Managing Student Behavior on the Bus

Managing Student Behavior on the Bus

Everyday, millions of students across America board the bus to be transported to and from school. While most of these trips are seamless, issues do occasionally arise. At times, student behavior may not be ideal, and it is important to have a plan in place for instances in which behavioral issues occur. In addition, it's important to establish expectations for student behavior when students are riding the bus and to maintain consistency when it comes to following the rules of being aboard the bus. With student behavior under control and a plan in place to address less than ideal behavior, we can ensure bus safety and maintain efficient transit times for all students.

1. Establish a set of rules for all bus passengers.

This set of rules, also referred to as a code of conduct, should set expectations for student behavior and outline consequences for not following the rules. Rules should be established that focus on maintaining order and safety aboard the bus, such as no fighting or overly loud talking, staying seated, wearing seatbelts, etc. Consult your transportation department and bus drivers when deciding on your district's unique set of bus rules.

The rules for bus ridership should be posted on the bus in a visible area for all students to see. Additionally, students and parents should be provided with copies of the set of rules before they begin riding the bus.

2. Educate passengers about the set of rules.

In order for passengers to understand and adhere to the rules for riding the bus, it is important to educate them on the set of rules. This can be done through direct conversations with passengers, or by providing printed materials that clearly explain the set of rules and their expectations for student behavior. It may even make sense to have students sign a copy of the rules of the bus at the beginning of each school year, so that there is no confusion about whether or not they are aware of the expectations.

3. Enforce the set of rules.

Once students are aware of the set of rules for riding the bus, they should be enforced consistently. When a rule is broken, the set consequences should be followed every time. This sends a clear message to students that their behavior is not acceptable and that there will be repercussions for not following the rules of the bus. Furthermore, it encourages all passengers to adhere to the code of conduct going forward, as well.

4. Use positive reinforcement for good behavior.

In addition to enforcing the passenger code of conduct, positive reinforcement should also be used when an individual behaves appropriately while on board the bus. This can include verbal praise or positive notes sent home to parents, or any other ideas your district has for rewarding positive behavior. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool and encourages students to continue to display positive behavior in the future.

5. Allow bus drivers some amount of disciplinary authority.

In addition to the steps outlined above, bus drivers should also be given some authority to challenge bad behavior on their buses. This could include allowing bus drivers the ability to report student behavior directly through EZRouting’s parent app, or by requiring students who have misbehaved to fill out a log of their actions and meet with administrators when they return to school. By giving bus drivers the ability to take action, student behavior is much more likely to stay in check, and bus rides will be much smoother for everyone involved.

6. Utilize bus aides when possible.

In some instances, bus drivers may not be able to handle disciplinary action on their own. In these cases, bus aides can step in to assist bus drivers with enforcing the set of rules and ensuring student safety. Bus aides are a great resource who can help bus drivers keep track of passenger behavior and provide support when needed. With bus aides on board, bus drivers can focus on getting passengers safely to their destinations and avoid having to address issues of discipline.

Overall, student behavior on board the bus can be managed by establishing clear expectations, enforcing rules consistently, and providing positive reinforcement for those who follow the code of conduct. By following the steps outlined above, bus rides can stay safe, efficient, and enjoyable for all passengers. Contact us today to learn about how EZRouting can help your district manage student behavior through our portal!