Private vehicles approved for student transport

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By Kellie Parkin

Private car transportation for school-related excursions is now an option after School Board members unanimously approved the policy change at Tuesday’s Board meeting and public hearing.

Under the new procedures, drivers of private vehicles for school fieldtrips must be at least 21 years old, have completed the appropriate background check, and submit a request form at least three weeks in advance.

By signing the request form, the driver agrees that the vehicle has proper insurance and is in good working condition. A copy of the current driver’s license and insurance card must be submitted with the request form. The driver also agrees that seatbelts will be worn by all passengers and that specific age and weight requirements will be met for those sitting in the front seat when air bags are present.

Students will be required to obtain written permission from a parent or guardian acknowledging the transportation arrangements. Medical authorizations and a master list of students will accompany all trips and must remain in vehicles throughout the duration of the trip.

The new policy will allow athletic teams and small educational groups to attend events otherwise unavailable to them due to transportation funding cuts.

Each trip must be approved by the principal of the individual school, who will look at the athletic and educational benefit as the determining criteria.

Other policy changes at Tuesday’s Board meeting included wording to the district’s mission statement, a chapter on fraud, and a state-mandated anti-bullying policy.