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Sweetwater Un HSD |  AR  3541.1  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Transportation For School-Related Trips   

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The district may provide transportation for students, employees, and other individuals for field trips and excursions approved according to Board policy and administrative regulations.

(cf. 3541 - Transportation Routes and Services)

(cf. 6153 - School-Sponsored Trips)

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall determine the most appropriate and cost-effective mode of transportation for each approved trip.

(cf. 3312.2 - Educational Travel Program Contracts)

(cf. 3540 - Transportation)

When district transportation is provided, students may be released from using district transportation only with the advance written permission of their parent/guardian.

School-related organizations requesting transportation shall be fully responsible for the costs of their trips unless funding has been approved by the Board of Trustees.

(cf. 1230 - School-Connected Organizations)

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall ensure that the district has sufficient liability insurance when field trips or excursions involve either transportation by district vehicles or travel to and from a foreign country. When a trip to a foreign country is authorized, liability insurance shall be secured from a carrier licensed to transact insurance business in that country. (Education Code 35330)

(cf. 3530 - Risk Management/Insurance)

Transportation by Private Vehicle

The Superintendent or his/her designee may authorize the transportation of students by private vehicle when the vehicle is driven by an adult age 21 or older who possesses a valid California driver's license or a valid license from his/her state of residence if he/she is a nonresident on active military duty in California. To be approved, a driver shall have a good driving record and possess at least the minimum insurance required by law. Any person providing transportation in a private vehicle shall register with the district for such purposes.

(cf. 1240 - Volunteer Assistance)

Drivers shall receive safety and emergency instructions which shall be kept in their vehicle.

All student passengers shall submit permission slips signed by their parent/guardian. Teachers shall ensure that each driver has a copy of the permission slip for each student riding in his/her vehicle.

The number of passengers, including the driver, shall not exceed the capacity for which the vehicle was designed. Motor trucks may not transport more persons than can safely sit in the passenger compartment. The driver shall also ensure that the manufacturer's recommendations for his/her vehicle are followed regarding the seating of children in seats equipped with airbags.

Passenger Restraint Systems

All drivers shall wear safety belts in accordance with law. In addition, drivers shall ensure that: (Vehicle Code 27315, 27360, 27360.5, 27363)

All other passengers wear seat belts

Bus Transportation for Excursions/Field Trips

The following guidelines shall apply in requisitioning and utilizing district or commercial transportation for excursions and field trips.

Excursions and/or Field Trips

1. See Exhibit 1 for a list of approved field trips and excursions. This list shall be used by those involved in requisitioning transportation for such excursions and field trips and other special activities requiring transportation of students pending availability of district buses for such purposes.

2. Regularly scheduled home-to-school trips shall take precedence over special trips. District provided bus transportation for a special trip, even though on the approved list, shall be authorized only if arrangements can be made without interfering with the home-to-school bus schedules.

3. District buses are available for special trips during the school week between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and after 4:30 p.m. All special trip requests must be approved by the department responsible for funding, processing, and forwarded to the transportation department for scheduling. If district buses are not available, sites will be notified to schedule a commercial carrier.

4. Schools wishing to make trips not on the approved schedule shall submit requisitions following the established procedure and indicate the department/site responsible for funding.

5. Special trips not on the approved schedule (including rooter buses, skating parties, parades, Disneyland, etc.) will be charged as near the actual cost as possible. School groups are not to use these bus trips to make money. Deans of student activities and ASB advisors are to mail all checks payable to the Sweetwater Union High School District to the director of transportation.

6. Special bus trip requisitions shall be processed and forwarded to the transportation office at least fifteen calendar days prior to the date of the event for which transportation is requested. Schools are encouraged to order buses for the entire semester whenever possible.

7. No trips during the school day will be approved which involve a charge or fee that would exclude a student because of the lack of funds.

Transportation Guidelines

1. Attention is called to Title 5 of the California Administrative Code, which specifies the following:

"Hours of Labor of Driver. Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall drive any school bus or be permitted or required to drive a school bus more than ten consecutive hours or more than an aggregate of ten hours spread over a period of sixteen consecutive hours for the time the driver first reports for duty for "any" employer, whichever occurs first, a driver shall not again drive a school bus until eight consecutive uninterrupted hours off duty have elapsed. The term "hours off duty" as used in this section shall mean a period when the driver is completely relieved of all duties and performs no work for "any" employer. In the event the school bus driver has any employment, which requires the driving of any vehicle transporting persons or property an aggregate of ten hours of driving time within any sixteen consecutive hour period shall not be exceeded.

2. If available, district buses must be used for trips within San Diego County. Sponsors of trips outside San Diego County have the option of using district buses if available or district-approved commercial carriers for list of commercial carriers approved for the current school year). When the eligibility of commercial carrier is in question, the transportation office must be contacted and eligibility certified before signing a contract. When a district approved commercial carrier is to be employed, sponsors shall make all arrangements directly with the carrier under the supervision of the principal and/or higher approving authority. The transportation department must be contacted and given the following information: school, group or class taking the trip, destination, departure time and place, return departure time and place, commercial carrier, and contact person and phone number.

3. The procedure for requesting transportation from the district is:

a. Submit Transportation Requisition, Form No. 10300-79 (Exhibit 3) to the funding source for approval, signature, processing, and forwarding to the transportation office at least fifteen calendar days prior to the date of the event for which transportation is requested. Transportation requisitions should be submitted for an entire semester whenever possible, including those for trips in excess of approved trips which will be charged to the ASB. Submitting the transportation requisition at the earliest possible date is very important in the event it becomes necessary to arrange for transportation by a commercial carrier. The requesting school should identify "WHO PAYS" on all transportation requisitions, supply budget numbers, and obtain approved signatures.

b. Transportation requisitions shall be reviewed to determine if the trip is authorized pursuant to these regulations.

c. Requisitions approved by the funding source, signed, processed, and received prior to fifteen days lead time will be assigned to district buses on the Wednesday prior to the week of the requested date. Schools that do not receive their pink copy by Friday should call the transportation office.

d. Requisitions for trips that require commercial carriers will be returned to the requesting school so that the principal or his/her designee can contact an approved commercial carrier and arrange for necessary transportation.

(1) The appropriate section of the requisition will be checked to indicate if the trip is to be charged to the site budget or charge to the ASB and returned to the school.

(2) The school is responsible for arranging transportation by chartering a bus or buses from an approved commercial carrier.

(3) After arrangements have been made with the district-approved commercial carrier, complete a non-stock requisition showing the proper site budget and attach a copy of the transportation requisition that has been returned by the transportation department.

(4) Notify the transportation office of all arrangements (see No. I above).

(5) Inform the commercial carrier that the invoice for the trip should be mailed in triplicate to Sweetwater Union High School District, Accounting Department, 1130 Fifth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91911. In addition, the invoice should be cross-referenced to the appropriate transportation requisition number. If it is an ASB- funded trip, the invoice should be mailed directly to the ASB at the school site.

Canceled trips

When any scheduled trip is canceled, whether using district buses or commercial carriers, the director of transportation and/or his/her designee must be notified immediately by telephone. If the trip is not canceled at least two hours prior to departure time for district buses, a minimum of two hours of driver time will be charged to the originating site/department. Commercial carriers may charge a fee for canceled trips. It is up to the school site/department to inquire about this when scheduling the trip.


1. The principal will approve the request for a field trip only if the supervision plans assure that the safety and well being of the students have been given full and careful consideration.

2. It should be emphasized, however, that good plans for supervision must be accompanied by reasonable and prudent care in carrying them out. All persons in a supervising capacity should be appropriately briefed on their responsibilities in this regard by the field trip sponsor.

3. Teachers and other district supervisors have the following responsibilities prior to making special bus trips:

a. Submit request for use of school bus two weeks prior to the trip by filing with the school office a requisition form completely filled out.

b. Insure that Parent Permission and Waiver of Claims forms are properly filled out and signed before start of trip.

c. Make sure there is always a teacher or other certificated employee on all buses.

d. Inform the principal regarding classes from which the teacher will be absent and for which a substitute will be needed.

e. Have a written list of the students on the bus and any equipment involved.

f. Submit a supervision plan to the principal for his/her approval.

4. Teachers and other district supervisors have the following responsibilities during special bus trips:

a. Identify himself or herself to the driver as the certificated bus rider, also confirm the loading point and the time of departure.

b. Confer with the driver regarding the route to be followed prior to the departure of the bus.

c. Notify the driver when the students and equipment are loaded and the bus is ready to leave. Equipment should be limited to those articles that can be transported in the baggage compartments. Articles which must be transported inside the bus must be placed so as not to block aisles or emergency exits.

d. Cooperate with the bus driver on special regulations, such as: no metal cleats on shoes, opening of windows, or eating.

e. The driver is responsible for the safety of the students and the bus. The teacher should, therefore, respond to the suggestions the driver might make regarding the type of student conduct to be maintained. In this regard, it is the teachers' responsibility to assist the driver by:

(1) Keeping noise down and maintaining general discipline.

(2) Handling specific discipline problems.

(3) Seeing to it that students remain seated at all times and allowing no boisterous singing or conduct.

(4) Cooperating with the driver in helping the students to recognize driver as the person in charge of the bus.

f. The following types of conduct are never permissible:

(1) Smoking.

(2) Throwing things.

(3) Moving about the bus.

(4) Sitting in driver's seat.

(5) Climbing in and out of windows and emergency doors.

(6) Using flash camera equipment.

(7) Using aerosol cans (hair spray, etc.).

(8) Loud noises such as shouting.

(9) Hitting or slapping one another, even in jest.

(10) Amorous demonstrations.

g. Instruct the students as to the location and time for reloading for the return trip.

h. Check the roll as students disembark and embark. Note: All students must return on the bus unless a personal request is made by a parent(s)/guardian(s)/caregiver(s) that a pupil be released from returning by bus.

Private Vehicles

Private vehicles driven by parent/guardian/caregiver or district employees may be used to transport small groups of students on school sponsored excursions, field trips, or to/from extracurricular activities when the district will not provide transportation on district vehicles.

Principal Responsibilities

When private vehicles driven by parent/guardian/caregiver or district employees are used to transport students on school sponsored excursions, field trips, or extracurricular activities, the principal or his/her designee shall ensure that the following conditions have been met:

1. The owner of the vehicle to be used in transporting the students carries a minimum insurance of $100,000 bodily injury per person; $300,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage, or, in lieu therefore $300,000 combined single limit.

2. The driver has completed and has on file a current Driver Information Form Number 4124-80.

3. With the proposed number of passengers and driver, the vehicle will not be overloaded.

a. Vehicles shall be considered overload if carrying more than the number of persons, including the driver, for which a seat belt is designed (one person per seat belt).

b. This particularly applies to station wagons, vans, SUVs designed for carrying more than six persons, including the drives, and/or buses whose seating capacity has been permanently reduced.


When private vehicles are used to transport students on school sponsored excursions, field trips, or extracurricular activities, the principal or his/her designee shall ensure that the driver has been apprised of responsibilities and is aware of rules/regulations governing use of personal vehicles in the performance of assigned duties, including the need for having a valid certificate ASB and district's Finance Office.

Other Students

Under no circumstances shall an employee direct a student to transport another student or students on school sponsored excursions, field trips, or extracurricular activities.

Legal Reference:


35330 Excursions and field trips

35332 Transportation by air

39830 School bus

39830.1 School pupil activity bus

39860 Transportation to special activities by district

44808 Liability when students not on school property


27315 Mandatory use of seat belts in private passenger vehicles

27360-27360.5 Child passenger restraint systems

27363 Child passenger restraint systems, exemptions

Management Resources:


California Department of Motor Vehicles:

California Highway Patrol:

California Office of Traffic Safety:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

National Transportation Safety Board:


approved: November 17, 2008 Chula Vista, California