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St. Francis Area Schools
A PreK-12 public school district serving the communities of Athens Township, Andover, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

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 Community School, Cedar Creek Community 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 & 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 the proper handling
  • 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 are updated immediately after the decision has been reached to close school. Sources of information about school closing are:

Check the district website 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.

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