A new statewide policy adopted by the West Virginia Board of Education requires parents of students from kindergarten to third grade be present at the bus stop for school pick-up and drop-off.
Board Policy 4336 was updated for the 2018-19 school year that extends the policy from kindergarten and first grade students to including second and third grade students. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, “The primary purpose of Policy 4336 is to ensure the safety and well-being of our students at all times, particularly during the time when they are being transported to and from the actual school building.” The policy specifically provides that “parents are responsible for providing supervision for all K-3 students at all bus stops until the bus arrives for both pickup and delivery.”
Although this is a state department of education policy, the interpretation of the policy is left to each individual school district. This means that each county will determine the meaning of appropriate supervision—be it a parent at the school bus stop or an older brother or sister, for example.
Counties will also be required to decide whether the individuals providing supervision must physically be present at the bus stop of within eyesight of the stop. This policy, in conjunction with other state laws allow school bus service to cease if a student is not consistently met by a parent or other individual providing supervision on a consistent basis. Policy 4336 states, “The county school system may terminate bus transportation service if a parent persistently fails to meet the bus at a designated stop. For these situations, due process procedures shall be made available to the parents and students.”
While the new policy may be difficult for some, the policy is implemented to ensure the safety of young school children. Policy 4336 which can be found at https://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/ also provides guidance and insight into other school bus rules including student responsibilities for riding a school bus.