Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) is an effective and efficient consortium which oversees the transportation services purchased by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and the Upper Canada District School Board.
Our goal is to provide safe, efficient, and reliable transportation services for our students and schools.
We ask that students, parent(s)/guardian(s), teachers, principals, operators and drivers use this booklet for reference throughout the school year to assist in our common goal of a safe transportation system.
Guidelines for Parents/Guardians
Parents/Guardians can assist in our efforts to maintain high standards of safety and acceptable student behaviour on school buses by adhering to the following guidelines:
- STEO can only provide one space per child. STEO cannot provide spaces on two different bus routes for the same child. Within existing routes, where feasible and safe, a student can access a different location for pickup and drop-off within the same route provided it is for five (5) consecutive days upon approval of STEO.
- School bus drivers can only pickup and drop-off riders at an authorized regular daily stop for a home, caregiver or school address. Drivers cannot make changes to stops without authorization from STEO.
- Transportation for non-school related functions is the parent’s responsibility. Only those students eligible for transportation are entitled to ride a bus that has been assigned to them. STEO cannot provide transportation for special events such as birthday parties, sleepovers, a homework project, to complete community service hours or for a job. These requests cannot be permitted for safety reasons.
- STEO strives to ensure the safe transportation of students. Ultimately, each parent has the right and legal obligation to protect their child. You may decide to keep your child at home, at any time, if you feel that it is too risky to have him/her transported to school. When buses are cancelled due to inclement weather but the school remains open, it is your responsibility to either arrange transportation or keep your child at home or with a caregiver.
- Please ensure that your child is at the bus stop 5 minutes prior to the arrival of the bus. Drivers cannot wait for children to arrive at their bus stop.
- If a student requires the use of crutches or has a leg cast that could cause a safety issue/concern on the bus, STEO is to be notified and alternate transportation arrangements will be made.
- Always be aware of the bus operator, route number, stop location, and pickup and drop-off times for your child.
- Parent(s)/guardian(s) should not stop, delay or board the bus when the bus driver is transporting students to and from school.
- Remember that you are responsible for your child’s safety and conduct prior to boarding the bus and following drop-off at a designated stop. This includes walking or driving your child to and from the bus stop. In the case of a JK-SK student, or in a special situation that has been approved by the school, STEO, and bus operator, a trusted responsible person must accompany your child to and from the bus stop. If no one meets the child at the bus stop, drivers are directed to take the child back to school or to the proper authorities. It is a parental responsibility to ensure that children arrive home safely from the bus stop.
- With respect to JK-SK students, parents can ensure that the Purple Band, provided by the school, is securely attached to the handle of their child’s backpack to enable drivers to quickly identify these students.
- Ensure that you meet your child on the same side of the street where he/she exits the school bus.
- Notify the school as soon as possible of any changes to your address, baby-sitter, telephone number, etc.
- Notify the school if your child is prone to severe allergies and/or life-threatening reactions, as appropriate transportation medical forms need to be completed and given to STEO.
- Make sure that your child has his/her belongings packed in a secure school bag.
- Objects that may interfere with student or vehicle safety cannot be permitted on the school bus.
- Ensure that clothing toggles and drawstrings are not left dangling, as they can become snagged on school bus handrails, doors or other mechanical equipment. Incidents of snagged toggles or drawstrings have resulted in injuries.
- Regularly review with your child the safety rules for riding on the school bus
Responsibilities of Parent(s)/Guardians of Children Requiring Special Needs Transportation
Know your child’s specialized vehicle number and driver’s
- Have your child ready for pickup at the same time each day. If the specialized vehicle is delayed, all students will be late for school. If your child is regularly late, the driver will make a report which will be given to the school principal.
- Realize that your child must behave appropriately while on the specialized vehicle as per this booklet.
- Assist your child from the place of residence to the vehicle; on return from school assist your child from the vehicle to the place of residence.
- Impress upon your child the need for good safety practices, including the use of the seat belt at all times when in the vehicle and to remain in the seat that is assigned to them.
- Place names on articles that belong to your child, such as lunch boxes, hats, mittens, scarves etc., to avoid loss.
- Be aware of the procedures followed in cases of storms or emergencies and to have in place the appropriate arrangements for supervision, should your child be brought home earlier than normal.
Transporting Articles on the School Bus
For safety reasons, only certain equipment is allowed on scheduled buses.
- Skates, rollerblades and sports balls must be carried in a sports bag.
- Sports bags must be kept on the floor at the student’s feet.
- Music equipment must be transported in a case and should be kept on the student’s lap whenever possible.
- Approval must be granted in advance between the principal (or designate) and bus operator to transport skis, poles, skate boards, hockey equipment and program related items such as large musical instruments.
- Dangerous objects are not permitted on the school bus (knives, guns, etc.).
- Animals are not permitted on the bus.
In case of dispute, the final decision as to what may or may not be transported rests with the bus operator.