be designed to employ the full carrying capacity of each bus trip and to minimize the time students spend in transit. Children who live less then three-quarters (3/4) of a mile from the elementary school will be transported at the parents' request, if, in the opinion of the Superintendent of Schools, the children are required to walk over a hazardous route or their age of health preclude walking.
Authorized bus stops shall be located at convenient intervals in safe locations. Bus stop locations must be sited so that pupils can be safely loaded or unloaded, cross highways and await arrival of buses based on road conditions, terrain and visibility. The number of bus stops on each trip shall be limited to facilitate shorter riding times for students. Changes in designated bus stops may be made only by the Superintendent of Schools.
Marion Cross School students may, upon written permission of their parents and with the consent of the school principal, be transported to places other than their own residence provided that the capacity of the bus is not exceeded, the bus is not required to make additional stops, and the request is submitted in advance in accordance with guidelines in the Marion Cross School Parent Handbook.
Norwich School Board
- AM pickup location is at the Lyme Elementary School at 7:10 AM, Hanover bus #11 (H11) This bus will be specifically for the transport of Lyme students directly to the Hanover High School and will drop off at the school at approximately 7:25 AM.
- PM return will be on Hanover Bus #11 (H11), the bus will leave the school at 3:15 PM and will go directly to the Lyme Elementary School arriving at approximately 3:35 PM.
- As always, Lyme students living closer to other posted routes areas may hop aboard any Hanover bus coming into the Hanover High School, if space allows.
- AM pickup location is at the Hartland Elementary School at 7:10 AM - Hartland District Bus. This bus will transport directly to Hanover High School and then continue on to Richmond Middle School.
- PM return -
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday - Hartland bus will pick up at Hanover High School at 3:45 PM and arrives at Hartland Elementary School at approximately 4:05 PM; students at Richmond Middle School will need to ride a bus over to Hanover High School and wait for their bus.
Wednesday - Hartland bus will pick up at Hanover High School and leaves immediately to return to the Hartland Elementary to finish Hartland routes. They cannot wait for the Richmond Middle School transfers on Wednesday; so alternate parental arrangements will need to be made for them.