Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

Our mission is to graduate 100 percent of our students, college and career ready.

1370 Transportation

Oklahoma law does not require district-provided transportation. However, Union Public Schools provides some transportation for the convenience of its students when funds are made available.

For purposes of clarification, the following terms are defined:

Director of Transportation: The person hired by the Board of Education who is responsible for the operation of student transportation services.

School bus/CDL driver: Any person who, while working for the district, operates a vehicle requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

School bus: Any vehicle owned or leased by the District and used to transport students to and from school and related events as defined by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.


A.      All school buses purchased and/or used by the district will meet or exceed any and all state and federal minimum safety construction standards.

B.      Annual inspections: Each school bus will be mechanically inspected as required by state law.

C.      Pre-trip inspection: A driver shall perform a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle prior to each route or trip. The inspection shall include, but not be limited to, brakes, lights, tires, exhaust system, gauges, windshield wipers, steering, and fuel. The driver shall make a daily written report, unless digital reporting is available describing the condition of the bus and listing any deficiencies. The Transportation office will provide forms for this report with listing of the minimum inspection items. This report is to remain on file with the Director of Transportation for a period of 90 days.

D.      Any school bus deemed unsafe shall immediately be placed out of service until all necessary repairs are made. All repairs to school buses shall be made by a duly qualified automotive technician.

E.       It is the responsibility of all drivers to clean and refuel any bus entrusted to their operation following departmental procedures to accomplish these tasks. It is furthermore the responsibility of all bus drivers to complete a work order for repair or maintenance to any vehicle they should operate when such repair or maintenance is needed.

F.       The Transportation Department shall adopt and maintain a preventative maintenance schedule to prolong the life of all school buses and assure their safe operation.



A.      Any person employed as a school bus/CDL driver, whether full- or part-time, shall hold the appropriate driver’s license and endorsements required by the Department of Public Safety for the operation of a school bus or other vehicle requiring a CDL.

B.      Any person employed as a school bus/CDL driver, whether full- or part-time, shall hold a school bus driver’s certificate as required by the State Department of Education.

C.      The driving records of all school bus/CDL drivers shall be checked annually, and all drivers must meet the requirements of the SDE for school bus/CDL driver’s records. All new drivers shall have a felony check as required for other district personnel.

D.      All school bus/CDL drivers shall have on file in the Transportation office an annual health certificate signed by a physician licensed by the state, attesting that such physician has examined the applicant and/or bus/CDL

driver and that the applicant and/or bus/CDL driver has no sign or symptoms of ill health and is otherwise, from the observation of such physician, physically and mentally capable of safely operating a school bus.

E.       The use of tobacco products, and/or electronic or vapor products/e-cigarettes (regardless of whether or not the electronic or vapor products/e-cigarettes contain tobacco or nicotine) by a school bus/CDL driver is not permitted during the operation of the bus while hauling students, and use of tobacco, tobacco products, and/or vapor products/e-cigarettes in any form is prohibited while on any district property, including district vehicles, per Board Policy #1500. The use of any intoxicating alcoholic beverage by the driver eight hours prior to or during the operation of a school bus is strictly prohibited. The use of any controlled dangerous substance 72 hours prior to or during the operation of a school bus is strictly prohibited. The possession of any controlled dangerous substance on a school bus is strictly prohibited. Marijuana, even with a state medical marijuana license, is illegal under Federal DOT regulations and is not allowed at any time.

F.       School bus/CDL drivers will be subject to drug and alcohol testing requirements under Board Policy #4026 and #4028.

G.      All school bus/CDL drivers shall be evaluated annually for job performance purposes as prescribed by district personnel policies. In addition to standard employee evaluation criteria, school bus/CDL drivers shall also be evaluated for driving skills and student-management skills.

H.      Any school bus/CDL driver may be suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation into any charge of recklessly endangering the safety of persons or property while operating a school bus or any charge of moral turpitude involving children.

I.        All school bus/CDL drivers shall comply with requirements of the Director of Transportation regarding attendance and participation in periodic in-service safety meetings for the purpose of increasing student safety.

J.        Substitute and activity school bus/CDL drivers shall meet all the requirements prescribed for regular bus drivers.

K.      It is unlawful for any person to operate a school bus or multi-passenger vehicle on any street or highway within this state while:

1.       Using a cellular telephone or electronic communications device to write, send, or read a text message; or

2.       Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a school bus. Operate means operating on a street or highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device or other momentary delays.


A.      Transportation may be provided for and shall be restricted to the students of the district who reside within the boundaries of the district. Students who reside outside the district but attend Union Public Schools through a mutual agreement with a neighboring school district for a specific area, may be provided transportation service.

B.      The district may elect to not transport any student whose home is within one-and-one-half miles from the school attended by a commonly traveled road.

Students who reside in areas where walking to school is deemed hazardous by the Director of Transportation may be provided transportation service. Hazardous conditions are those which would place the student at risk.

C.      Parents are responsible to accompany students to the bus stop and see to their safety prior to the arrival of the bus and meet them at the bus stop to assume responsibility after school.

D.      All school bus routes shall be evaluated annually. A copy of the evaluation shall be forwarded to the government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway if any physical hazards are noted. If identifiable hazards exist on a school bus route, all drivers shall exercise due caution. Route and bus stop changes may be made at the discretion of the Director of Transportation or designee.

E.       School bus/CDL drivers may not deviate from established school bus routes and/or move school bus stops without the permission of the Director of Transportation.

F.       It is the duty of the parents or legal guardians to have their students at the bus stop at the proper time. No student may board any school bus at any place other than at a designated bus stop.

G.      No students shall be discharged from their school bus at any point except the designated bus stop without a bus pass. Passes are obtained from the Transportation office or, in an emergency, from the office of the school attended.



A.      Any person operating a school bus for auxiliary transportation purposes shall adhere to all school transportation policies regarding driver qualifications and operational procedures.

B.      No school buses will be utilized for any activity trip prohibited by State Department of Education regulations.

C.      It is the responsibility of the parents or legal guardians of all students riding activity buses to have their students at the designated site for departure and arrival of all activity trips.

D.      All adults transported in connection with activity trips must be designated sponsors. Buses will be scheduled for the use of students with no additional buses scheduled to accommodate sponsors. For scheduling purposes, there will be allowed two sponsors per bus, including teachers. Additional sponsors may ride on a space- available basis.

E.       Student groups wishing to utilize buses in non-school activities, must be approved by the Superintendent prior to bus use. Buses will only be operated by bus drivers employed by the district and in good standing as bus drivers. Transportation costs for all activities of this nature must be reimbursed at a standard rate.

F.       All requests for auxiliary transportation must be filed in writing with the Director of Transportation or designee ten days prior to the activity. Requests received less than ten days prior to the activity may be denied.

G.      The primary purpose for which the district maintains a school bus fleet is to transport students to and from school classes. Auxiliary transportation shall not interfere with the safe operation of these bus routes; therefore, activity trips are subject to denial or cancellation based on availability of buses and/or drivers.



A.      Due to the serious nature of student transportation, no disruptive behavior shall be tolerated on any school bus that might endanger the well-being of any student transported. The same level of behavior that is expected in the classroom is expected on the bus in addition to behavior that is specific to bus safety.

B.      The Transportation Department will establish disciplinary procedures for bus drivers to follow when dealing with disruptive students. Bus rules and discipline procedures will be made available to all students each year through handbooks and/or flyers, as well as rules being posted conspicuously in the bus.

C.      Students are subject to the same disciplinary measures for behavior on the bus or at bus stops, as for behavior in the classroom or on school grounds. In addition, students are subject to denial of bus privileges for any length of time at the discretion of the administrator imposing the discipline.

D.      Bus/CDL drivers are authorized to assign any and/or all seats in the bus for any reason or for any length of time.

E.       School bus behavior rules and discipline shall apply to both school bus routes and activity trips.



A.      All students transported in school buses shall receive instructions in safe riding practices and participate in emergency evacuation drills within the first two weeks of each semester. All students riding on activity trips shall also receive instruction on emergency procedures. These drills shall be conducted on school grounds. Documentation of these drills shall be kept on file in the Transportation office.

B.      All bus/CDL drivers shall receive instruction in emergency and evacuation procedures not less than once per year.

C.      The Director of Transportation shall develop specific accident procedures for reporting and investigation of accidents. All school bus accidents shall be investigated, and reported to the Superintendent and Human Resources.



A.      All students requiring transportation services that are specific to the student or beyond the scope of regular transportation services shall be provided such transportation only after an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is completed which specifically describes the transportation needs of the student.

B.      Individualized transportation for special-needs students shall only be provided on an as-needed basis. The Transportation Department, Director of Special Education, or a representative should be consulted at all IEP meetings which address a student’s transportation needs to determine the most applicable form of transportation. Whenever a student’s disability may prove a safety hazard to other students on the bus (e.g., disruptive behavior, violent actions), alternative forms of transportation will be devised.

C.      Special-needs students are subject to disciplinary action within Special Education guidelines for behavior that presents a safety hazard to the bus and its passengers. In no instance will a student whose behavior constitutes a threat be allowed to continue to ride a bus.



School buses may be used to transport adults and/or non-students when the activity for which the transportation is provided is of benefit to the education or welfare of district students. Such adult and/or non-student groups transported in school buses must receive prior approval by the Superintendent or designee. Reimbursement of all

expenses for such transportation shall be made at a reasonable cost not less than the actual cost for operation of the school buses unless waived by the Superintendent.

Adults and/or non-students who are assigned as sponsors by a principal for non-athletic events, or by the athletic director for athletic-related activities may ride on a bus which is providing transportation for student activities at no charge, provided space is available.


Revised 6/10/96

Revised 12/8/97

Revised 12/14/98

Revised 12/13/99

Revised 1/8/01

Revised 1/13/03

Revised 12/10/07

Revised 1/18/10

Revised 12/12/11

Revised 12/9/13

Revised 12/14/15

Revised 12/10/18

Revised 12/11/23