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Series 707.14.2AR - School Bus Driver Training

Adopted: May 1996
Revised: August 2008

1.  Training Standards – The following school bus driver training standards represent the minimum areas of training each driver will receive before beginning to serve as a school bus driver in District 196.

2.  Pre-Trip Inspection – School bus drivers must be familiar with the elements of the mandatory pre-trip inspection required under Minnesota law, including the following items:

2.1   Engine compartment (belts, valves, fluid leaks), engine start, warning lights, gauges, horn and fuel level, brakes (pedal reserve, air/vacuum gauges), service brakes, emergency brake, wheels, electrical charging system and exhaust system;

2.2   Interior (seats, floor, lights);

2.3   Entrance door operation;

2.4   Lift door operation and alarm, and lift equipment for wheelchairs;

2.5   Windows, windshield and inspection sticker;

2.6   Exterior lights (headlights, brake lights, marker lights, turn signals), eight light system and stop arm, and

2.7   Emergency door (smooth latch operation, alarm buzzer) and emergency equipment (first aid kit, bodily fluids clean-up kit, reflectors, two-way radio).

3.  Fundamentals and Techniques of School Bus Driving

3.1   Relevant laws, rules of the road and district safety policies;

3.2   Defensive driving, and dealing with pedestrians and students in traffic;

3.3   Driving in inclement weather conditions (reduced visibility [rain, snow, fog], wet roads, icy roads);

3.4   Operation of the automatic transmission;

3.5   Use of the drive train for stopping the school bus, and situations in which the hand brake will and will not stop a moving bus;

3.6   Steering and turning techniques, and right and left turn maneuvers;

3.7   Use of mirrors and visual perceptions;

3.8   Merging into traffic, safe following distances, passing procedures and backing procedures;

3.9   Loading and unloading procedures;

3.10 Knowledge of the danger zone concept;

3.11 Policies and procedures for grade level railroad crossings, and use of the eight-light system;

3.12 Emergency use of the public address system;

3.13 Response to an approaching emergency vehicle while unloading, and

3.14 Leaving the bus unattended at school sites.

4.  Special Education Transportation – Special education transportation requires skills and abilities that exceed those required to provide normal school bus service.  Drivers will be familiar with the following items:

4.1   What to do in a medical emergency;

4.2   Handling of wheelchairs, proper use of devices to secure wheelchairs and operation of lift equipment;

4.3   District policies on the use of seatbelts on designated students, and on situations in which a responsible person is not available to receive a student;

4.4   Disabling conditions, and

4.5   Responsibilities of the bus driver and the bus chaperone.

5.  Emergency Procedures – School bus drivers must be prepared to deal with emergency situations while operating on routes and field trips.  Included in these emergency situations are mechanical breakdowns, fire, accidents and passenger injuries.  Drivers will receive training in the following areas:

5.1   Emergency evacuations;

5.1.1   Identifying the degree of an emergency before beginning an evacuation and determining when it is appropriate to evacuate the school bus;

5.1.2   Identifying a safe evacuation unloading area and placement of students in a safe location;

5.1.3   Preplanning emergency evacuations for both conventional and lift buses;

5.1.4   Front, rear and both door evacuations;

5.1.5   Evacuation of special education students, including emergency evacuation of students with disabilities (including those with physical disabilities and those in wheelchairs) and special considerations when evacuating a lift bus;

5.1.6   Cooperation in emergency evacuation drills, and

5.1.7   How to supervise an emergency evacuation.

5.2   Mechanical breakdowns, and how to secure the school bus and place emergency reflectorized triangles;

5.3   Lifting techniques for handling students with disabilities in an emergency situation;

5.4   Priorities when dealing with injured passengers;

5.5   Use and operation of the two-way communication system, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, emergency reflectorized triangles, hazard lights;

5.6   Dealing with other motorists and the police;

5.7   Control of exposure to blood-borne pathogens and use of bodily fluid clean-up kits;

5.8   School district policy on medical emergencies, including recognition and handling of a student with an epileptic seizure, and

5.9   How to respond if a passenger has a weapon on the bus.

6.  First Aid – All drivers must be trained in first aid, including the Heimlich maneuver, and procedures for dealing with students with obstructed airways, shock, bleeding and seizures.

7.  Private or Confidential Student Information – All drivers must be trained in the types of student data that are considered private or confidential under Minnesota law.

8.  Student Discipline

8.1   Creating a positive attitude on the school bus, including oral and visual communications skills between the driver and the passenger, dealing confidently with a disruptive student, and developing and enforcing workable rules;

8.2   Incident report forms, and

8.3   District policies on discipline, possession of weapons by a student; sexual, racial, religious and gender harassment and violence, and smoking.

9.  Human Relations

9.1   Appropriate driver behavior;

9.2   Sensitivity to a diverse student population and to students with disabilities;

9.3   Relations with parents and school staff, and

9.4   Working with a special education bus chaperone.

10. Chemical Abuse

10.1 How alcohol and/or drugs can affect driving skills;

10.2 Drug-testing programs, and

10.3 State and federal requirements.

References: 

  • Minnesota Statute 171.321, Qualifications of a School Bus Driver

Regulations /707.14.2AR/8-25-08