School bus transportation is a shared responsibility of the State Department of Education (SDE) and Berkeley County School District (BCSD). This shared responsibility provides a transportation system that is safe, economical and efficient. The SDE furnishes and maintains the bus fleet and the school district recruits, trains and assigns bus drivers. Bus routes are developed by the district and approved by the SDE.
The department of student transportation is charged with providing transportation service for 22,500+ BCSD students. Most buses in BCSD provide service to three bus routes, one for each grade level (elementary, middle, and high). Students who live within 1 ½ miles of their school are not generally eligible for school bus transportation. The distance is normally measured from the edge of the property or driveway where the student lives to the nearest pedestrian entry point of the school property.
School Bus stops cannot be placed closer together than two-tenths of a mile. School bus routes cannot be altered to add a bus stop or move a bus stop unless a student lives further than three-tenths of a mile from an existing stop.
Parents are responsible for student conduct and safety at bus stops until the bus arrives in the morning and after the bus departs in the afternoon. An excerpt from the SC Code of laws: "Section 59-67-415. Parents or guardians are responsible for the safety, conduct, and the timely arrival of their children to, from, and at the designated school bus stop before the arrival of the school bus for pick up and transport to school and the timely departure of the child after the school bus leaves the designated school bus stop after transporting the children from school. For purposes of this section, the phrase “arrival of the school bus” includes the time that the school bus assigned to the school bus stop activates the required pedestrian safety devices, stops, and loads or unloads students until the school bus deactivates all pedestrian safety devices."
- Buses in Berkeley County School District are equipped with video cameras. Footage is available for viewing by appropriate school/district administrators.
- Bus transportation is provided only to residences and day care facilities. Bus stops will not be located at places of business.
- Students who are eligible for transportation may be picked up and or dropped off at day care facilities located within the attendance zones for their residence or school.
- School closings and delays will be announced on the district’s website and through other parent subscribed resources through their child’s school. The district’s communication’s department will also communicate closing to the local media outlets.
- Each student riding a school bus must complete a Bus Registration form and return a copy of the form to the bus driver.
No child enrolled in the special services and pre-kindergarten through first grade programs will be left at a bus stop without the parent or guardian present. Parents who wish to allow students to be escorted home by an older sibling (without a designated adult present) or unescorted must provide an authorization letter to the school to be forwarded to transportation. Parents must also provide an authorization letter listing all persons who are authorized to accompany their child from the bus stop.
The parent or guardian must designate individuals permitted to receive the student. A picture ID will be required in order to pick up the student. If proper identification is not provided, the student will be returned to the school.
If a student is returned to a school three times, within any interval of time, afternoon transportation will be suspended until notification of appropriate provisions have been arranged for the safe discharge of the student at the bus stop. A sibling in elementary school does not qualify as a guardian.
Should staff feel that letting a child in 2nd – 5th grade off unaccompanied is an endangerment to the child, the child will be transported back to the school and the proper authorities notified.
Parents desiring to discuss any issue with the bus driver must contact the local transportation office. School buses cannot be delayed during the route for parents to talk to the driver. Boarding a school bus without permission or interfering with the operation of the bus in any way is illegal and could result in prosecution. (SC Code 59- 67-245).
Please click here to refer to BCSD Student Transportation Policy JGG.
Please click here to refer to BCSD School Bus Conduct Policy JCDAD.