Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Bus Maintenance and Inspection

POLICY:

NOCAC buses will be maintained in safe operating condition through a systematic preventative maintenance program following all Federal, State and local requirements.

PROCEDURES:

  1. All school buses operated by NOCAC receive a bi-annual safety inspection by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
    1. Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) in collaboration with certified bus mechanics arranges a fall and summer inspection with Ohio State Patrol.
    2. Verification of the safety inspections is kept on file in the TSS office.
    3. A current inspection sticker issued by the Ohio State Highway Patrol is displayed on both sides of the bus.
    4. No bus is put into service until it passes Ohio State Highway Patrol inspection.
  2. NOCAC buses will be mechanically safe at all times by completing a Daily Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Report form and/or Daily Bus Driver Post-Route Inspection form.
  3. NOCAC bus drivers will complete a Daily Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Report form and/or Daily Bus Driver Post-Route Inspection form.

NEW BUS INSPECTION

  1. The TSS will inspect the bus upon arrival to ensure it meets Ohio School Bus Construction Standards.
  2. Ohio State Highway Patrol will be called to schedule an inspection of the new bus for approval before it is put into service.
  3. The bill of sale from the vehicle purchase must be maintained on file at the center to verify compliance by ODJFS.
  4. Verification of safety checks shall be documented on the JFS 01230 Vehicle Inspection Report and will be kept on file at the center for review by ODJFS.
    1. A mechanic will complete for each vehicle.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.71
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14(E)(F)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Revision Date:   12/20/2019
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   12/20/2019

Bus Monitor Responsibilities

POLICY:

NOCAC Bus Monitors are counted in ratio on the bus and will be expected to interact with children in a positive, friendly and socially supportive manner using positive behavior strategies and encouraging pro-social interactions among children. Bus Monitors will be trained in accordance with all Federal, State and Local requirements.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Bus monitors are considered a “Child Care Staff Member” per ODJFS rule 5101:2-12-01(H) because they are counted in ratio while on the bus and assigned specific work hours.
  2. Bus monitors must meet all Child Care Staff Member requirements listed in ODJFS 5101:2-12-08(B)
  3. Bus monitors will complete the ODJFS prescribed online orientation within 30 days of starting. ODJFS 5101:2-12-08(D)
  4. Bus monitors will complete within the first 30 days, either the ODJFS Prescribed one hour child abuse overview or the six hour Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention Training. (ODJFS 5101:2-12-10(A)(2))
  5. The Transportation/Safety Specialist will train all bus monitors on the following before they begin:
    1. Child boarding and exiting procedures
    2. How to use child restraint system
    3. Completing any required paperwork
      1. Bus attendance
    4. How to respond to emergencies
    5. Emergency evacuation procedures
    6. How to use special equipment
    7. Child pick-up and release procedures
    8. How to conduct pre-trip and post-trip vehicle checks
    9. Bus monitor will sign a Standards of Conduct Form at hire with TSS and if returning the following year they will sign one annually with the center manager.
  6. Bus monitors are subject to requirements in Staff Safety Training.
  1. Bus monitors are encouraged, but not required, to be trained in the following:
    1. First Aid
    2. CPR
      1. Adult
      2. Pediatric
      3. AED
  2. Bus monitors must complete 6 hours of training annually each ODJFS fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
    1. Training topics include those listed in 5101:2-12-10 appendix B
    2. First Aid, CPR, CCI, and Child Abuse Recognition/Prevention may not be used towards the 6 hours (per ODJFS 5101:2-12-10(B)(1)(b))
    3. Bus Monitors are not required to complete the 6 hours until the following fiscal year if hired between January 1 and June 30th.
  3. Bus Monitors will attend an annual Bus Driver Training.
  4. Center Managers will track bus monitor training hours.
  5. Bus Monitors will be observed annually by the Center Manager or the TSS using the Bus Monitor Observation Form.  The Bus Monitor Observation Form will be sent to the TSS for review and filing.
  6. The Bus Monitor Conference Form will be used to document performance concerns.
  7. Monitors will be informed of all training opportunities NOCAC provides that are relevant to their duties.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:  1303.72(e)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:  5101:2-12-01; 5101:2-12-08; 5101:2-12-10
CACFP Regulation:
Caring for Our Children:
Other Sources:

 

Effective Date: 8/7/2017 Revision Date: 1/6/20
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: 1/6/20

Bus Routes

POLICY:

When planning bus routes, safety of the children is top priority.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Bus routes are developed by the driver with assistance from the Center Manager and/or support staff.  Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) will be consulted in unusual situations.
  2. NOCAC staff will consider the following when creating a bus route:
    1. Traffic flow
    2. Crossing of roads
    3. Nearby intersections
    4. Driveways, hills and curves
    5. Visibility and railroad crossing
  3. A bus route must be approved by the TSS before it can be implemented.
  4. Each bus will have a detailed bus route (which can be found on the Google Drive folder: titled “Current Year Bus Route”) on board that includes the following information:
    1. Direction to designated stops;
    2. Time schedule;
    3. Designated stop;
    4. Driver-designated place of safety;
    5. Number of riders at each stop location and residence side; and
    6. List identifying road hazards (ex: railroads) or when crossing over divided highways
  5. Order of pick up and drop off:
    1. Best practice is….the first pick up will be the child who lives the farthest form the site.
    2. Best practice is….the first drop off will be the child who lives the closest to the site.
    3. Best practice is….children are seated three to a seat, trying to avoid backseats.
    4. Bus seats are to be filled front to back.
  6. Children will be picked up and dropped off at a regular bus stop that is based on the established route.
    1. EMERGENCY Bus Route changes can be made when necessary
    2. NON-EMERGENCY Bus Route changes – Must be received in writing at least 24 hours prior to the affected change.
    3. If a child moves and the length of the route remains the same or is increased by no more than 15 minutes from the original route, email the updated bus route to the TSS.
    4. If a child moves and the route is increased by more than 15 minutes, the driver must call the TSS.
      1. The driver and the TSS will work together to see if there is better solution.
      2. The Family and Community Engagement Team will be consulted as necessary to assist in meeting the family’s transportation needs.
  7. Vehicle capacity (including Bus Monitor and other adults) will not be exceeded. There must be a seatbelt for every child and adult on the bus.
  8. NOCAC Head Start bus drivers are responsible for keeping the bus routes up to date.
    1. Drivers must email the TSS an updated bus route BEFORE it is implemented.
  9. NOCAC Head Start driver or designated staff must inform all parents of significant bus route changes before the changes are implemented.
  10. The time a child is in transit to and from the program must not exceed one hour unless there is no shorter route available or any alternative shorter route is either unsafe or impractical.
    1. Bus route time begins as soon as the first child is picked up and “ends” as soon as the last child is dropped off.
  11. The bus should leave the center at the same time every day.
  12. The bus route should be followed in its entirety to ensure parents with accurate bus times.
    1. Exception is when the child at the first or last stop is going to be absent.
  13. Bus stops will be on the resident side of the street unless a left-handed stop has been approved.
  14. LEFT HAND PICK UP/DROP OFF
    1. Staff must obtain written authorization (via email) from the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director BEFORE a left-hand pick up/drop off is implemented.
    2. The parent/care giver will escort the child across the street for pick-up and drop-off.
    3. The driver/teacher will inform the parent about the hand signals and the procedure to be used.
  15. Each child is picked up door-to-door except in unusual circumstances. The TSS must approve a bus stop if not at the child’s home.
  16. When road closures or hazardous conditions warrant an alternate route, the NOCAC Head Start/ECE Director, TSS or Center Manager must be contacted for approval to change the route.
  17. Drivers do not back up or make U-turns except when necessary (HSPPS 1303.73).
    1. If a back up or turnaround is necessary, it must be done after the child is on the bus or before the child is released at drop off.
    2. All backups and turnarounds must have prior approval by the TSS; it will also be noted on the bus route form.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.73(i)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    Pupil Transportation Operation and Safety Rules-July 2013 3301-83-13

 

Effective Date:   8/7/2017 Revision Date:   12/20/19
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   12/20/19

Daily Vehicle Inspection

POLICY:

It is the responsibility of each NOCAC Bus Driver to complete and document a daily pre-trip inspection of the school bus before transporting children and to do a post trip inspection at the conclusion of each route.

PROCEDURES:

Pre Trip

  1. Each NOCAC Bus Driver must do a Daily Pre-Trip Inspection on the bus prior to driving with children and when using a different bus and document on the Daily Vehicle Inspection Report.
  2. Drivers must also perform a B.L.T Check (Brakes, Lights, Tires) if the bus is moved for any reason and document it on the Daily Vehicle Inspection Report.
  3. The Bus Driver must remove the BUS CHECKED, NO CHILDREN LEFT ON BUS sign on the back door before starting the route.
  4. The Bus Driver will record the beginning odometer, route start time and destination on the Bus Gas and Mileage Log. 
    1. Bus driver must put site and bus number on the form
  5. The Daily Vehicle Inspection Report will be completed daily and turned into the Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) at the end of each week.
    1. Bus driver must put site and bus number on the form
  6. Any needed repairs are to be documented on the Daily Vehicle Inspection Report and emailed immediately to the TSS.

Post Trip

  1. The Bus Driver must visually inspect each seat position to ensure all children have exited the bus.
  2. The Bus Driver must put the BUS CHECKED, NO CHILDREN LEFT ON BUS sign on the back door.
  3. The Bus Driver must complete the Bus Driver Post Route Inspection Form.
  4. The Bus Driver will record the ending odometer, route end time, time of 1st pick up/time of last drop off, number of passengers, and staff name on the Bus Gas and Mileage Log.
  5. All doors must be locked on the bus when not in use.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1303.71(e)(2)(iii)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14 (d)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    OAPT 3301-83-11(B)(3)

 

Effective Date: 8/7/2017 Revision Date: 8/7/2017
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017

Field Trip Requirements

POLICY:

NOCAC Staff will ensure that safety is the first priority on all field trips and outings away from the center. Field trips will extend the learning experiences teachers are providing in their classrooms. The children should be able to prepare, explore and participate with a concrete knowledge of the subject.

PROCEDURES:

  1. Field trips will take place in the community where the center is located or where the families live.
  2. Field trips can start after the first 30 days of school.
    1. Staff and children need time to get to know one another
    2. Staff need to know all the rules and names of those attending
    3. Staff need to know each individual child’s needs
  3. If field trips are further than 10 miles away from the center, permission must be granted by the Education Manager.
    1. Consult the Curriculum Specialist for further guidance.
  4. Each NOCAC Class can go on a maximum of one field trip per month.
    1. Each class must go on a minimum of one field trip and the kindergarten visit in a school year.
  5. Once a field trip destination has been decided, NOCAC staff will complete a Field Trip Request form (also found on the Google Drive).
    1. Staff must complete the entire form before it is submitted
      1. This includes a list of the children, staff, and other adults attending.
    2. Staff will share the completed form at least 2 weeks prior to the field trip on the Google Drive with the Center Manager.
    3. The Center Manager will approve the form and share it with the Transportation/Safety Specialist (TSS) and the Curriculum Specialist.
    4. The Transportation and Safety Coordinator will review the request and notify staff when it has been approved.
  6. Field trips will be relevant to the curriculum and reflective of the needs, interests and cultures of the children.
  7. Supporting activities will be documented on the lesson plan for the corresponding week.
  8. Contact the TSS if an additional bus is needed.
  9. Private vehicles can only be used by parents or authorized people to transport their own children. No other Head Start/ECE child may ride in that private vehicle.
  10. NOCAC Classroom staff must obtain written permission from the child’s parent/guardian before going on any field trip. The written permission slip must include:
    1. The child’s name
    2. The date and destination of the trip
    3. The departure and return time of the trip
    4. The signature of the parent
    5. The date on which permission was signed
    6. A statement notifying parents how their child will be transported.
  11. Parents/guardians and volunteers will be encouraged to accompany the class on field trips. Staff will encourage a parent of a child with a Behavior Plan to attend the field trip.
  12. Individual Behavior Plans will be followed.
  13. Two NOCAC staff and one extra adult (Parent/Guardian or Volunteer) will accompany children on any field trip off the Center premises.
    1. A third staff member may be required for specific situations (i.e.- if a child has a Behavior Plan, a third staff is required)
  14. Children are required to wear identification tags on all field trips which consist of:
    1. Center’s name
    2. Centers address
    3. Bus Cell phone number and the Center’s phone number.
      1. Sites with multiple cell phones need to add the cell phone number they are using for the trip.
    4. NOCAC Central Office phone number
  1. A completed/up-to-date copy of the child’s JFS 01234 Child Enrollment and Health Information form will be on hand for each child on the field trip.
  2. NOCAC Staff will carry a fully stocked First Aid Kit
  3. NOCAC Staff will have a completed/up-to-date copy of JFS 01236 Child Medical/Physical Care Plan for any child who has a health condition which could require special procedures or precautions during the course of the trip.
    1. Staff will take the necessary supplies needed to provide such treatment.
  1. Any field trip requiring food must be pre-approved by the Center Manager.
    1. The Center Manager will inform the cook of the request at least 2 weeks in advance.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-14
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date: 8/7/2017 Revision Date: 8/7/2017
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017

Parent/Guardian Absence at Pick Up and Drop Off

POLICY:

NOCAC staff will ensure a child is safe when picking up or dropping off at their home/designated bus stop.

PROCEDURES:

Pick Up – If a child comes out to the bus without a parent or authorized caregiver:

  1. DO NOT accept the child on the bus.
  2. Ask the child where his/her parent/authorized caregiver is. If the child does not know, says the person is sleeping or the person is not home, etc the driver must send the child back into the home and park the bus in front of the child’s home.
  3. If the child says his/her parent/authorized caregiver is sleeping, the bus monitor will go to the door and knock.
  4. If no one comes when the bus monitor knocks on the door, the driver will call the local police department/sheriff office and report the situation. Tell the police/sheriff office it is NOCAC Agency policy to not leave the premises until they arrive.
  5. The driver will call the site and request any available NOCAC staff person come to the home and wait on the police/sheriff arrival so the bus can continue on the route.
  6. Once the police/sheriff arrive, the bus or NOCAC staff person will leave the home.
  7. When the bus is back at the center, the bus driver must follow the steps in the Child Abuse Reporting Policy.
  8. Follow up support will be made by available NOCAC staff to insure the family well-being. Support could include, but is not limited to:
    1. Phone call
    2. Home visit
    3. Family support meeting

Drop Off

  1. If a child is taken home and the parent/guardian or authorized adult is not present, the driver will continue the route.
  2. The bus monitor will attempt to contact the parent/guardian by phone.
  3. After all the children have been taken home, the driver will attempt to take the child home a second time (when logistically possible).
    1. The second attempt to take a child home will be documented on the Bus Attendance Form.
    2. When a family has repeated issues with being on time at drop off; a second attempt will not be made.
      1. The bus monitor will contact the family to inform them of the situation and ask that they meet the bus at the center at the end of the route.
  4. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, the bus monitor will contact the Center Manager about the incident and the child will be returned to the center.
    1. Child being returned to the center will be documented on the bus attendance form.
    2. Parent/Guardian or authorized pick up person must sign the child out on the Classroom Sign-Out Sheet.
  5. Once back at the Center, if the parent or emergency contact person cannot be located within a half-hour, the NOCAC staff must call the local Department of Job and Family Services (if it is after hours, the Sheriff/Police Department will be contacted) and file a report. The Center Manager will notify the Head Start/ECE Director of the situation.
  6. If the parent or contact person is still not located, the child will be released to the Department of Job and Family Services or local police/sheriff department.
  7. Staff will write a detailed account of the incident and the outcome on a Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting form.
  8. Follow up support will be made by available Center staff to insure the family well-being. Support could include, but is not limited to:
    1. Phone call
    2. Home visit
    3. Family support meeting

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    5101:2-12-19(A)(5)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    

 

Effective Date: 8/7/2017 Revision Date: 8/7/2017
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017 Revision Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/2017