Ensuring the safe transportation of children to school and back is our top priority! Our bus drivers play a crucial role as the initial point of contact for students in the morning, and we are dedicated to setting a positive tone for their day. Prior to serving our students and families, all our drivers undergo a thorough and demanding hiring and training process.
Student and staff safety is the most important consideration when inclement weather forces decisions to delay or cancel school. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (updated January 2024) that we receive regarding inclement weather:
Q. How is the decision made to delay or close school for inclement weather?
Staff from HSE Transportation will begin driving bus routes as early as 4:30 a.m. to evaluate area road conditions. Additionally, weather reports are reviewed from multiple agencies, including city and county officials regarding their findings during the early morning hours. The superintendent also gathers information from neighboring school district leaders to determine the road conditions in their respective areas. As soon as possible, the superintendent will determine if school will be delayed and/or closed. Several other factors go into the decision-making process, such as weather forecast, time of day, wind chill and expected road conditions.
Q. Where will information be posted regarding school delays and closures?
HSE Schools will notify families and staff via ParentSquare by phone call, text and email. Official updates will also be shared in the following places:
Q. Why are decisions regarding school delays and closures not made the night before?
In Central Indiana, weather conditions can be highly unpredictable. Forecasts for snowfall, ice, or extreme cold don't always align with the actual conditions that would warrant a school delay or closure. This unpredictability is why we often refrain from making these decisions the night before.
By waiting until the morning, we can conduct real-time assessments of the weather and road conditions. Our dedicated team can drive the roads, ensuring that the decisions we make are based on the most accurate and up-to-date information. This approach prioritizes the safety and well-being of both our students and staff, as it allows us to make informed choices that reflect the current situation on the ground.
Q. What type of student instruction will take place when school is closed due to weather?
The 2023-24 District Calendar was approved with two, built-in ‘Flex Days’ to be used in the event of an emergency school closure.
When this option is available, there will be no instruction for students. The first two school closures (depending on when they occur in the calendar year) will be made up on the subsequent ‘Flex Day(s).’
Monday, March 11, 2024
Friday, March 29, 2024
If the ‘Flex Day(s)’are no longer an option, all PK-12 students will participate in asynchronous eLearning instruction in the event of an emergency closure.
Q. What happens if one or both ‘Flex Days’ are not utilized for an emergency closure?
If the days are not needed to make-up for lost classroom instruction due to a closure, students will not have school on those scheduled days (Monday, March 11, 2024 and/or Friday, March 29, 2024).
Q. What if students have questions about their assignments during an eLearning Day?
Teachers will have class assignments and content posted to Canvas no later than 9:00 a.m. of an eLearning day. If questions arise, students should email their teachers.
Q. What should a student do if they need to get in contact with their school counselor?
School counselors will monitor email for questions during an eLearning Day.
Q. What if the student does not have their device at home and/or access to internet?
Students may complete assignments on any device using any internet connection available to them (friend’s house, library, etc.) Students should work with their teacher(s) for questions/concerns on when assignments would be due.
Q. How does my student log into Canvas?
Canvas resources for students, including login information can be found here.
Q. If school is closed for the day, will all after-school activities be canceled?
After-school student activities may be canceled when school is closed for the entire day due to inclement weather. However, we recommend visiting your school's website as well as looking for updates from coaches and/or club sponsors. They will provide specific information about the status of after-school activities, including any potential exceptions or rescheduling.
Q. Under what circumstances will HSE Schools implement a two-hour delay?
A two-hour delay may be implemented in response to various weather-related concerns, including but not limited to snow, ice, or extreme cold temperatures. This precaution is taken to address potential hazards associated with students being outdoors for extended periods. Additionally, two-hour delays are strategic as they allow time for our buses to operate safely, especially when temperatures rise later in the morning, reducing the risk of students waiting at bus stops in bitter cold weather. Furthermore, this delay provides road crews with the necessary time to plow and treat roadways.
Q. What changes can be expected in the school day during a two-hour delay?
During a two-hour delay, there are some key adjustments to the school schedule:
Delayed Start: All school buildings will open two hours later than their usual time.
Breakfast Service: Breakfast will not be served during a two-hour delay, but lunch will be provided as scheduled.
Normal Dismissal: Students will be dismissed at their regular time, ensuring a consistent end to the school day.
Preschool and HSF Academy: It's important to be aware that during a two-hour delay, AM Preschool classes and AM HSFA classes will be canceled for the day.
These modifications are made with the safety and well-being of our students and staff in mind, and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation during such situations.
Q. How will the two-hour delay impact my child's morning bus pick-up time?
During a two-hour delay, the bus pick-up schedule is also delayed by two hours. For instance, if your student's regular bus pick-up time is 7:00 a.m., it will shift to 9:00 a.m. when a two-hour delay is in effect.
Q. Why does HSE opt for a two-hour delay rather than a full-day closure?
The decision to implement a two-hour delay, rather than closing for the entire day, is rooted in our commitment to prioritizing the safety of students and staff. Simultaneously, it allows us to maximize instructional time throughout the regularly scheduled school year. This balance ensures that we continue to provide valuable education while taking necessary precautions in response to inclement weather conditions.
Q. Why do other districts delay or close for weather, while HSE Schools remains open?
Each school district operates with different road systems, terrain features and municipal snow removal procedures. Furthermore, weather conditions can vary slightly between neighboring districts. At HSE Schools, we conduct comprehensive assessments of road conditions throughout our district, ensuring the safety of our students and staff. The final decision to delay or close school is made based on the specific conditions within our district's territory.
Q. My neighborhood seems safe to drive. Why the delay or closure?
HSE Schools encompasses diverse road types and terrains, including areas with narrow, steep hills that can become impassable in certain weather conditions and rural regions where snow removal can be challenging. While your neighborhood may be drivable, it's important to consider that not all parts of the district share the same conditions. Our decision to delay or close school considers the safety of all students and staff across the entire district.
Q: My streets are icy. Why wasn't school delayed or closed?
We strongly advise parents and teenage drivers to exercise extreme caution when driving in less-than-ideal weather conditions. While your specific neighborhood may experience slick roads, it's important to remember that weather conditions can vary throughout the district, and our decisions are made to prioritize the safety of all students and staff in every part of our district.
Routes are available through Skyward
- Walk with your young kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Make sure drivers can see the kids at your bus stop.
- Teach kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
- Teach kids to wait for the school bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and not to walk behind the bus.
- If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
- Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If your child drops something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
- Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus.
- Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.
If a school bus stops on a two lane road and the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, all motorists MUST stop.
Multi-Lane Roadways with NO Barrier between Lanes
When a school bus stops on a multi-lane roadway without a barrier and the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, all motorists MUST stop.
Multi-Lane Roadway with a Grassy and/or Concrete Barrier
When a school bus stops and the red flashing lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, only vehicles behind the bus MUST stop. Vehicles that are approaching from the opposite side are NOT required to stop.
1. Riding the school bus is a privilege and is a part of the school day. Accordingly, students should adhere to all rules and procedures outlined in the student handbook while being transported to and from school. Classroom conduct is expected.
2. The driver is in charge at all times while on the bus. All driver directives should be followed promptly.
3. Be at your bus stop five minutes prior to the scheduled pickup time.
4. Go to your assigned seat quickly. Stay seated at all times until it is your time to get off the bus, and the bus has come to a complete stop. Seated means facing forward with feet on the floor. Students will be completely out of the aisle if two or less students are in the seat.
5. Keep arms, legs, and objects to yourself and inside the bus.
6. Talk quietly with no inappropriate language or gestures. Quietly means at a level where the driver cannot clearly hear the conversation and the students you are trying to talk to are no more than two seats away.
7. Students are not to bring toys, collectible cards, laser pointers, balloons, or other distracting items to school or onto the bus.
8. Students will not possess the following forbidden items while on the bus: weapons, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, aerosols, sprays, pumps, perfume, combustibles or other contraband.
9. Food or drinks are not allowed on the bus at any time without written permission from the Director of Transportation.
10. Bus windows will not be lowered more than half the distance of their travel.
11. Once a student has boarded their bus at the school, they will not be allowed to exit the bus without authorization from school personnel.
12. The use of any type of camera is prohibited on the bus. This includes regular routes and extracurricular trips. Any camera device used on the bus will be confiscated and disciplinary consequences will be administered.
13. The use of electronic devices, including but not limited to, IPods, IPads, Media Devices, and Electronic Books, are allowed on the bus, but HSE is not responsible for the loss, damage or theft of any of these devices. These items must be turned off and secured before entering the school building. Electronic devices are not to be shared with other students while on the bus but may be used quietly by individual students. Students may not access or activate a Wi-Fi hotspot while on the bus. For the safety of all students, electronic devices are not to be used when entering or exiting the bus. For those students crossing in front of the bus, earbuds must be removed until reaching the far side of the street. If students are violating these rules, the driver has the right to restrict the usage of any electronic device on the bus.
14. Skateboards and rollerblades are not permitted on school buses or any other school property.
15. Musical instruments must be kept in the seat with the student.
16. Golf clubs, oversized equipment and large musical instruments are not to be transported on regular-route buses.
17. No items will be stored in the back window.
18. Any student committing any of the following infractions will face a bus suspension ranging from two (2) weeks to removal from the bus for the remainder of the school year: fighting, possession of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, weapons, abusive or sexually explicit language, any type of threat to the driver or other students, a serious safety hazard, or any other behavior considered totally inappropriate.
Students are expected to behave appropriately while traveling to or from school or a school activity. The bus driver, Transportation Directors and/or school administrators can use any form of reasonable discipline. In general, HSE Transportation Department will utilize progressive discipline. The unique circumstances of each individual’s case will be considered before a decision regarding appropriate consequences is made. Every disciplinary consequence will involve personal contact to the parent or guardian from the student’s bus driver.
The nature of the student's behavior will determine the consequence for the infraction.
Possible consequences include but are not limited to the following:
- Parent Conference
- Verbal Warning
- Written Warning
- Removal from the bus for the remainder of the school year
Any student suspended for the remainder of the school year will be placed on probation at the beginning of the following year. Violations while on probation may result in a bus suspension for the remainder of that year.