Transportation for Parishes and Schools
Transportation may include personal motor vehicles, on-demand transportation services, vans, buses, boats, or airplanes.Personal Motor VehiclesAlthough this is discouraged, employees and volunteers (including teachers, religious education instructors, and coaches) may use their personal motor vehicle to drive two or more minors to and from athletic, youth, and other trips or events. Employees and volunteers may not be alone in a vehicle with a single minor who is not their own child.School staff, parish staff, parents/guardians, and volunteers who drive students in their own vehicles must be at least 25 years old, have a clean driving record for the past three years, possess a valid Class C driver license, and have current and valid California automobile insurance. The school must keep on file a copy of that driver license and proof of current insurance. On-Demand Transportation ServicesParents/guardians who wish to use an on-demand transportation service to transport their child(ren) are solely responsible for determining if the service allows its drivers to transport unaccompanied minors. Note that, for example, currently neither Uber nor Lyft permits drivers to pick up children under the age of 18 unless accompanied by an adult account holder.If the location restricts the release of minors from its custody only to certain authorized individuals, parents/guardians must sign the
Minor Pickup Permission Form and Release for Parishes and Schools, giving permission for their child(ren) to be picked up by a transportation service and absolving the location and the archdiocese of any liability. These forms must be kept on file by the location. Licensed day care centers and preschools are required to maintain these documents by state regulation.
Parents/guardians who have submitted a signed permission form must call the location each day of pickup and inform the location that the transportation service is picking up the child(ren). If possible, the parents/guardians must give the name of the driver who will be picking up the child(ren).At time of release, the transportation service driver must identify himself or herself to the person in charge, showing a valid driver license and proof of his or her relationship to the transportation service. The driver must sign the child(ren) out. Drivers must be instructed by the parents/guardians that transportation service drivers may not pick up students in the car line of the location.The child(ren) are then released to the driver.
VansSchools and parishes may transport students in vans or other vehicles designed for 10 passengers or fewer, including the driver. Vehicles designed for more than 10 passengers may not be reconfigured to seat only 10 passengers, including the driver.
A driver of a vehicle designed for 10 passengers or fewer does not need a commercial driver license.
Youth BusesSchools and parishes may use vehicles designed for 15 persons or fewer to transport students within 25 miles of the school or parish. Individuals who drive these vehicles must have a commercial driver license with a youth bus certificate. Every youth bus must have on the front and rear a plainly visible sign with the words "YOUTH BUS" in letters at least eight inches high.
A school may not use a youth bus without the consent of the
Department of Catholic Schools.
School Pupil Activities BusA school pupil activities bus (SPAB) is any motor vehicle other than a school bus that is operated by a common carrier for the purpose of transporting K–12 pupils to or from a school activity. SPAB drivers are subject to the school bus regulations promulgated by the California Highway Patrol, except that SPAB drivers do not have to take first aid courses and are not allowed to drive school buses.
Commercial or School BusesLocations may only hire buses, vans, or other passenger carriers from transportation companies that have valid permits, licenses, or charters approved by the State of California and that maintain current insurance on their vehicles. Locations must verify this information through the
California Public Utilities Commission and its list of passenger carriers.Locations should further make sure that drivers of commercial or school buses that are transporting K–12 students inside the State of California have the appropriate driving certificate, which must be an SPAB driver’s certificate or a school bus driver’s certificate issued by the California Highway Patrol.Prior to signing any contracts with bus companies or other transportation vendors, locations must submit the contracts to the archdiocesan
Office of the Legal Counsel for review.
Minors Leaving On Their Own
Parents/guardians may grant permission for their children to leave school, the parish, or another location, or a location-sponsored event on their own. Persons in charge of the location must obtain from the parents/guardians a written, signed, and dated Permission to Walk/Bike/Drive from Location and Location's Sponsored Events form and file it with other permissions and waivers.