Smithton School District provides free bus transportation for students through a coordinated contract with Freeburg Elementary District and Freeburg High School District. The district is required to transport all students living 1.5 miles or more from their schools. Free transportation services for special education students are provided if included in the student's individualized education plan. Non-public students are transported in accordance with state law. Homeless students are transported in accordance with the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. Bus routes are determined by the transportation director with district approval.
The Illinois State Board of Education provides a state-funded pupil transportation reimbursement program for parents/guardians to whom free busing is not provided. For more information and eligibility criteria, see: Illinois State Board of Education.
Students are trained on proper Bus Evacuation Procedures in event of emergency at the beginning of each school year.
Who is eligible for bus transportation?
Smithton provides safe transportation to and from school for enrolled students living beyond one and one-half (1½ ) miles of the school.
How are students assigned to bus stops?
The locations of bus stops have been optimized taking into account the traffic safety issues and student addresses.
My child’s bus is overcrowded. Can some children be placed on another bus?
If the bus has three elementary students or two middle students in each seat, it will seem crowded. Our goal is to fully utilize all the space on the bus. If a bus is over capacity, the driver may have to return for a second route or a small group of students will be transported with a school van.
What happens if a school bus is involved in an accident?
If your student’s bus is involved in an accident, the operator will immediately radio their dispatcher with vital information. The dispatcher will notify the appropriate emergency personnel to respond. The school the bus was servicing at the time of the accident will be notified and an appropriate school representative may be asked to go to the scene of the accident, depending on how serious the situation may be. If your child needs to be transported anywhere, for any reason, by emergency medical technicians at the scene, you will be notified. If your student is not injured, you will be notified of the incident and your child will be transported to school or home, as appropriate. Your student will not be counted tardy or absent. Students are allowed to contact their parents/guardians via their cell phone in emergency situations. If they do not have a cell phone, dispatch will call for them.
Things are happening on the bus that the driver doesn’t do anything about—why?
The driver’s first and foremost responsibility is to drive the bus. Although the driver is required to maintain order and discipline and ensure that students observe all bus safety rules they cannot see everything that is happening on the bus at all times. There is a referral process for drivers to report to the school students who are not observing safety rules. They can refer students if they observe an infraction or if it has been reported to them by a student(s). If something is happening on the bus that concerns you and your child, please contact the principal.
My child is being harrassed on the bus. What should I do?
The student should inform the driver of what is going on. Additionally, the parent/guardian should contact the school. All concerns should be immediately reported to the principal.
Who is responsible for resolving discipline problems that occur on the bus?
Bus drivers attempt to correct inappropriate behavior, but often it requires the intervention of a school administrator. The principal is responsible for the administration of school bus discipline.
I would like to talk to my child’s bus driver about a problem on the bus. How do I go about this? Couldn’t I just meet the driver at the bus stop location?
To talk with the bus driver, please contact the school. The school will coordinate with the Transportation Director and set up a conference.
Where can I get a copy of the bus rules?
Copies of the bus rules are listed in the Parent-Student Handbook.
How do I locate a lost item on a school bus?
If a driver finds an item on the bus, he/she will turn the item into the school.
Are bus drivers allowed to assign seats?
Yes. The bus driver is allowed to assign seats. Seating arrangements can be made to promote positivity and safety for all students.
I witnessed a concern with a bus driver’s operation of a school bus. How do I report this incident?
Please make a note of the location and time of the incident and, most important, the bus number, along with any additional details. Contact the Transportation Director with this information - (618) 539-9822
Can students bring musical instruments or large objects with them on the bus?
Musical Instruments and large objects are permitted on the school bus as long as the student can carry an instrument or object on and off of the bus by him/herself. They must be placed in the student's lap. Instruments or large objects cannot block the aisle.
We live within the non-transportation zone, but very close to a bus stop for my child’s school. Could my child ride the bus from this stop?
We do not permit a child to ride a school bus if you are within the non-transportation zone area.