The following represents a summary of parent responsibilities that will assist South Orangetown Central School District in assuring the safest possible transportation for your child(ren).
General Parent Responsibilities
- Ensure that your student arrives at the bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time
- Accompany children in grades K-2 to and from the bus stop, or elect a bus stop designee via a WOS Bus Designee Form available year round under Forms on the Transportation homepage
- Transport large items to school such as, but not limited to: instruments, athletic equipment, etc. that cannot fit on your child’s lap since large items pose a safety hazard;
- Teach correct bus behavior:
- Always use a seat belt;
- Remain in your seat at all times, especially when the bus is in motion;
- Keep the aisles clear; and,
- No fighting, yelling or throwing objects
- Contact your the school principal if your child experiences a problem with another student on the bus;
- If you observe unsafe driving practices, contact the Transportation Office at (845) 680-1662 or (845) 680-1663 with the time, location and bus number; and,
- Make sure that your child’s school up-to-date phone numbers to reach you at home, at work, as well as current phone numbers for emergency contacts.
Bus Safety Rules
- Students should arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time
- Line up at the stop, do not push or shove, and wait for the bus to come to a full stop before approaching it.
- Never throw snowballs or other objects at or around the bus.
- Don’t fight with, tease, or bully other students at the bus stop or while riding the bus.
- During the winter months students, should never wait for the bus on snow piles. Students may slip under the wheels of the bus or another vehicle.
- The school bus is like an extension of the classroom and all school rules apply. Be courteous, use proper language, speak quietly, and do not be destructive.
- In the interest of safety, students must cooperate with the driver at all times. If necessary, the bus driver may assign seats. Students may be denied the privilege of riding the bus as a result of unacceptable behavior.
- Stay in your seats. Do not change seats while the bus is in motion.
- Open windows only with the bus driver’s permission.
- Do not block the aisle with your feet or other objects.
- Do not distract the driver. Do not talk to the driver unless it is absolutely necessary or an emergency.
- Do not eat, drink, or chew gum on the bus. Help keep the bus clean.
- Do not throw papers, etc., on the floor or out the windows. There is no smoking, use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs of any kind on the school bus.
- Keep your hands, feet, arms, and head inside the bus.
- Emergency equipment and exits must not be touched unless they are needed.
- No objects may be carried on the bus which interfere with passenger safety and comfort. All items that are brought on the bus must be carried on the student’s lap in a standard sized backpack. Examples of prohibited items include, but are not limited to: glass objects of any kind, pets, reptiles, or other caged animals, skis, ski poles, lacrosse sticks, baseball bats, skateboards, hand tools or power tools, chemicals of any nature, large musical instruments, (e.g. baritones, tubas, saxophone, baritone sax, string bass, timpani, bass drum) or any other object that would cause injury or is not related to instruction.
- Anyone who damages school property will be required to pay for damages.
- Students may only ride to/from an assigned bus stop. The bus driver will only make stops that are authorized on their route sheets.
- Students who miss the bus at school should go into the school office and tell someone in authority. Parents will need to make other arrangements. Due to scheduling conflicts, the bus cannot return to the school.
- Students in grades K-2 must be met at the bus stop by an approved guardian.
- Students are encouraged to use seat belts. Please reinforce this encouragement at home.
- When crossing in front of the bus, be aware of the Danger Zones and always cross 10 feet in front of the bus ONLY AT THE DIRECTION OF THE BUS DRIVER. Please review this with your child/children.
William O. Schaefer Elementary School
Please reinforce with your child that they must remain in their seats when the bus arrives at school. They need to listen carefully to the bus driver for instruction when to exit the bus.
All WOS students will receive a bus pass prior to the start of school. When boarding the bus at the school, each student will be required to present their ID card to the driver.
Please remember there needs to be someone to meet kindergarteners, first-graders, and second-graders at the afternoon bus stop (including early dismissals). Parents or their designees should be at the stop at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time, as buses can run earlier than anticipated due to unforeseen circumstances along the route, including but not limited to road closures, that would require students to be dropped off out of order.
Parents should submit to the Transportation Office a list of up to four named designees who may receive their child in the event that they are unable to be at the bus stop. Designees must be prepared to provide a government-issued photo identification to the driver. The WOS Bus Designee Form is posted under Forms on the Transportation webpage. If a parent, sibling or a parent-approved designee is not present to meet your child at the designated bus stop, your child will be returned to WOS. The school will call the you and/or the emergency phone numbers to arrange for a pick up at school.
At WOS, parent/guardian drop off will occur at the main entrance in the front of the building beginning at 9:15AM. WOS cannot accommodate student arrivals prior to 9:15AM. Please drop your student off at the entrance/exit of the front semi-circular driveway. There will be staff members present to help direct students into the building. Please stay out of the circular drive between 8:45–9:30AM and 2:50–4:00PM.
Please send a note with your child in the morning advising the school that you will be picking up your child so the teacher will know beforehand that your child should not get on the bus that afternoon. Your child should always know the plan, unless, of course, an emergency arises.
Cottage Lane Elementary School (Grades 3-5)
All CLE students will receive a bus pass prior to the start of school. When boarding the bus at the school, each student will be required to present their ID card to the driver.
When buses are unloading children at the school, between 9:00-9:25AM, cars are not permitted to enter the bus lane. Students arriving by car are to be dropped off from the car lane and utilize the crosswalk between the car lane and bus lane. Personal vehicles that have dropped off students will then drive through the CAR ONLY lane in the parking lot and proceed out to Western Highway. There will be a staff member on duty providing directions. DO NOT pass a bus when its red lights are flashing and the stop sign is out in the bus lane. NOTE: Pick up and drop off of walkers is not permitted at the Greenbush Academy Building on Western Highway for safety reasons. Parking at this location is for SOCSD faculty and staff only.
Students will be released at their afternoon bus stops whether or not an adult is not present. Children are not returned to school. It is important that parents make plans for their child to get into their homes if they will not be home when the bus arrives.
If you plan to pick up your child at dismissal, please send a note with your child in the morning to advise the school so the teacher will know that your child should not get on the bus that afternoon. Your child should always know the plan, unless of course, an emergency arises.
South Orangetown Middle School (Grades 6-8)
All SOMS students will receive a bus pass prior to the start of school. When boarding the bus at the school, each student will be required to present their ID card to the driver.
Tappan Zee High School (Grades 9-12)
All eligible TZHS students will receive a bus pass prior to the start of school. When boarding the bus at the school, each student will be required to present their ID card to the driver. If a student does not have a pass, the student may be denied transportation.