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Transportation Policies

A childcare transportation form needs to be filled out each year; previous years do not rollover. If there is ever a change in a child’s transportation, a parent/guardian is to contact St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department at 763-753-7080.

Grades 6-12 will ride the early routes together
Grades K-5 will be going to East Bethel Elementary School, Cedar Creek Elementary School and St. Francis Elementary School

Walking to a bus stop

It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their child walking to and from the bus stop. Students may be expected to walk to the bus stop or to school as follows:

Grades K-5 .4 mile
Grades 6-12 .5 mile

All distances are to be measured from the end of the student’s driveway where such driveway meets the publicly maintained road.

Services and Policies

How safe is the bus?
St. Francis Area Schools takes pride in maintaining a safe, top of the line fleet of buses driven by superior drivers. When parents put their child on a school district bus, they can expect the following:

  • Every bus is equipped with an alarm system called Child Reminder. This alarm will sound in the rare event that a driver forgets to walk through the bus after turning it off.
  • Every route bus is equipped with state-of-the-art video surveillance. In the state of Minnesota, only school officials are authorized to watch in-bus video.
  • Each bus is equipped with newly installed GPS units to track the location of the bus for student safety.
  • All of our buses have LED lights in the stop sign and in the back of the bus for better visibility.

Every St. Francis Area Schools school bus driver, including substitute drivers, has the following qualifications:

  • Completed at least 20 hours training behind the wheel
  • Attends at least 8 hours of additional training each year
  • Taken an awareness/safety class on bodily fluids and how to handle them properly
  • Received and cleared two background checks
  • Driver’s license is checked through the Department of Vehicle Services at least twice a year
  • Carries a two-way mobile device with direct connection for immediate contact with the dispatcher
Bus Rules and Discipline

For infractions of the bus rules, the driver will fill out a discipline report and a letter is sent or a call is made to the parents/guardians regarding the incident. A copy of the report is sent to the school principal for their knowledge and records. The student is issued either a warning or a suspension from the bus depending on the infraction. Each subsequent offense results in an increasingly stricter discipline. Bus riding is a privilege not a right. Abusing these rules can result in the loss of a student’s bus riding privileges. Infractions include:

  • Abuse, verbal includes profanity
  • Alcohol or chemicals, possession
  • Ammunition, possession
  • Arson
  • Failure to follow driver’s direction
  • Fighting
  • Firearm or look-alike firearm
  • Harassment, including obscene gestures
  • Interference with safe operation of the bus
  • Not remaining seated
  • Spraying of cologne/perfume/hair spray
  • Tampering with emergency and safety equipment
  • Theft, or knowingly possessing stolen property
  • Throwing/shooting of objects
  • Tobacco/tobacco products

IMPORTANT: Students may ride only the bus to which they are assigned. Policy prohibits students from riding a friend’s bus. Changing of buses for social reasons is never allowed. Bus capacities are such that room is not available for the casual rider on other buses.

Vandalism

Vandalism on buses is not tolerated. Students are responsible for paying for damages they cause to buses. Students causing damage to a bus lose their bus riding privilege. Items not allowed on a bus:

  • Any potentially dangerous item
  • Skis, skateboards, roller blades, etc.
  • Helium filled balloons
  • Large objects that take up 1/3 or more of the bus seat
  • Sharp objects that are not contained in a backpack
  • Balls, marbles, anything that rolls
  • Containers that can leak or squirt liquid
  • Glass objects
  • Possession or use of laser pens or pointers
  • Fire or smoke producing items are prohibited (state rule)
  • Weapons of any kind are prohibited (state rule)
  • Gas cans are prohibited (state rule)
  • Animals, dead or alive, are prohibited (state rule)
Inclement weather

When a decision is made to close school, all district personnel and households with students are notified with a call from the Campus Messenger system. 
The district website is updated immediately after the decision has been reached to close school. Sources of information about school closing are:

Check the district homepage and Facebook for news alerts

Local television stations—Channels 4, 5, 9, 11

Joint/shared custody

When both parents reside in the same school boundaries, students may ride from both residences as needed. Call the Transportation Department at 763-753-7080 to arrange for the buses.

Childcare

Childcare is defined as a location other than the student’s residence in which care is being provided in the absence of the parent or legal guardian. A childcare transportation form must be submitted to the Transportation Department if a child needs transportation from the childcare location.

  • Childcare pick up and drop off locations must be the same every day
  • Forms must be submitted five (5) days in advance to allow for proper notification and scheduling
Change in student information

Call the Transportation Department at 763-753-7080 if there is a change in address, phone number, head of household or name. This will help keep records up-to-date and allow proper bus assignment.

Changing routes and/or bus stops

Students are assigned to bus stops and specific bus routes. Students must ride only the bus they are assigned to. Students shall board and exit the bus only at their assigned bus stop.

Moving

If a family moves, please notify the Transportation Department to cancel current transportation and assign the student to a different route, if needed.

For more information, contact St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department at 763-753-7080. Transportation staff is eager to serve St. Francis Area Schools students and families. 

Bus Driver Shortage Plan

St. Francis Area Schools provides transportation services to students on a daily basis. The school district covers 165 square miles and serves more than 4,400 students from preschool to grade 12. The Transportation Department logs 1,238,830 miles over the course of a school year and takes pride in their work and safety record.

Currently St. Francis Area Schools is experiencing a shortage of school bus drivers. This shortage is so significant that the district has put together a Bus Driver Shortage Plan to safely get students to and from school in the event that there are not enough drivers to support regular route transportation on any given day. Arrival times to and from school will be impacted.

The Driver Shortage Plan covers the impact on student arrival to school (morning) and student arrival home from school (afternoon) and communication procedures to alert parents when the plan is in effect. Most likely the bus route(s) affected would not be known until the day of the driver shortage. St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department will notify parents of the affected route(s) via Campus Messenger as soon as logistically possible. The message will be sent as an emergency message and parents will receive a phone call, email and/or text depending on what has been selected in preferences in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.

Bus Driver Shortage Plan • Students Arrival to School
  • St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department will announce the Driver Shortage Plan is in effect and will notify parents of the affected route(s) via Campus Messenger.
  • This delay would not affect student's daily attendance or be counted as a truancy.
Bus Driver Shortage Plan • Students Arrival Home from School
  • St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department will announce the Driver Shortage Plan is in effect and will notify parents of the affected route(s) via Campus Messenger.
  • Students on the affected route(s) would remain in the Cafeteria or Media Center until a bus is available.
  • St. Francis Area Schools Transportation Department will notify parents of the affected route(s) via Campus Messenger.
  • Students will be supervised during this time, and a snack, study space and activities will be provided should the wait be more than 15 minutes.
  • Students on the affected route(s) will be delayed arriving home.
  • Parents/guardians will have the option of picking up their student on the affected route(s) at School.
Campus Messenger Information

St. Francis Area Schools uses Campus Messenger for important communications. Now would be an ideal time to verify your contact information in the parent portal. Visit www.isd15.org/campus. If you do not have access to Campus Parent Portal, please call your student's school. An Infinite Campus Mobile App is available for Android, iPhone and iPad Touch devices.