Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Bus Driver Requirements

POLICY:

NOCAC Bus Drivers will have an understanding of the role of child transportation and meet all physical, mental and moral requirements established by federal rule and state laws.

PROCEDURES:

Each Bus Driver must:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age with a minimum of two years driving experience. (OAC 3301-83-06)
  2. Have passed a satisfactory criminal background check
    1. A new report is required every 6 years with driver re-certification.
    2. NOCAC will maintain these records for a minimum of six years.
  3. Have a negative pre-employment drug test
  4. Be physically qualified by passing the Physicians T8 Form.
  5. Pass semi-annual driver record checks through the Ohio Department of Education
    1. Records are maintained by NOCAC for a minimum of six years.
  6. Obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) with at least a Class C classification with a School Bus and Passenger Endorsement.
  7. Observe a route with an experienced driver and students onboard; and drive a route with an experienced driver and students onboard.  Successfully complete pre-service and in-service trainings
  8. Participate in drug and alcohol testing as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) pursuant to 49 C.F.R. 382 (January 2007).
  9. Bus Drivers with any of the following will be disqualified from operating a school bus:
    1. More than six points during the past two years.
    2. A conviction of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance during the past six years.
    3. Two (or more) serious traffic violations during the past two years.
    4. Any railroad crossing violation during the past year as evidenced by a conviction, video, or a report by a law enforcement agency or railroad official; or
    5. Refusal to participate in drug and alcohol testing.
  10. New staff that require a CDL per job description will have 30 days to obtain a CDL Permit and 90 days to obtain a CDL.
    1. Staff who fail to obtain a CDL in 90 days will have their probation extended for an additional 30 days.
    2. Disciplinary action will be taken for staff who do not obtain a CDL during the probation extension.
  11. The Transportation/Safety Specialist or Center Manager will perform an annual driving evaluation of each bus driver.
    1. This observation includes an on-board observation of road performance.
  12. The Transportation/Safety Specialist will keep record of the bus driver’s CDL permit and the last performance evaluation.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.72(b)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14(c)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    OAPT 3301.83-06

 

Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   7/31/20, 6/14/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    

Bus Evacuation

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start will do bus evacuation drills each month the program is in session.

PROCEDURES:

  1. NOCAC Child Development drivers and staff will complete a bus evacuation drill each month.
    1. Front Evacuation
      1. September, December, and March
    2. Rear Evacuation
      1. October, January, and April
    3. Combination Evacuation
      1. November, February, and May
  2. Three NOCAC Head Start staff members must be present to perform a bus evacuation drill (one person can be the bus monitor)
  3. The driver will document the evacuation drill on the yellow and white copy of the BUS EVACUATION DRILL FORM 2022.
    1. Fill form out completely each time; the three staff who helped with the drill must be listed on the form.
    2. The yellow form will stay on the bus at all times for monitoring review.
    3. The white form must be turned into the Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) by the 10th of each month. The TSS reviews and records the evacuation, it will be returned to the driver.
    4. The TSS will not accept scanned, emailed or faxed Bus Evacuation Drill Forms.
  4. NOCAC Child Development bus drivers and bus monitors are trained on bus evacuations by the TSS or designated On-Bus-Instructor during initial CDL training.
    1. Bus evacuation training is documented on the T9 form.
  5. NOCAC Staff with a CDL receive training annually during the annual 4-hour Transportation Orientation.
  6. NOCAC Staff without a CDL and bus monitors hired after the annual transportation orientation are trained within the 90 day probation period.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.74
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Reviewed Date:   12/20/2019, 6/13/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   12/20/2019

Bus Maintenance and Inspection

POLICY:

NOCAC buses will be maintained in safe operating condition through a systematic preventative maintenance program following all Federal, State and local requirements.

PROCEDURES:

  1. All school buses operated by NOCAC receive a bi-annual safety inspection by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
    1. Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) in collaboration with certified bus mechanics arranges a fall and summer inspection with Ohio State Patrol.
    2. Verification of the safety inspections is kept on file in the TSS office.
    3. A current inspection sticker issued by the Ohio State Highway Patrol is displayed on both sides of the bus.
    4. No bus is put into service until it passes Ohio State Highway Patrol inspection.
  2. NOCAC buses will be mechanically safe at all times by completing a Daily Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Report form and/or Daily Bus Driver Post-Route Inspection form.
  3. NOCAC bus drivers will complete a Daily Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Report form and/or Daily Bus Driver Post-Route Inspection form.

NEW BUS INSPECTION

  1. The TSS will inspect the bus upon arrival to ensure it meets Ohio School Bus Construction Standards.
  2. Ohio State Highway Patrol will be called to schedule an inspection of the new bus for approval before it is put into service.
  3. The bill of sale from the vehicle purchase must be maintained on file at the center to verify compliance by ODJFS.
  4. Verification of safety checks shall be documented on the JFS 01230 Vehicle Inspection Report and will be kept on file at the center for review by ODJFS.
    1. A mechanic will complete for each vehicle.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.71
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14(E)(F)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Reviewed Date:   12/20/2019, 6/13/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   12/20/2019

Bus Monitor Responsibilities

POLICY:

NOCAC Bus Monitors are counted in ratio on the bus and will be expected to interact with children in a positive, friendly and socially supportive manner using positive behavior strategies and encouraging pro-social interactions among children. Bus Monitors will be trained in accordance with all Federal, State and Local requirements.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Bus monitors are considered a “Child Care Staff Member” per ODJFS rule 5101:2-12-01(H) because they are counted in ratio while on the bus and assigned specific work hours.
  2. Bus monitors must meet all Child Care Staff Member requirements listed in ODJFS 5101:2-12-08(B)
  3. Bus monitors will complete the ODJFS prescribed online orientation within 30 days of starting. ODJFS 5101:2-12-08(D)
  4. Bus monitors will complete within the first 30 days, either the ODJFS Prescribed one hour child abuse overview or the six hour Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention Training. (ODJFS 5101:2-12-10(A)(2))
  5. The Transportation/Safety Specialist will train all bus monitors on the following before they begin:
    1. Child boarding and exiting procedures
    2. How to use child restraint system
    3. Completing any required paperwork
      1. Bus attendance
    4. How to respond to emergencies
    5. Emergency evacuation procedures
    6. How to use special equipment
    7. Child pick-up and release procedures
    8. How to conduct pre-trip and post-trip vehicle checks
    9. Bus monitor will sign a Standards of Conduct Form at hire with TSS and if returning the following year they will sign one annually with the center manager.
  6. Bus monitors are subject to requirements in Staff Safety Training.
  1. Bus monitors are encouraged, but not required, to be trained in the following:
    1. First Aid
    2. CPR
      1. Adult
      2. Pediatric
      3. AED
  2. Bus monitors must complete 6 hours of training annually each ODJFS fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
    1. Training topics include those listed in 5101:2-12-10 appendix B
    2. First Aid, CPR, CCI, and Child Abuse Recognition/Prevention may not be used towards the 6 hours (per ODJFS 5101:2-12-10(B)(1)(b))
    3. Bus Monitors are not required to complete the 6 hours until the following fiscal year if hired between January 1 and June 30th.
  3. Bus Monitors will attend an annual Bus Driver Training.
  4. Center Managers will track bus monitor training hours.
  5. Bus Monitors will be observed annually by the Center Manager or the TSS using the Bus Monitor Observation Form.  The Bus Monitor Observation Form will be sent to the TSS for review and filing.
  6. The Bus Monitor Conference Form will be used to document performance concerns.
  7. Monitors will be informed of all training opportunities NOCAC provides that are relevant to their duties.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.72(e)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-01; 5101:2-12-08; 5101:2-12-10
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Reviewed Date:   1/6/20, 6/13/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   1/6/20

Bus Routes

POLICY:

When planning bus routes, safety of the children is top priority.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Bus routes are developed by the driver with assistance from the Center Manager and/or support staff.  Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) will be consulted in unusual situations.
  2. NOCAC staff will consider the following when creating a bus route:
    1. Traffic flow
    2. Crossing of roads
    3. Nearby intersections
    4. Driveways, hills and curves
    5. Visibility and railroad crossing
  3. A bus route must be approved by the TSS before it can be implemented.
  4. Each bus will have a detailed bus route (which can be found on the Google Drive folder: titled “Current Year Bus Route”) on board that includes the following information:
    1. Direction to designated stops;
    2. Time schedule;
    3. Designated stop;
    4. Driver-designated place of safety;
    5. Number of riders at each stop location and residence side; and
    6. List identifying road hazards (ex: railroads) or when crossing over divided highways
  5. Order of pick up and drop off:
    1. Best practice is….the first pick up will be the child who lives the farthest form the site.
    2. Best practice is….the first drop off will be the child who lives the closest to the site.
    3. Best practice is….children are seated three to a seat, trying to avoid backseats.
    4. Bus seats are to be filled front to back.
  6. Children will be picked up and dropped off at a regular bus stop that is based on the established route.
    1. EMERGENCY Bus Route changes can be made when necessary
    2. NON-EMERGENCY Bus Route changes – Must be received in writing at least 24 hours prior to the affected change.
    3. If a child moves and the length of the route remains the same or is increased by no more than 15 minutes from the original route, email the updated bus route to the TSS.
    4. If a child moves and the route is increased by more than 15 minutes, the driver must call the TSS.
      1. The driver and the TSS will work together to see if there is better solution.
      2. The Family and Community Engagement Team will be consulted as necessary to assist in meeting the family’s transportation needs.
  7. Vehicle capacity (including Bus Monitor and other adults) will not be exceeded. There must be a seatbelt for every child and adult on the bus.
  8. NOCAC Head Start bus drivers are responsible for keeping the bus routes up to date.
    1. Drivers must email the TSS an updated bus route BEFORE it is implemented.
  9. NOCAC Head Start driver or designated staff must inform all parents of significant bus route changes before the changes are implemented.
  10. The time a child is in transit to and from the program must not exceed one hour unless there is no shorter route available or any alternative shorter route is either unsafe or impractical.
    1. Bus route time begins as soon as the first child is picked up and “ends” as soon as the last child is dropped off.
  11. The bus should leave the center at the same time every day.
  12. The bus route should be followed in its entirety to ensure parents with accurate bus times.
    1. Exception is when the child at the first or last stop is going to be absent.
  13. Bus stops will be on the resident side of the street unless a left-handed stop has been approved.
  14. LEFT HAND PICK UP/DROP OFF
    1. Staff must obtain written authorization (via email) from the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director BEFORE a left-hand pick up/drop off is implemented.
    2. The parent/care giver will escort the child across the street for pick-up and drop-off.
    3. The driver/teacher will inform the parent about the hand signals and the procedure to be used.
  15. Each child is picked up door-to-door except in unusual circumstances. The TSS must approve a bus stop if not at the child’s home.
  16. When road closures or hazardous conditions warrant an alternate route, the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director, TSS or Center Manager must be contacted for approval to change the route.
  17. Drivers do not back up or make U-turns except when necessary (HSPPS 1303.73).
    1. If a back up or turnaround is necessary, it must be done after the child is on the bus or before the child is released at drop off.
    2. All backups and turnarounds must have prior approval by the TSS; it will also be noted on the bus route form.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.73(i)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    Pupil Transportation Operation and Safety Rules-July 2013 3301-83-13

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Reviewed Date:   12/20/19, 6/14/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   12/20/19

Daily Vehicle Inspection

POLICY:

It is the responsibility of each NOCAC Bus Driver to complete and document a pre-trip inspections before and post trip inspections after transporting children and/or staff for all purposes.

PROCEDURES:

Pre Trip

For the safety of all children and staff there are two types of pre-trip inspections that can be performed prior to transporting children on a school bus, regardless of the time of day and document on the DAILY VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORT FORM 2022.

Full Daily Pre-Trip Inspection:

  • Shall be performed by the bus driver if they are driving the bus for the first time on any given day to transport children.

Brakes, Lights, & Tires (BLT’s):

  • If a Full Pre-Trip does not need to be performed, BLT’s must be.
  1. The Bus Driver must remove the BUS CHECKED, NO CHILDREN LEFT ON BUS sign on the back door before driving the bus.
  2. The Bus Driver will record the beginning odometer, route start time and destination on the Bus Gas and Mileage Log.
    1. Bus driver must record the site and bus number on the form.
  3. The DAILY VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORT FORM 2022 will be completed daily and turned into the Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) at the end of each week.
    1. Bus driver must record the site and bus number on the form.
  4. Any needed repairs are to be documented on the DAILY VEHICLE INSPECTION REPORT FORM 2022 and emailed immediately to the TSS.

Post Trip

  1. A post trip must be completed each time the bus is driven.
  2. The Bus Driver must visually inspect each seat position to ensure all children have exited the bus.
  3. The Bus Driver must put the BUS CHECKED, NO CHILDREN LEFT ON BUS sign on the back door.
  4. The Bus Driver must complete the Bus Driver Post Route Inspection Form.
  5. The Bus Driver will record the ending odometer, route end time, time of 1st pick up/time of last drop off, number of passengers, and staff name on the Bus Gas and Mileage Log.
  6. All doors locked, window closed and switches off when bus is not in use.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.71(e)(2)(iii)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14 (d)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    OAPT 3301-83-11(B)(3)

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Reviewed Date:   11/2/20, 6/13/22, 8/10/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: