• School Bus Riding Regulations


    Students who ride in Tumwater School buses are expected to act in a safe, responsible manner.

    1. The driver is in full charge of the bus and passengers.  Passengers must obey the driver promptly and willingly.

    2. Students shall be on time.  Bus policy is to be at the stop five minutes early and wait in an orderly manner.  Bus drivers are instructed not to wait for tardy students.

    3. Students shall not stand or play in the roadway while waiting for the bus.  Private and school property at bus stops shall be respected at all times.

    4. When the bus is arriving or departing, students shall stand clear of the bus a minimum of six feet.

    5. Students must look both ways before crossing a roadway.  ALWAYS CROSS 6-10 FEET IN FRONT OF THE BUS IN FULL VIEW OF THE DRIVER AND ONLY WHEN THE DRIVER GIVES THE SIGNAL TO CROSS.   Students must be in full view of the driver at all times.                                                                                                             

    6.  Wait for the bus doors to open before approaching the bus to board or standing up to disembark.  Load and unload in an orderly manner.  Use the handrail.  No tripping, pushing or shoving.  Go directly to a seat.

    7. Each student may be assigned to a seat in which he/she will be seated at all times unless permission to change is given by the driver.  Students are to remain in their seats.  Students must sit facing the front of the bus, keep their hands and feet to themselves, and keep their voice levels moderated.  No swearing,fighting, hitting, pinching, biting, etc.

    8. When the bus stops at a railroad crossing, there will be ABSOLUTELY NO NOISE OR TALKING until the bus is completely across the tracks.

    9. Keep belongings out of the aisle and secured in a safe way so no one is injured. No Large Bulky Items that can’t easily fit on the student’s lap or between the student’s legs will be allowed on the bus.  Loose Items such as skateboards, baseball bats, baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, etc. will not be allowed on the bus unless in an approved carry-on bag.   Musical drumsticks must be stored away securely.

    10. Students may not open the windows without permission from the driver.  Upon receiving permission, windows may be opened no further than the third notch.  Students shall not throw anything out windows or put any part of the body out of windows.

    11. Students shall ride their regularly assigned bus at all times unless permission has been granted by school authorities based on a note or phone call received from the parent/guardian.(Please include in the note the name, address and phone number of where your child is going.)  Present the note to the driver upon entering the bus.

    12. Keep the bus clean and litter free.  Take care not to damage the bus in any way.  Report any damage to the driver immediately.  The District will be reimbursed for damage caused by the misconduct of a student.  Misconduct on a bus will be sufficient cause to discontinue providing transportation to the students involved.

    13. No eating, gum chewing or drinking is allowed on the bus.

    14. In accordance with Tumwater Schoo lDistrict Policy #3207: Harassment, Bullying and Intimidation will not be tolerated.

    15. Inappropriate use of electronic equipment will not be tolerated and will lead to disciplinary actions.   Cellphone use is discouraged and is left up to the discretion of the driver.  Ringers must be left off.  Small CD’s, iPod’s, MP3 or radios with headsets may be used as long as the sound does not disturb others.  When wearing headsets, only one ear plug is allowed, so the students are able to hear instruction from the driver. 

    16. Headsets must be removed when boarding the bus and upon departure from the bus. Students may not wear headsets when crossing the road.                                                                                                         

    17. No weapons, incendiary devices,breakable containers, alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, sticks,laser pointers, etc. will be allowed on the bus.   Students may not bring toy guns, squirt guns or paint balls on the bus.

    18. No spraying of perfume, cologne,body sprays etc. are allowed on the bus.

    19. Students are discouraged from bringing items of value or of sentimental significance onto the bus as theirsafety and integrity are not guaranteed.

    20. For safety reasons, no student will be allowed to board or leave a bus once the buses begin to leave the schoolgrounds unless permission is given by the Transportation Department.

    21. A parent/guardian or older sibling must be at the bus stop to receive kindergarteners and preschoolers. 

    22. Students may check their mailboxes if they follow the rules noted here: they must wait until the bus has cleared the area so they can see both lanes of traffic. Cross the road in a straight path after checking for vehicles and recheck the road before returning to their side.



    Below is a list of items that are not allowed on the bus.  We are unable to list all of the items that may be dangerous to students to transport. If you have a concern about an item that is not on the list, call the Transportation office at 360-709-7700.  Remember,if it cannot sit on the child’s lap or between their legs on the floor (items cannot be stored in empty seats, in the aisle or under seats) it is not an approved item per the Washington State Patrol. We appreciate your support on this matter. 

    Skate Boards (unless in an approved carry-on bag) 

    Live animal or critters

    Toy swords or guns 

    Laser lights


    Fishing Poles, Kites

    Baseball bats (unless in an approved carry-on bag)

    Large bouncing balls (unless in a sack)


    Inflated Balloons

    WAC 392-145-016 Rules for students riding school buses:

    The policies or rules for students riding school buses shall include; but are not necessarily limited to the following:

    1. Identification of the individual who has authority over the passengers.
    2. Student riding privileges.
    3. Loading and unloading procedures, including that if students must cross the roadway, they shall only cross in front and never behind the school bus.
    4. Seat assignment
    5. Student conduct, including acceptable practices with respect to talking, moving around the bus, use of window, behavior at highway rail grade crossing and other behavior.
    6. Unacceptable hazards that may cause injury to others e.g., firearms, breakable containers, skateboards, sticks, laser pointers, etc.
    7. School bus cleanliness and emergency exit procedures.
    WAC 392-145-021 General Operation Requirements:
    The following operating procedures are required to assure maximum passenger safety:
    1. No school bus shall be operated unless each passenger aboard has been provided with a safe seat of sufficient size to accommodate each passenger within the seat compartment. There shall be no auxiliary seating accommodations such as temporary or folding jump seats in any school bus. Students shall remain seated while the bus is in motion.
    2. Passengers in school buses equipped with seat belts shall be required to wear them properly adjusted whenever the school bus is in motion.
    3. Heavy, sharp, bulky, and or other articles which may be hazardous in the event of an accident or an emergency stop shall not be transported unsecured in the passenger area of any school bus. In no case will items be secured in such a manner as to impede access to any exit. Items which shall not be transported within the passenger area of a school bus include all forms of animal life, (except service animals), firearms, weapons, flammables, and all other articles which could adversely affect the safety of the school bus and passengers.
    4. When a teacher, coach or other certified staff member is assigned to accompany students on a school bus, such person shall be responsible for the behavior of the students in his or her charge and shall ensure that passengers comply with state rules, and district policies and procedures for student transportation. However, the school bus driver shall have final authority and responsibility.
    5. Teachers shall not send home, on the bus, with children: plants, animals, insects, holiday decorations, balloons, clay, scissors, glass or other sharp objects.