The Natchitoches Parish School Board shall provide to eligible students school transportation services which shall meet the objectives of safety, efficiency, adequacy, and economy.  Through the use of publicly, privately, and contractor owned buses, the Board shall maintain a student transportation program that shall conform to or exceed minimum standards as set forth by pertinent statutes and the Louisiana Department of Education, as well as regulations established by the Transportation Department.  It shall be unlawful for the School Board to permit the transport at one time a number of children on a school bus that exceeds the number of seats available on that bus.


All vehicles owned or leased by the school district or contract bus operators, shall carry evidence of insurance and be registered, marked, and equipped according to law.  All buses and other vehicles used primarily for the transportation of students shall be inspected by the assigned operator and the Transportation Department on a regular basis.  All school vehicles shall be inspected a minimum of twice a year, once during June, July or August and certified as safe prior to the beginning of the school session, and once during December, January, or February of each school year, by an approved Louisiana Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.  School vans with a capacity of ten (10) or more shall not be permitted to transport students to or from school related activities.  Buses ten (10) years of age or older shall be inspected more frequently than other buses to assure effectiveness of operation and safety of students.  School buses used to transport students, including activity and backup buses, shall not be more than twenty-five (25) years old.


The purchase of school buses by authorized personnel shall be approved by the Board on an individual basis, but any bus to be purchased shall be no older than ten (10) model years and meet all state and local safety requirements.


When a new bus is purchased, or the ownership of a bus is transferred, the requirements contained in the applicable laws and school district regulations shall be observed.  All buses so purchased shall be required to satisfactorily pass all mandated inspections prior to any usage.


All school buses used to transport students shall at all times be driven by operators possessing a valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and having completed state-required pre-service certification training.  All school bus operators shall also be required to successfully complete an in-service training program at least every two years.  All school bus operators, including contract bus operators, shall be required to personally operate the school bus assigned or owned, except in the case of illness or emergency.  In such cases, a substitute shall be assigned by the Transportation Department.




Each bus operator shall participate in the Board's fleet plan of liability insurance coverage.  The company writing the liability insurance each year shall cover each school bus operator for the entire school year.  Should any coverage aspects or insurance policy provisions change during the year, the bus operator shall notify the Transportation Department immediately.


The fleet insurance policy shall provide for a minimum of coverage as may be determined by the Board.  The Board shall provide for insurance on district-­owned vehicles.




The Board, in the management of a student transportation program within the Parish, shall require the following:


  1. Changes on bus routes shall be approved by the Transportation Department and/or Superintendent of Schools prior to initiating route changes.  In an emergency, the school administrator may authorize route changes and notify the Central Office and the Transportation Office.

  2. The Transportation Office shall travel, monitor, and report each home based bus route to the Central Office during the first three (3) weeks of each school year.

  3. Students shall be picked up and delivered to the same designated bus stop.  This shall apply to all students listed on the bus operators' monthly report.  Any exceptions relative to pick up and delivery of children to the same designated bus shall be requested by parents or guardians by submitting a Special Request Form.  School principals shall review and determine whether or not to grant approval.  In no case shall a request be honored which would require bus service beyond established routes.

  4. All regular and substitute bus operators shall be fully certified according to state and local regulations.  

  5. School bus transportation shall be provided students living more than one mile from school.  The Superintendent of Schools shall identify any conditions affecting the safety of children in accordance with state guidelines or regulations and make specific recommendations to alleviate the situation.

  6. All owner/operator bus operators shall be required to sign a job description and a written contractual agreement with the Natchitoches Parish School Board.

  7. The School Board shall designate the size of the bus to be used on each official regular school bus route.  When an operator deems it necessary to purchase a bus of the designated size to be used on an official regular school bus route, he/she shall obtain the approval for the purchase by the School Board or its duly designated officer or agent.  After purchasing a new or used bus not more than five (5) years old, so approved, no operator shall be penalized as a result of the change by the School Board in the designated size of the bus or the length of the route within a five (5) year period following such purchase of a bus.  This period shall be seven (7) years for those operators who purchase a new bus after July 1, 1985.

    Buses purchased by a tenured operator shall not be more than ten (10) years old.  Any used bus purchased or leased shall be inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure that the bus meets acceptable safety standards.

    Upon receipt of approval to purchase a bus, the purchaser, after purchasing said bus, shall immediately (same day of purchase) provide the Transportation Office and/or the Director of Business Affairs verification of the purchase, with the following information:  1) Name of bus operator; 2) Model of bus; 3) Make of bus; 4) Serial number of bus; and 5) Length of bus.


Revised:  April, 2001

Revised:  April, 2002

Revised:  April, 2006



Ref:     La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:158, 17:158.1, 17:158.2, 17:158.3, 17:158.4, 17:158.5, 17:158.6, 17:159, 17:159.1, 17:159.2, 17:160, 17:161, 17:162, 17:163, 17:164, 17:165, 17:166, 17:492, 32:293, 32:378

Olive Morgan v. Livingston Parish School Board, First Circuit Court of Appeals, March 1991

Louisiana School Transportation Specifications and Procedures, Bulletin 119, Louisiana Department of Education

Board minutes, 8-5-82, 7-783, 9-1-83, 9-15-83, 5-22-84, 8-21-86, 8-6-87, 9-3-87, 2-8-90, 8-13-92, 11-11-93


Natchitoches Parish School Board