Bus Arrival, Bus Dismissal, and Student Drop-Off

Superintendents and principals should work together to adopt and communicate policies for school bus arrival, school bus dismissal, and student drop-off that ensure each student’s safety on the school bus as well as in the classroom.

Determining Your School’s Policy

  • Schools must keep student information in ATS, NPSIS, and the Pre-K E/I Rider system accurate and up-to-date to ensure accurate bus stop assignments.
  • Schools should meet with their bus drivers and attendants twice per year to discuss policy, expectations and areas of concern.
  • Per Chancellor’s Regulations A-801, school leaders are always responsible for providing supervision in the school bus loading zone during the arrival and dismissal of school buses, and must assign designated staff members to pick-up students traveling by yellow bus from their classroom to escort them to the bus meeting point.
  • Students should carry their IDs and school bus route number.
  • Schools must provide updated ridership lists routinely to school bus drivers for communication, safety and awareness.

 Pre-K-Grade 2 Students 

Schools busing students in grades Pre-K through 2nd are required to expand their policy to include additional safety measures.

  • Assign each bus route and bus stop a color, shape or other mnemonic that helps young children identify the right bus and stop.
  • Assign staff to escort students between the school and the school bus.
  • Provide each bus driver with the daily student ridership on their route; identifying expected riders for the day, grouped by bus stop, in the scheduled drop-off order.
  • Youngest students should be seated toward the front of the bus.

Identifying a Bus Coordinator

  • Principals designate a staff member as the school’s bus coordinator  in the Session Time Application.
  • The bus coordinator is responsible for managing activities related to school bus arrival and dismissal.
  • The bus coordinator must ensure the principal’s/site administrator’s plan for school bus loading zone supervision is implemented during the arrival and dismissal of school buses.
  • Share your transportation coordinator’s name and after hours contact number with your Borough Transportation Liaison (public schools) or Transportation Account Manager (charter, non-public, Pre-K).

Managing Bus Arrival

Schools designate staff members to oversee school bus arrival, and most importantly, the safety of students as they exit the bus and enter the school building.

School staff must always supervise the school bus loading zone during arrival.

Managing Bus Dismissal

Schools designate staff members to oversee school bus dismissal, and most importantly, the safety of students as they leave the school building and board the bus.

  • School staff must always supervise the school bus loading zone during dismissal.
  • Ensure all students using bus service have personal identification and their bus route number with them and visible for the driver (for younger passengers).

Managing Bus Arrival and Dismissal for K-2 Grades Students

  • Schools provide each bus driver with the student ridership on their route; identifying expected riders for the day, grouped by bus stop in the order they are to be dropped off.
  • The bus coordinator should escort these students to and from the bus meeting point.  

Policies for Student Drop-Off

DOE regulation provides a process requiring parents, or their designees, to meet their children at the bus stop.

  • Students in grades Pre-K through 2nd require an authorized individual to be at the bus stop in order to exit
  • Parents/guardians must complete an emergency contact form that identifies the adults who are authorized to receive the student from the bus
  • Drivers are instructed to only release a student to authorized individuals, and may ask for identification before releasing a student
  • In all cases, a driver may not release a student if the driver feels doing so would be unsafe, or if the student feels unsafe doing so
  • After arriving at each designated stop, the driver reviews the daily student ridership to identify the students exiting the bus
  • Parents/guardians may elect to designate another family member, neighbor, etc. to receive the child and may further elect to permit the attendant and driver to deliver their child without an authorized adult present to receive the child 
  • Alternative designations by the parent must be given in writing by the parent/guardian to the principal and driver 
  • Students in grades 3 - 6 may exit at their bus stop without an authorized individual present if their parent or guardian opts out of an existing school dismissal policy

Students in Grades K-2

  • Students must be met by an authorized individual at the bus stop
  • Bus drivers will only release these students at their designated stop
  • Parents must contact the school to change the bus stop

Students in Pre-K / Early Intervention Programs

  • Students must be met by an authorized individual at the curb near the bus stop 

In the Event that Student Drop-Off is Not Possible

  • The driver will continue the bus route with the child on board
  • The bus company will immediately attempt to notify the parent/guardian and the school to determine an alternative drop-off arrangement
  • If unsuccessful, the bus company will notify the DOE for assistance in reaching the family
  • If attempts to reach the family are unsuccessful, the bus driver will return the child to school
  • If a driver is unable to return a child to school for any reason, the bus company will contact 911 for instructions
  • If the student's stop is the final one on the route, the driver will radio the dispatcher, who will then contact the DOE to determine the appropriate waiting time before calling 911

Schools report these events in the Online Occurrence Reporting System (OORS)

RULEGRADE
Student Drop-Off PKK123456
Parents must contact the school to change the bus stop XXX    
Bus drivers will only release a child at their designated stopXXXX    
An authorized adult or older sibling must meet the student at the bus stop XXX    
An authorized individual must be present at the curb near the bus stop to receive the childX       
Grades K-2 PKK123456
Students furnished with tags that identify their route and stop XXX    
School Bus ServicePKK123456
Bus drivers will be provided with a daily bus attendance list, and use it to record that each student exited the bus at the correct stop XXX    

Communicating Your School’s Policy

Principals are required to provide parents with the school’s bus arrival, bus dismissal and student drop-off policies.

Principals should organize a meeting for families early in the school year to:

  • Discuss school bus service procedures
  • Distribute the school bus arrival and dismissal policy, student drop-off policy, parental consent forms, and opt-out waivers
  • Help families identify individuals who are authorized to receive their child at the bus stop
  • Encourage families to sign up for a NYC Schools Account

Support for Your School’s Policy

  • Schools can use the Student Profile to view contact information for vendors assigned to transport their students
  • For public schools, contact your Borough Transportation Liaison
  • For charter, non-public, or Pre-K programs, contact your Transportation Account Manager
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