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Bus Safety

back to school bus BACK TO SCHOOL BUS SAFETY

As everyone returns to school, please remember student safety is our number one priority!

Here are a few bus safety tips to keep in mind:


  • Never cross close to the front of the bus - make sure the driver can see you.
  • Never pick up anything you drop close to or under the bus - ask the driver what to do.
  • Never run after a bus or bang on the side.
  • If you must cross the street in front of the bus, follow the driver's directions, and stop and look before you cross.
  • Never run across a street, it's better to miss the bus than rush and risk being hit by a car.
  • Stay away from the rear and sides of the bus - always be in a safe place where the driver can see you.


  • Never pass a school bus when the stop lights are flashing.
  • Always observe the speed limit in school zones.
  • Be extra vigilant around school hours - assume a child might run out at any moment.
  • Be courteous to school buses, give them room and let them change lanes when they need to.

LET'S S.O.A.R. TOGETHER - Safety, Order, and Rights


  • Stay seated at all times
  • When the bus arrives at your house, stay seated until the bus comes to a complete stop
  • Keep all parts of your body inside the bus
  • No objects are to be thrown, either on the bus or out of the windows
  • Do not touch any switches or emergency doors/windows


  • Listen to the driver. Your safety is our main concern
  • No loud noises, yelling, or screaming
  • No eating, drinking, or tobacco products
  • Do not litter, write on, or damage the bus in any way


  • No fighting or pushing. Keep your hands to yourself!
  • Be courteous
  • No put-downs or vulgar language

Bus Conduct & Rules

The school bus or any school vehicle is an extension of school activity; therefore, students shall conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for safety and classroom behavior.

(TCA 49-6-4102) Students are under the supervision and control of the bus driver or appropriate adult supervisor while on their bus, and all reasonable directions given by him/her shall be followed. The principal of the student transported shall be informed by the bus driver or appropriate supervisor of any serious discipline problem and may be called upon to assist if necessary.

A student may be denied the privilege of riding the bus if the principal determines that his/her behavior is such as to cause disruption on the bus, or if he/she disobeys state or local rules and regulations pertaining to student transportation. Due process will be provided to a student prior to removing the students' bus riding privileges.

Any student who gets off the bus at any point between the pick-up point and school must present the bus driver with a note of authorization from the parent or the principal of the school that the student attends.

Any student wishing to ride a bus other than his/her designated bus must have written parental permission and approval of the principal or his/her designee.

Students who transfer from bus to bus while en route to and from school shall be expected to abide by the discipline policies adopted by the Board and rules adopted by the staff of the terminal school.

Rules for Bus Conduct

Students shall conform to the following rules of bus behavior:

  • Remain back from the roadway while awaiting the bus;
  • Students shall not attempt to board the bus until the bus is fully stopped or leave their seats on the bus until their destination is reached;
  • Keep hands, arms, and heads inside the bus;
  • Articles such as athletic equipment, books, and musical instruments must be kept out of the aisles;
  • The emergency door shall be used for emergencies only;
  • Students are not permitted to open windows without the permission of the bus driver;
  • Students are under the supervision of the bus driver, and all reasonable directions given by him/her shall be followed;
  • Throwing objects in and out of the bus is prohibited;
  • Lighting matches, spitting, littering, and use of tobacco are prohibited on the bus;
  • Students shall refrain from rude, discourteous, and annoying conduct;
  • Fighting, pushing, tripping, or scuffling types of behavior are prohibited on the bus;
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street at a bus stop. When crossing a street is necessary, students shall always go far enough ahead of the bus so they are able to see the face of the bus driver, and he may adequately observe them.

School Closings & Snow Schedules

Schedule Change Announcements

As soon as a decision is made about a schedule change, the information is made available in several ways. BTCS posts to our district's website, Facebook page, and Weather Line at (423) 652-9554, and we notify the local media. Text messaging services and TV/radio announcements are operated by local media outlets, and BTCS does not control the timing of their public notifications.

Student Safety

The safety of your child is always our number one priority! When inclement weather is occurring, schedule change decisions are taken very seriously. Every effort is made to make safe decisions, while recognizing the importance of time for learning.

Timing of Announcements

It is our intent to announce schedule changes as soon as possible and no later than 6:00 a.m. In some cases a two-hour delay is used to allow city crews time to clear roads. If conditions do not improve or worsen, an announcement to cancel school will be made by 7:30 a.m.

Temperature-Based Schedule Changes

Parents should also check for schedule changes when extreme cold is forecast, particularly when temperatures dip to near or below zero with wind chill. For a delay to be worthwhile, the forecast will ideally call for a significant improvement in temperatures over the span of the delay. We attempt to announce temperature-based decisions the evening before.


Elementary Schools

Begin 10:10 a.m.

End 3:10 p.m.

Tennessee Middle/Tennessee High

Begin 9:30 a.m.

End 2:30 p.m.

*In some instances, the school district utilizes a two-hour delay schedule. Two-hour delays help maximize safety yet minimize the number of closures due to snow.*

Make-Up Time

There are 7 days built into the calendar for inclement weather. If more than 7 days are missed, the calendar will be reviewed by the director of schools with a recommendation to the school board for action. Parents are encouraged not to make plans or schedule vacations until after June 1 should closings exceed 7 days.


Bristol Tennessee City Schools respects the rights of parents to keep their children home if they are concerned about hazardous weather. However, Tennessee attendance laws require that students who are not present be marked absent. Procedures for making up missed assignments are the same as for other absences.


Breakfast and lunch are available at school on two-hour delay days.


While every effort is made by school officials to inspect city streets, we realize road conditions may vary depending upon your location within the city. Therefore, bus drivers are directed to use their best judgment and drive only on streets that are clear. This may cause bus time schedules to vary slightly. To help prevent injury, please remind your children to take extra precautions when walking to meet the bus if snow and ice are present.

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