Public School Transportation for the Non-Public/Charter School StudentPLEASE NOTE: ALL TRANSFERS TO THE STATE COLLEGE AREA SCHOOLS WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE HIGH SCHOOL NEAR THE THEATRE ENTRANCE.The Bellefonte Area School District is pleased to provide transportation for students living within the geographic boundaries of our district who are attending private schools in our area. We have a long, successful history of transporting non-public school students. We are proud of the relationship we have built over the years with the various schools our children attend.
Our district provides transportation to private schools which are within a ten-mile radius of our school district boundaries. This includes most private, charter, parochial, and special interest schools in the Bellefonte and State College areas.
Obviously, because of the distance between Bellefonte and State College, route times may be a little longer in length. However, we strive to transport the students in an expedient, efficient, and safe manner.
Forms of transportation include District vans, private car/van carriers, as well as school buses. Depending upon the location of your home, the school of attendance, school hours, and the number of students living in a particular area will determine the route and vehicle children are placed in.
All of our bus drivers are certified by the State of Pennsylvania and have all the mandatory clearances and training required. All van drivers have mandatory clearances and have had motor vehicle license record checks.
Children under eight years of age and who are transported by car or van will be required to ride in a booster seat. If there are medical reasons why a child should not be riding in a booster seat, the parents will need to provide the district with a written doctor’s excuse.
When possible, children will use the shuttle bus system for their transportation to and/or from school. This means that private school students could be riding the early morning and/or afternoon public school bus route, arriving at Bellefonte High School (Theatre Entrance) for the transfers. At the High School (Theatre Entrance), the private school children will transfer to the bus which transports students to destinations in the State College area. In the afternoon, the students will transfer from the shuttle bus to public school buses to their home neighborhoods. This system has worked well for us in the past. It is also a system used throughout Pennsylvania by the majority of public schools who serve private schools. Students need to arrive at the Bellefonte High School by 7:15 AM in order for the buses to leave for travel to the State College Area. These buses leave promptly at 7:20 AM.
When the shuttle bus is not able to meet the Bellefonte Area School District’s regular bus schedule, students from private schools will be transported to/from their homes by bus, van, or car, again depending upon geographic locations and numbers of children.
Private school students will be picked up or dropped off at bus stops in their residential area. These bus stops will be comparable to the public school bus stop regulations.
Weather-Related Schedule Changes
Please note when Bellefonte Area School District closes school due to inclement weather, this means that conditions are not safe to transport children. This includes private school children. Even if the private school the child attends is open, we will not transport. It only makes sense: If road conditions are not safe for the local public school students, it is not, in our opinion, safe for any child. Weather conditions vary between the four local school districts. In most cases, the districts will agree to close or adjust schedules; however, any district has the right to make the decision independently. Please stay tuned to your local radio and television stations for the latest updates. Be aware that during a two-hour delay, the district may change to a full-day closure The two-hour delay allows for additional evaluation of conditions. Should conditions deteriorate during the two-hour delay period, school can be canceled.
Your child should be excused for their absence if transportation is canceled due to inclement weather. Please seek additional information from your child’s school in this regard.
School Calendar Differences and Private School Transportation
Currently, Bellefonte Area School District serves nine private schools. We are coordinating over 15 school calendars and time schedules in our attempt to serve the schools in our district, as well as our private school clients.
Please be advised when Bellefonte Area School District is closed for In-Service, Holidays, Act 80 days, and private schools are open, we will continue to provide transportation for private school children. (Remember, when there is a snow cancellation of school, there will be no transportation for any student.) When Bellefonte Area School District is closed, we will most likely have an abbreviated transportation route to serve private school children. Times and pick-up/drop-off locations will be relayed to you in advance. Or parents may bring their students to access our buses at the High School. Buses will be parked from 6:55 AM - 7:20 AM.
School Bus Safety and Your Child
Our goal is to keep your child safe while riding to and from school. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, our safety record is one of the best. You can help keep it that way by reviewing the Rules of School Bus Safety with your child. Review these rules periodically and always stress the importance of safety.
*Leave home early enough to arrive on time at the bus stop. Remember. . . students are required to be at their bus stop 5 minutes prior to the scheduled bus stop time.
*Stay away from the bus until it stops and the driver signals you to board. Enter in a single file without pushing or shoving.
*Take a seat right away and remain seated facing forward.
*Help keep the bus neat and clean. Keep your books, lunch box, and backpack out of the aisle and away from emergency exits. Keep all items in your backpack. Don’t carry loose items on the bus.
*Be courteous to the driver and the other students. Sit quietly with your hands to yourself, and never shout or throw things. Always listen when the driver speaks.
*Get off the bus carefully. Use the handrail when boarding or departing the bus.
*Never walk in the danger zone (the 10-foot area around the bus). Remember this valuable “rule of thumb” about the danger zone: If you can touch the bus, you are way too close. Get back!
*Never run back to the bus even if you drop or forgot something.
*If you cross the road when you get on or off the bus, wait for the driver’s signal and cross in front of the bus. Never cross in the back of the bus.
*Only cross the street after you have checked both ways for traffic.
*If something goes wrong, stay calm. Your bus driver will tell you what to do.
*Know where the emergency doors and windows are in case you ever have to use them.
*Remember: School Bus Rules Save Lives.
Know the School Bus Rules
It should be noted that students whose behavior is unacceptable place others at risk. A child violating school bus rules may lose their riding privileges. In the event a child is removed from transportation because of safety and rules violations, the parents will be responsible for the child’s transportation during the time of suspension. A child whose behavior consistently places others at risk may be expelled from transportation permanently.
Students are expected to follow these school bus rules:
*Stay seated at all times while the bus is in motion.
School bus seating is designed to protect students in the event of an accident. However, in order for students to be protected, they must be seated properly.
*No loud talking or shouting. Any distraction such as loud noises can cause the driver to take his/her eyes off the road. In that split second, an accident can occur.
*Obscene or foul language is not permitted and will not be tolerated.
*All students must obey the bus driver. The State of Pennsylvania gives a bus driver the same authority as a teacher in the classroom.
*Show respect for the driver and fellow riders.
*No throwing objects inside the bus or outside the windows.
*Use of tobacco is prohibited and punishable by law.
*Keep hands off the emergency exits, unless there is an actual emergency.
*Do not distract the driver.
*Do not litter or vandalize the bus. Vandalism to the bus is a crime. Intervention by law enforcement agencies may be requested.
*Eating and drinking on the bus is prohibited.
*Carry-on objects must fit on a student’s lap without causing discomfort to fellow riders.
*Possession of any type of weapon will result in immediate expulsion from transportation. A situation of this type will be referred to law enforcement agencies.
General Information You Should Be Aware Of
Students are not permitted to get on or off the bus at any bus stop other than his/her own established stop unless a written consent is obtained from a parent and approved by the child’s school administration. When such permission is granted, it will be for emergency purposes only and the student must have a bus boarding pass in order to change from his/her regularly scheduled stop.
New bus stops may not be placed in the existing route for child care purposes or for alternate stop requests.
It is illegal for any unauthorized individual to enter a school bus. If you need to make inquiries in regard to transportation, please call the Office of Transportation at 355-4814, ext. 3033.
Be advised that video surveillance equipment may be in operation on any and all buses to secure safety.
Please Be Courteous
If your child will not be attending school and has been assigned to a private car or van, you can help by calling the Office of Transportation at 355-4814, ext 3033. This will save the driver time by him/her being able to adjust the route in advance.
Your Comments and Concerns Are Always Welcome
Please feel free to call the Office of Transportation at any time. Your concerns are our concerns. Your comments are important to us. Working together will give us an opportunity to understand the needs, challenges, and obstacles we all face in student transportation. Again, it is a pleasure to serve you. Best wishes for a rewarding school year as well as safe, reliable, and enjoyable transportation.