The Wausau School District provides transportation to and from school for some of our students.
Students are transported on yellow school buses run by First Student or on city buses run by Metro Ride.
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First Student Contact:
Metro Ride Contact:
- Transportation Policies & Procedures
- Important Notice for Families Regarding Weather Related Road Conditions
- Eligibility for Free Transportation Public School Student
- Emergency Placement Administrative Policy
- Disobeying Bus Rider Rules
- Student Transportation Drop-off Procedures
- Walking Distance to School Bus Stop
- Metro Ride Bus Rider Rules
- Yellow Bus Rider Rules
State statutes require that school districts provide transportation for all public school students who reside more than two miles from the nearest public school they may attend. The state pays a substantial share of the cost of transportation for those students residing over the two-mile limit. For financial reasons, the District does not provide free bus transportation for students residing within the two-mile limit unless such transportation is required by state statute.
This policy does not preclude municipalities from paying the cost of transportation for their students residing within the two-mile limit. Parents may contract with the District for the transportation of their students living within the two-mile limit provided that they meet the criteria established by the District.
Private School Student
The District shall provide private school transportation as required by state statute. Private school students must attend a K-12 school located two or more miles from their residence and reside in the school's designated attendance area. Private schools must be located in the Wausau School District or not more than five miles beyond the boundaries of the Wausau School District measured along one usually traveled route.
Special Education Student
All children with disabilities shall be transported in compliance with state statute.
There are occasions when a bus driver who provides special transportation services for special education, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students finds that parents or baby-sitters are not at home to meet their students. The Wausau School District does require that they be home before the bus driver can release them.
The following procedures will be implemented when a parent or babysitter is not at home to meet special education, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students:
1. The bus driver will call First Student on their radio and inform them that no one is home and continue on their route with the student.
2. First Student will call the appropriate school and the school will try to contact the parent/guardian. The school will immediately inform First Student of
their results with the parent/guardian contact.
3. The bus driver will complete the route and check back by radio with First Student to determine if the parent/guardian has been located.
4. If the parent/guardian has been located, the bus driver will deliver the student to the appropriate address. If the parent/guardian has not been located,
First Student will call Social Services (847-5700 or 847-0200 - after hour emergency number) with the following information:
a. Name and birthdate of child,
b. Full names of the parent/guardian,
c. Child’s home address and telephone number,
d. Address and telephone number where a parent or other persons authorized to accept child can be reached, including emergency situations
(work number, neighbor number, relative number, etc.)
5. Social Services will meet the bus at the residence or call the Police Department and an officer will wait with the child until a parent/guardian arrives.
6. Once Social Services or the Police Department arrives at the residence, the student is no longer the responsibility of the Wausau School District or
A first offense requires that a written letter of notice and report will be sent from the bus company to the parent(s), school principal and the special education teacher.
A second offense requires a conference with the bus company, student, parent(s), principal, and special education teacher. Possible in-school detention could be considered.
A third offense requires a meeting between the bus company, student, principal, and special education teacher with a maximum three-day suspension of bus riding privileges. (Notice/Misconduct Report to be sent to parents.)
A fourth offense requires a conference with the bus company, student, principal, special education teacher, and parent(s) to review the student's IEP relative to the appropriate behavior and possible change in program placement.
Any of the above steps may be by-passed depending on the severity of the offense.
The bus contractor will have on each bus a current student roster listing students alphabetically by full name and address, and their appropriate drop-off location. The roster will also list each stop, by order of debarkation, with the name of each student assigned to each individual drop-off location.
Each substitute or new driver will review the roster before beginning their route. If there is a question about the stop, the driver will call the First Student dispatcher to verify the information contained on the rosters. The driver will remain at the stop with the child(ren) held on the bus until given further instructions.
The dispatcher will check the master student listing to verify that the stop is correct. If a question still exists, the parents of the child(ren) will be contacted.
It shall be the policy of the Wausau School District that the maximum walking distances to a school bus stop outside the Wausau City limits are:
4K/Kindergarten - 1/4 Mile
Elementary and Middle School - 1/2 Mile
High School - 3/4 Mile
Exceptions to this policy are made on an individual basis in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
PRIOR TO LOADING
- Be on time at the bus stop so that the bus can stay on schedule. The bus will not wait for you if you are not at the stop or within view and making an effort to get to the stop.
- Be careful in approaching bus stops. Walk on the sidewalk, not in the street.
- Do not stand in the street while waiting for the bus.
- Do not step off the curb until the bus has stopped.
- Do not crowd the door of the bus. When the door is opened, students should enter one at a time.
- Have your ticket, pass or cash ready before you board the bus. You must pay the bus driver upon boarding.
WHILE ON THE BUS
- Passengers must obey instructions or directions given by the bus driver.
- Sticking your head or hands out of the windows is not permitted at any time.
- Eating and drinking is prohibited on the bus.
- Loud noises, commotion, screaming, and horseplay that is distracting to the driver or any passenger is prohibited.
- Passengers are not permitted to stand in front of the white standee line which is on the floor of the bus near the driver.
- Vandalism of any kind is prohibited. If you are caught engaging in such acts, you will be referred to the WATS office, the school office or the police department.
- Littering on the bus is prohibited. Place any refuse in the garbage can in the front of the bus.
- Be courteous to fellow passengers and the bus driver.
- Do not leave books, lunches, or any other items on the bus.
- In the case of mechanical failure or road emergency, remain on the bus unless instructed to do differently by the bus driver.
- Never throw or spit anything out of the bus window.
- The use of profane or abusive language is prohibited.
- Smoking on the bus is prohibited.
- The playing of radios, tape players, and compact disk players is prohibited unless headphones are used.
AFTER GETTING OFF THE BUS
- Never cross in front of the bus. Always wait until the bus pulls away before crossing.
- Look out for the safety and comfort of smaller students and those with disabilities.
- Listen to any cautions given to you by the bus driver.
- Passengers who disobey the rules of riding the bus are subject to discipline. Discipline may include a seat assignment or the loss of bus riding privileges.
- A bus driver will generally warn you (once) if you are doing something that is inappropriate or in violation of any Metro Ride rules. If you do not obey the driver’s warning, you may be asked to get off the bus.
- If, at any time, your actions endanger the safety or security of other passengers, you will be asked to get off the bus immediately.
- Passengers may be suspended from riding the bus for extended periods of time if they endanger the safety of others or if they are habitual in violating the rules.
WHO CAN RIDE?
- Only students assigned to a bus may ride that bus.
- Students may only be picked up and dropped off at their residence or an assigned pick-up/drop-off point, except those students who have satisfied the District policy for transportation to a childcare provider. Approval for transportation to a childcare provider’s residence or assigned pick-up/drop-off point must meet the criteria outlined in the “Transportation to Accommodate Child Care Needs Form.”
- A parent/guardian may request that a student be picked up or dropped off at a location other than the student's residence or child care provider’s residence; however, such request must be infrequent and follow this procedure:
- The principal's office must call the bus company to determine that the request meets the District requirement that a seat is available and that the location is on an existing route.
- A note from the parent/guardian must be taken to the school office and signed by the principal giving permission for the change.
- The signed note must be given to the driver when boarding the bus.
- The following information must be on the note:
- Place and address to be picked up or dropped off
- Day and date the change will take place
- Reason for the change
- Parent/guardian signature
PREVIOUS TO LOADING (on the road and at school)
- Be at the designated school bus stops on time. No waiting period will be allowed for the bus.
- Be careful while approaching bus stops. Walk on the left side of the road toward oncoming traffic.
- Stay off the road at all times while waiting for the bus. Bus riders should conduct themselves in a safe manner while waiting.
- Do not move toward the bus at the school-loading zone until the bus has been brought to a complete stop.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before attempting to enter the bus.
WHILE ON THE BUS
- Keep hands and head inside the bus at all times after entering and until leaving the bus.
- Assist in keeping the bus safe and sanitary at all times. No eating or drinking on the bus.
- Remember that loud talking and laughing, as well as unnecessary confusion, diverts the bus driver's attention that may result in an accident.
- You must obey the bus driver’s instructions. The driver is authorized to assign seats.
- Treat bus equipment as you would valuable furniture in your home. The offender(s) must pay for any damage.
- Be courteous to other students, the bus driver, and student patrol officers.
WHILE ON THE BUS (continued)
- Never tamper with the bus or any equipment.
- Collect your books, lunches, and other personal belongings before leaving the bus.
- Keep books, packages, coats, musical instruments, and all other objects out of the aisles.
- Remain inside of the bus in case of a road emergency unless directed by the bus driver to do otherwise.
- Do not toss anything out of the bus window.
- Remain in your seat while the bus is in motion. Do not stand or move about while the bus is in motion.
- Keep absolutely quiet when approaching a railroad-crossing stop.
- In leaving the bus, remain seated until the bus come to a complete stop.
- Use of profane language and tobacco products are prohibited.
AFTER LEAVING THE BUS
- Cross the road, when necessary, at least ten feet in front of the bus but only after looking to be sure that no traffic is approaching from either direction.
- Help look after the safety and comfort of small children.
- Be alert to the danger signal from the bus driver.
- Do not exit the bus at places or other bus stops other than the regular bus stop unless the parent/guardian and school officials have given proper authorization in advance.
EXTRA CURRICULAR TRIPS
- The rules and regulations previously listed apply to any trip under school sponsorship.
- Students shall obey and respect the chaperone(s) appointed by the school.
DISOBEYING BUS RIDER RULES
- A first offense requires that a written letter of notice and report will be sent to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and school principal from the bus company.
- A second offense requires a meeting between the student, bus driver (if needed), and principal with a three-day suspension of bus riding privileges. (Notice/ misconduct report to be sent to parent(s)/guardian(s) and principal.)
- A third offense requires a conference between the principal, parent(s)/guardian(s), bus driver, and transportation manager with a ten-day suspension of bus riding privileges.
- A fourth offense requires a conference with parent(s)/guardian(s), principal, bus driver, and transportation manager with bus riding privileges suspended for the remainder of the school year.
- Any of the above steps may be bypassed depending upon the severity of the offense.
Updated: November 1, 2022
Occasionally, weather-related road conditions within our School District may vary drastically depending on location. For instance, weather and road conditions may allow those students who live in or near the city or on county trunk roads (the lettered county roads) to arrive at school with little or no trouble. Certain rural, secondary roads may, however, simultaneously be impassable or dangerous for buses to travel. In this event, the District will only run buses in the city, on county trunk roads, and rural roads, which are safe for travel.
Should this situation occur, District and First Student officials will determine which areas are unsafe for bus travel. The District will attempt to announce via television and radio the particular areas that are affected.
If the school bus is unable to pickup the student and parents are unable to transport their child(ren) to school because of road conditions, Wausau School District students will receive an excused absence from the District provided the parent/guardian notifies the school. Parents of private school students will need to follow the administrative guidelines for their school.