For children being transported by Head Start, Head Start of Lane County will provide regular and safe transportation of children from home to school and back. A bus monitor will be present at all times


  1. Regions should provide transportation requests two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year. The Transportation Department will establish all bus routes at the beginning of each program year based on the information provided by each region. Route information will be given to each region by three work days prior to the beginning of school.
  2. Once the new rotes are established, no additions can be made for the first two weeks of school. After that, changes should be directed to the Transportation Manager (TM), and those changes will be approved or denied, and implemented within three school days.
  3. If a family chooses to attend another site other than the one designated, they may choose to self transport.
  4. Each Regional Manager (RM) will have a plan to ensure that two staff persons will remain at the site until the last bus has returned to the Head Start site and all self transports are picked up.
  5. The information letter about the required 30 day transportation training will be shared with all Head Start / Early Head Start parents.
  6. If there is a new request/new child requesting busing, the Transportation Change form is not needed. If there is an opening, fill the spot with priority status (504, IFSP, or IP-Individualized Plan); if no openings, the child goes onto the waiting list. The RA will inform TM and driver. To ensure each family understands the Head Start policy regarding transportation, the policy will be explained at registration and at parent orientation.
  7. Families will be informed of the scheduled pick-up/drop-off times. They will be informed of any changes on a regular basis. Parents will also receive the 10 minute form to explain the pick-up/drop off procedures. Families will arrange for someone to deliver or pick-up the child from the designated stop. This person is expected to be at the stop 10 minutes before the scheduled time and to remain (as needed) until 10 minutes after the time.
  8. If the bus arrives before the 20 minute window, the Bus Driver will wait at the stop until the appropriate pick-up/drop-off time and the Head Teacher will make a courtesy call. If it becomes apparent that the bus is going to be at the expected stop more than 10 minutes early or late, the Head Teacher will notify site staff.
    1. The staff will tell families of the change.
  9. Children will only be released to authorized personnel.
    1. Children will be dropped off at the designated site.
    2. In an emergency situation, children may be released at a drop off other than their regular stop. Only with prior approved arrangements.
    3. Any changes made to the emergency contact list must be either faxed, scanned, or a handwritten note signed by authorized adult. This note may not be handed at time of drop off/pick up. Note must be received prior to bus route starting.
    4. Changes will then be made to the Emergency Contact Sheets and a new sheet will be signed.
  10. When a child is not to ride the bus as regularly scheduled, the parent should call the site at least 30 minutes prior to the bus leaving with other instructions.
  11. If no one comes to receive the child from the home after the bus has waited for 3 minutes, the driver will radio the site to inform them. The site will contact people on the Emergency Contact Sheet to let them know the bus is outside.
    1. If no one answers the phone, the site will notify the driver and the driver will continue on the route, and will return the child to the site at the end of the route.
      1. In special situations, and at the discretion of the driver, there may be a special arrangement made to have the child dropped off at home later in the route instead of taking the child back to the school. Considerations for this may include time limitations and safety concerns. If the driver chooses to do this it will still be counted as a failure to receive.
    2. The site will continue to try to contact people on the Emergency Contact Sheet to notify them that they will need to pick up the child at the site.

Failure to Receive Child from any Pick Up

  1. In the event that a child is not picked up within 30 minutes after the end of their class, or returned from bus to site after failure to receive, and all attempts to contact the parent/guardians or other emergency contact designee have been unsuccessful, this will constitute as an “emergency situation.”
    1. The Site Manager will take steps to ensure the safety of the child which my include contact with Child Protective Services and/or the local police. The incident will be documented and the Site Manager will meet the parent.
    2. The incident will be documented as a ‘failure to receive’ and the appropriate steps will be taken. After the 2nd failure to receive, the TM will confer with RM and a letter will be sent to parent explaining the importance of the 10 minute window on drop off/pick up. If they cannot comply ,they may lose busing privileges.
    3. If the parent is not able to be home to receive child off the bus and cannot come to the site within 30 minutes the DST will contact others on the emergency contact sheet.
    4. If an approved emergency contact person is not at the drop off site to receive the child within 3 minutes after the target time, the school site will be notified and will attempt to reach an approved contact to let them know the bus is there. If contact is unsuccessful, as a last resort prior to transporting the child back to the school site, the monitor may go to the front door and knock, if they are in continuous sight of the driver. Regardless of the results of this effort it shall be counted and recorded as a Failure to Receive.
      1. As a general rule, parents are expected to walk the child to and from the bus, with exceptions. When an incident takes place with child at site/home, driver can wait a maximum of 7 minutes if parent indicates child needs to finish a task before boarding the bus.
      2. It is possible, based on case to case, the Head Teacher can get off the bus to assist the child.
      3. An Individualize Plan (IP) may be an option.
    5. If no contact is reached, the RM plus one other staff person (2 total at site) will be notified and will be responsible for the child. If the RM is not available, the Program Directors or other central office management staff will be contacted. In cases where the parent/guardian is not available to pick up the child, the RM or Head Start Director will have a plan to continue attempts to contact the parent/guardian. If these attempts fail, the RM or Head Start Director shall notify the police.
      1. The second time the parent/guardian is not available to receive the child:
        1. Head Teacher notifies the RM, who will notify the TM.
        2. TM will document in Childplus. TM sends letter, including a copy of the section of the policy that has been violated and lists consequences.
      2. The third time the parent/guardian is not available to receive the child:
        1. Head Teacher notifies the RM, who will notify the TM in writing (email) RM documents in Childplus.
        2. The child will be put on a two day transportation suspension.
        3. During the suspension period the RM, Early child Childhood Education Coordinator (ECEC) Family Service Coordinator (FSC) to determine if the child has a 504 or an IFPS, and to discuss transportation suspension or another plan.
    6. When the above procedure is not practical, staff will develop an Individualized Plan (IP) to meet the needs of the child. Any IP will be subject to approval by the Child Development/Disabilities Consultant first, secondly the RM and lastly the TM.
    7. Regional Managers will determine the allowance of backpacks in regards to busing. If it is determined that backpacks are allowed on the bus, a letter will e sent out to all parents of that bused site, with some guidelines for backpacks. An example of these guidelines would be only using a small backpack on the bus.
    8. Any additional training with regards to medical alerts and the bus drivers, will be determined by the Health Consultant, and these trainings will be decided on a case by case basis. Any medical alerts will be documented in Childplus and the bus driver will be informed.

Student Loading and Unloading

Pick up at Home

  1. Kids should be at least 10 feet from the bus when it stops.
  2. Wait for bus to come to complete stop before moving to load.
  3. Assist child to assigned seat and buckle up the harness.
  4. Backpacks should be secured to their seat and buckled up before bus leaves the stop.

Drop off at School

  1. Driver and monitor should count how many children are on the bus before unloading.
  2. Monitor should assist the children off the bus and then do a sweep of the bus to determine no other children are remaining on the bus.
  3. Monitor should count and confirm to the bus driver the number of children that are on the ground and off the bus.
  4. After the last child is off the bus, the bus driver should do a sweep of the bus and the safety sign will be placed in the rear bus window.
  5. Driver should wait until all children have left the area surrounding the bus before leaving.

Load at School for Take Home

  1. Teacher and Monitor should line up children and do a headcount prior to heading to the bus.
  2. Monitor will do a headcount of the children that are loaded on the bus and confirm with the bus driver.
  3. Monitor and/or Teacher should load children and buckle harness.
  4. Bus driver will do a roll call to determine who is on the bus and the appropriate headcount.
  5. If there is a child that is not on the bus, the bus driver must be given a form that explains why they are not there, i.e.: child not at school today, picked up by parent, etc.

Drop Off at Home

  1. Monitor should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before unbuckling their seatbelt.
  2. Student sign in form must be signed by a prearranged adult that is listed on the Emergency Contact Sheet.
    1. Multi Student stops: driver should verbally verify to the monitor when each child has been signed for. The monitor should release the children as the driver does the verification. The driver should verify that all of the children have been signed for before leaving the stop, AND as always visually verify the location of all the children before moving the bus.
  3. Monitor will unbuckle child and make sure they have all of the personal belongings and assist child off the bus if necessary.
  4. Bus driver must wait until monitor is seated and buckled before moving the bus.
  5. If the bus driver is unloading using the student loading lights, (red light stop), the monitor should not unbuckle their self until the door is open. The driver shall not turn off student loading lights until the monitor returns to their seat and has buckled.

At the End of Home Drop Off

  1. Monitor should do a sweep of the bus after the last child is dropped off to determine that no other child are on the bus, and place a safety sign in the rear bus window.
  2. Bus driver should do a sweep of the bus, after parking, to determine that no children were left on the bus and place the safety sign in the window.

The policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard unknown
It was approved by Policy Council on April 24, 2001. November 9, 2004; August 9, 2005. August8, 2006. August 14, 2007. September 8, 2015. September 2018, May 2022

Updated August 25, 200;. June 16, 2004;July 2005; March 2006; June 2006; August 2006. June 2007. September 2015. October 2015. August 2018. March 2022. January 2024

©. Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.

REVIEWED: January 2021. March 2022. January 2024