SMCOE Transportation Services
San Mateo County Office of Education Transportation Office
(650) 802-5595 Fax (650) 802-5470
Durham School Services
San Mateo County Office of Education Special Ed Program Offices
Linda Young, Principal
Mary Browning, Ph.D., Site Coordinator
Policies and Procedures
San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) provides specialized transportation services for special needs students who attend County educational programs. This transportation may include wheelchair and ambulatory buses to meet student needs. Transportation is also provided to children residing in Licensed Children Institution Facilities. Some school districts use the County transportation services for their Special Day Class students and for field trips on a fee-for-service basis. San Mateo County Office of Education contracts with a provider for transportation services, and districts enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the SMCOE to utilize these services.
Per your child's IEP, he/she qualifies for home-to-school transportation services. The following information has been prepared to acquaint you with the rules and regulations involving your child's school transportation. We will cover the basics of our bus services, including safety, student behaviors, disciplinary guidelines, and other pertinent information that will help clarify any questions or concerns that you may have. Our goal is to provide the safest, most reliable transportation service for your child.
All changes to a student's transportation services MUST be made through your SMCOE Program Office. Please be aware that changes can take 3 to 7 days before the start of service. If you have compliments for, or problems with your transportation services, please contact our administration.
Each student is assigned a consistent pick-up and drop-off time and location at the beginning of the school term. The driver will provide each parent/guardian with an information card, listing the driver's name, the student pick-up and drop-off times, and the telephone number of the transportation office and the bus company. Routes, buses, and pick-up and drop-off times may need to be changed during the year to accommodate new students. When that happens, the drivers will notify the adult who supervises pick-up of the change in schedule two to three days in advance of the change. Please remember that road conditions and weather can cause a route to run late. If the driver is later than 5 minutes, call our office at (650) 802-5595 to find out where the driver is on the route.
Pick-up: Each student must be supervised by an adult at the pick-up location and should be ready when the bus arrives. If he/she is not at the stop and ready, the driver will wait three minutes. If the child has not boarded the bus by then, the driver will radio into the bus company to record the time and proceed on the route in order to maintain the schedule.
Drop-off: Please make sure you or your designated adult (designated adults are listed on the student transportation emergency form) are present to receive the student. Each student must be supervised by an adult at the drop-off location unless a "Release from Responsibility" form is signed by the parent, approved by the Director, Educational Services, and on file in the transportation office. It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to notify our office if another adult (not listed as designated) will be receiving your child. Please remember that the driver has the right to ask to verify an adult by asking to see an ID.
Per Education Code 39831.3, when Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grades 1-8 students arrive at the school site, they must be received by either the teacher or paraeducator who will supervise them and escort them to their classroom and in the afternoon, to the bus.
To Cancel Pick-up
Please call our office directly at (650) 802-5595 at least one hour before the pick-up time, or if it is after hours, you can leave us a message the night before.
If your child will be out of town or in the hospital for an extended period of time, please notify the Transportation Office. If contacted ahead of time, transportation will be put on hold instead of cancelled. When your child is ready to restart services, please contact our office with the anticipated start date.
If a student does not ride the bus for three consecutive days without notice from the parent, the driver will not stop at the location until the parent notifies the transportation office or the bus company that the student is ready to return to school. When the parent wishes transportation to resume, the transportation office or the bus company must be notified an hour prior to the scheduled pick-up time.
Adults Allowed in the Vehicle
With prior approval from the Transportation Manager, only parents/guardians of students that require assistance are allowed inside the bus.
Parents must have approval from the school prior to the bus driver's transporting medication. Medication, in a container labeled with the name of the student, the medication, the dosage, and the time to be administered, is to be presented to the driver by the parent when the child boards the bus. The driver will give the medication container to the teacher upon arrival at school.
If your child is going to be absent, please notify the Transportation Office prior to the scheduled pick-up time. In fairness to your child and others, please keep a sick child home. It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to pick up a child who becomes ill during the school day.
Bus drivers are not able to transport sick students after they arrive to school. If your child becomes ill during the ride to school, we will try to notify you and, if possible, return the student home.
Parents/guardians are responsible for providing car seats if needed for their child's transportation. Students who cannot sit safely secured by a seat belt due to the inability to sit upright by themselves, or who cannot remain seated for the duration of the bus ride, will be provided with appropriate safety equipment. The use of safety equipment must be indicated on a student's IEP. If equipment is lost, we will not transport the student until it is replaced. All safety equipment must be returned if it is no longer required or if the student no longer needs transportation services. All equipment should be properly equipped, clean and in good working condition.
Student Special Instructions
Special instructions can be requested by a parent/guardian (ie: no AM or PM bussing, or only rides T/F, etc.) and shall stay in place until parent/guardian notifies transportation to remove or change the special instructions. Please notify our office of any medical conditions/allergies that your child may have that would be helpful for the driver to be aware of.
The bus service assumes no responsibility for lost items, but every effort will be made to locate such items and return them to their rightful owner.
Behavior on the Bus
San Mateo County Office of Education prides itself on fostering respect between student and driver and among students. Students are expected to adhere to Administrative Regulations while on the bus and to treat their classmates and the driver with respect. Most difficulties between driver and student are resolved privately through discussion. However, if the safety of the fellow students is jeopardized by failure to follow the rules, the Transportation Manager will decide whether suspension of riding privileges will be invoked.
Rules of Conduct for Students
- Students MUST wear seat belts and remain seated while the bus is in motion
- Follow instructions of your school bus driver
- Keep the bus clean and well cared for
- The exits and aisles are to remain clear at all times
- No part of the body (hand, arm, head, etc) may be extended outside the bus at any time
- Be calm and orderly while boarding the bus and enter and exit through the main door
- Loud talking, yelling, and horseplay distracts the driver and will not be tolerated. Except for emergencies, students should not talk to the driver when the bus is in motion
- Students are to stay seated, except when exiting the bus. Students must accept or change seats as directed by the driver
- Students are not to open or close window or emergency doors except as directed by the driver. All parts of the body and objects must be kept inside the bus at all times
- Except for pre-authorized service/guide dogs, no animals, birds, reptiles, fish or insects may be transported on a school bus, whether in containers or not.
- No knives or other sharp objects are allowed on a school bus
- No transportation of items that may obstruct the driver's view (e.g. balloons)
- No transportation of items that cannot be securely restrained on the school bus
- Students are expected to be courteous and respectful to the driver, each other, and other motorists. Profanity, rude remarks, obscene gestures, etc, will not be tolerated
- Eating, drinking, chewing gum, spitting or littering are not allowed on the bus, nor are marking, destroying or tampering with the bus
- Throwing any objects on or out of the bus or at students will not be tolerated
- Unauthorized tampering with bus controls or equipment will not be tolerated
- No spraying of cologne or perfume on the bus at any time
Federal Law prohibits the following items:
- Use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol
- Possession of any type of weapon
- Glass objects
The bus driver has the authority to recommend suspension of students for violating school bus rules. Typically students may be suspended for hitting and/or fighting. Citations are generally given for school bus infractions. A copy of the citations is given to the parent the teacher, and the Transportation Office so that problem behaviors on the bus can be monitored and addressed. The purpose of the citations is to inform parents and school staff of behaviors which may affect the safety of the bus ride. If the behavior is considered to be a danger to oneself or others, the student may be suspended from the bus, determined by the Transportation and Program Managers. The Transportation Office will verbally notify a parent of any suspension.
Any wheelchair with inadequate equipment will not be transported, at the driver's discretion, for the safety of the student. Wheelchairs need to have seatbelts and footrests and must be equipped with functioning and properly maintained brakes that keep the wheelchair in place for a safe ride. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that all equipment is maintained and working properly. Velcro seat restraints do not meet the minimum state requirements and shall not be the sole source of seatbelt restraint.
Drivers shall inspect a new or different wheelchair as needed. Drivers who discover a defect on the wheelchair shall notify the parent/guardian immediately and the defective wheelchair shall not be used again until the defect is repaired.
CHP's Handbook for School Bus Drivers & Carriers
Wheelchair School Buses, 13 CCR 1293
- Brakes & Restraining Belt: Wheelchairs shall be equipped with brakes and a restraining belt properly maintained by the owner of the chair. Electric wheelchairs transported on school buses shall be capable of being locked in gear when placed in a school bus or shall have an independent braking system capable of holding the wheelchair in place.
- Batteries: Batteries used to propel electric wheelchairs transported on school buses shall be secured to the wheelchair frame in such a manner as to prevent separation in the event of an accident.
Additional Wheelchair Policies:
- No scooter or stroller type chair is allowed on bus
- Wheelchair students are to ride in the wheelchair while on the bus
- No student is to ride the wheelchair lift without being seated in a wheelchair