(Letter sent home to students transported to and
from school via bus)
April 26, 2012
The safety of our children is of utmost important to
the Galloway Township Public Schools. Bus transportation to and from school is
one area that we continually work to ensure safety. As you are likely aware, we
have experienced difficulties with Integrity Transportation, the main bus
company that transports our students. The purpose of this letter is to advise
you of the measures we are taking to ensure safe and smooth transportation of
- Mr. Tim Kelly, our Business Administrator; Mrs. Georgette Reeves,
Transportation Coordinator; and I have been involved in numerous meetings
and communications (in-person, via telephone, and through email) with the
owner and lead personnel of Integrity Transportation. This includes review
of our expectations and safety regulations as well as addressing concerns as
they are reported.
- The owner of Integrity has advised us that recent safety meetings have
been held with the bus drivers. Additionally, certain drivers have been
removed from Galloway routes based on incidents that have happened. In some
cases where the concern is a lesser offense (and not a major safety issue),
a warning is given before the driver is removed.
- Mr. Kelley also sent a letter to Greater Egg Harbor Regional School
District, the lead agency in our Transportation Consortium, requesting
additional assistance in addressing the concerns. This includes the status
of a Corrective Action Plan for which we previously provided information.
- Mrs. Reeves has worked with Integrity to make changes to identified
routes (e.g. buses from Smithville School not turning onto Moss Mill Road
from Old Port Road).
- Our Board of Education has identified transportation as a district goal.
This includes immediate issues such as improving services from Integrity as
well as looking at our participation in the Consortium for the future.
(Note: We did participate in the Consortium renewal of the transportation
contract for next year only.)
At the school level, all administrators are reviewing
with students safety rules for riding the bus. This includes the requirement
that seat belts be worn. Please note: By law students are required to wear seat
belts. Also by law, the driver is not held responsible if the student does not
wear the seat belt. Drivers may not buckle the belt for students. Below are the
key points that are being discussed with students this week.
- Our school district wants to make sure that riding the bus to and from
school is safe for all students, the bus driver, and other drivers on the
- We are working with the bus company to make sure the bus drivers follow
all the rules.
- Here’s a reminder about bus safety and bus rules:
- When you get on the bus, go to your assigned seat and buckle your
seat belt. Students are required by law to wear seat belts.
- Every student must be seated before the bus starts moving. You must
remain seated during the entire bus ride.
- Voice volume must be kept similar to classroom voices and language
must be school appropriate.
- Actions like throwing things or putting your body parts out the
window are not allowed.
- Just like at school, you may not hit or touch another student in a
- Take care of the bus – do not leave trash, damage the bus, etc.
- If a student does not follow the rules, the student will receive
consequences. This could include detention, in-school-suspension, and/or
being suspended from school or the bus. Riding the bus is a privilege that
you keep by behaving properly.
- Everyone – adults and students – need to do the right thing for the bus
trip to be safe.
Additionally, in an effort to provide students with a
quiet activity on the bus, we are going to allow students to listen to iPods or
other electronic devices on the bus. This change in practice is being offered on
a trial basis. Students must wear ear buds or some other type of ear phone. It
is important to note that students are responsible for their electronic device,
and it must be kept in their book bag or locker during the school day. The
school is not responsible if the device is lost or taken.
In closing, I am respectfully requesting that you take
time to review bus safety rules with your child and support us in enforcing the
bus rules. Additionally, if you have a concern regarding your child’s bus,
please contact your child’s school or Mrs. Reeves. Thank you for your continued
efforts to work together for the benefit of our students.
Annette C. Giaquinto, Ed.D.,
Superintendent of Schools