COVID & Bus Safety
We’re doing all we can to make sure that students have a safe and enjoyable trip to and from school while following Coupeville School District and Department of Health guidelines for preventing the transmission of COVID.
What we are doing
- Assigned seating to support contact tracing efforts;
- Opening windows and roof hatches to increase fresh airflow;
- Requiring students and drivers wear masks at all times;
- Seating family members together;
- Sanitizing buses;
- Making sure our employees have access to vaccinations.
- Increasing space between riders;
- Reducing the number of students on buses;
- Increasing the number of routes to reduce capacity.
With these efforts in place, we ask that you make sure that your children are dressed warmly on cloudy, cool, or rainy days. Even with the heaters on, the buses will be cool and possibly colder than normal. If your child does not have a mask, we will provide one to them as they enter the bus. Please contact the Transportation Department with any questions you may have.
Bus Incidents or Emergencies
In the event of an emergency on a school bus, parents will receive communication via a text message and/or email depending on the severity of the situation. In addition, direct phone calls will be issued to provide as much information we have at the time.
As a reminder, if any of our buses are involved in an accident, regardless of impact, each student will be examined on site by an emergency responder. Depending on the situation, a second bus may pick up the students and complete the route. Examining each student or the possibility of using a second bus will cause further delays in your student’s drop-off time. Please be patient as we work incredibly hard to return your child to their destination as safely as possible.
Emergency Evacuations & Drills
Every student who rides a school bus should know what to do should it ever become necessary to evacuate the bus quickly and safely. Usually students remain on the bus during an emergency; however, two situations do require the bus to be evacuated:
FIRE OR DANGER OF FIRE:
A bus should be stopped and evacuated immediately if the engine or any portion of the bus is on fire. Passengers should move a distance of 100 feet or more from the bus and remain there until the driver of the bus has determined that no danger remains. Being near an existing fire and unable to move the bus away, or near the presence of gasoline or other combustible materials should be considered as “danger of fire”, and students should be evacuated.
The Emergency Evacuation Drill will proceed as follows. The driver will:
- Provide a short explanation of why it is necessary to conduct exit drills.
- Shut off the motor, set the emergency break, and place the bus in Park or Neutral depending on the bus type.
- Instruct reliable students about use of the 2-way radio.
- Put the microphone outside the window and turn the key to accessory, if needed/possible.
- Instruct students on getting emergency help.
- Instruct students on removing the first-aid kit.
- Instruct students on use of the fire extinguisher.
- Instruct and assign students to open Exit door(s).
- Explain which windows are “kick out” windows.
- Assist students in leaving via the exit door(s).
Students should also be taught to remember that most accidents are preventable, regardless of who may be at fault, and that proper behavior and good conduct on the bus is the best way to assist the driver in the safe performance of his/her duties.
Bus Driver Training Program
To ensure a safe bus ride for your students, each bus driver is an authorized Washington State School Bus Driver who has completed an extensive training program consisting of classroom and on the road training. Each driver has completed a drug screen and has undergone an extensive background check, including State and Federal fingerprinting clearance.
Mechanically Safe Buses
Coupeville school buses are inspected by the Washington State Patrol twice per year. All district buses meet or exceed Federal and State specifications and standards.
The District and bus driver’s goal is to increase safety while transporting students to and from school. Cameras on the bus are a tool to help improve safety and student conduct.