Vol. 2 No. 6
School transportation plays a large role in a student’s life. Getting to school safely—without enduring bullying or risky rides—or to an off-campus location for a field trip or sporting event, has a profound impact on students.
Your school may provide its own transportation to and from school, in which case you would need a well-established protocol for employed bus drivers. However, many private-independent schools do not provide their own transportation. Instead, they rely on parents to bring their children to school, or in some states, it’s law that public school buses also transport private school students. Regardless of which scenario your school fits, it’s important that you have an established risk management checklist in play to reduce injuries and dangers. Accidents happen. The best protection is to be well prepared to handle them when they do.
Recent Bus Accident Headlines (2/27/12)
- Police Report School Bus Accident With Injuries—a student filled bus en route for a field trip was rear-ended.
- 2 Dead In Car-Into-School-Bus Crash—Two teenagers were killed after their car slammed into the back of a school bus with children on board
- School Bus Crash—a school bus carrying special needs pupils from the Aegir Community Special School in Gainsborough over-turned, seriously injuring its driver.
- Bus Accident Sends Three Students To Hospital—Three middle school students were sent to the hospital after a pick-up truck rear-ended the school bus they were riding in Monday morning.
Regarding field trips, it’s irrelevant if your school relies on the state to transport your students or if your school has its own bus fleet. There are very unique risks to bringing students to an off-campus location for hands-on learning. The following checklist will assist both your school and your volunteers.
Regarding trips consider these tips:
Before and during the trip always:
- Using a pre-approval form, know who is driving and what type of vehicles are being used
- Every driver has a cell phone with emergency contact numbers and numbers of others who are driving
- Obtain proof of current license and insurance, and do MVR check
- Doing a background check
- Map out a trip route for all to use and use a “caravan” approach should any one vehicle experience difficulties
- Have faculty and staff as chaperons always, not just parents
- Consider (where practical) eliminating “one-on-one” policies (one parent alone with another child)
- on the locale, keep the student-to-adult ratio to no more than 6:1; fewer with younger children or less safe locations
- Carry critical student medical information, e.g, allergy information (should be available and in the possession of the faculty member, not the parent).
- A protocol for what to do if an accident occurs
Having these protocols will help to protect both the school and the volunteer. Volunteering is a wonderful way to contribute to the school and build community. It‘s a good deed; and remember the old adage; “no good deed goes unpunished.” Help protect the volunteers and those they are responsible for!
Additional ISM resources of interest:
ISM Monthly Update for Business Managers Vol. 10 No. 5 21st Century Bus Safety
ISM Webinar: Summer Program Safety Series
ISM Monthly Update for Business Managers Vol. 8 No. 4 School Budgets Lost in the Exhaust
Additional ISM resources for Consortium Gold Members:
I&P Vol. 35 No. 12 Does Your Crisis Plan Really Protect Your Students (and School)?
To The Point Vol. 8 No. 10 Risk Management Audit: Tighten the Gaps in Your School's Safety Net
To The Point Vol. 16 No. 5 Summer Program Risk Management Worksheet