Dassel-Cokato ISD 466 Transportation

School Bus Routes and Policies 2016-2017


NEW: To allow any change in a student’s pick-up or drop-off location, students must receive a Bus Pass.  For more details, see Bus Pass Procedure letter mailed home to parents in October.

Most transportation routes and bus times will remain similar to last year's. Those with significant changes will be notified.

If you are new to the Dassel-Cokato school district and have not talked with someone at the district office regarding transportation of your children, please call 320-286-4100, extension 1005, or stop in the district office at the west end of the high school (7:00 AM - 4:30 PM) as soon as possible to complete a Request for Transportation form.

New families and the families with major changes will be contacted by mail, email, or phone prior to beginning of school with bus number, pickup time and location.

Cokato area students are transported by Cokato Transportation (contracted by the District), and Dassel area students are transported by District owned/operated buses. Special needs students are transported primarily by district owned/operated vans and/or lift bus when necessary.

General Information

When your child/children will not be riding the bus/car/van on any given day, please call 286-4100, ext. 1005, prior to their pick up time. The message can be left on voice mail at any time. The dispatcher will notify the driver via two-way radio. Do not call or text the driver's cell phone.  District policy #709 and Minnesota state statute prohibits the use of cell phone usage by bus drivers. All messages to drivers should go through dispatch.

If you wish to contact Cokato Transportation (Cokato area buses), please call 320-286-5315 or email, cokatotransportation@gmail.com.

Most hazardous pick up points will remain the same as last year. Hazard riders are children living in an area where they must overcome a hazard, (such as cross a major roadway or railroad crossing) to get to school and are living within one mile of their school.

Middle school and high school students living in town will be picked up between 7:45 AM and 7:55 AM at the same pick-up point as last year unless they have been notified of changes. We ask that all town students board the bus at their designated stops and NOT at the elementary schools.

It is important that all students be on time! Buses will not wait for students who are not at their stop at their designated time. If students miss the bus, do NOT chase after the bus; bring the student(s) to the elementary school. MS and HS students can catch their bus there.

Buses run their regular rural routes, pick up in-town hazard stops and proceed to the elementary schools to unload the elementary students. The buses then pick up town high school and middle school students at their designated points and proceed to the middle school and high school. The reverse is true at the end of the day. High School and middle school students are picked up first and returned to the designated town points where they disembark. The buses then proceed to the elementary schools to pick up rural and hazard-stop elementary children and proceed on the evening routes.

Parent Drop Off/Pick Up Locations

In Dassel, buses unload/load on the south side of Dassel Elementary. In Cokato, buses will unload/load on the south side of Cokato Elementary. Parents should NOT drop off, or pick up students, on the side of the elementary buildings where buses are unloading or loading. In Cokato parents should bring children to, or pick up from, the north side of the Cokato Elementary and in Dassel parents should drop off/pick up on the east side of Dassel Elementary. At the HS/MS, buses are unloading/loading on the east side. Parents should drop off/pick up students in the south lot. Unless you have a handicapped child, please do not use the handicap area for drop off/pick up.

If you are planning a birthday party or organization meeting, and plan to utilize the bus for transportation, you must call the district office, 286-4100, extension 1005, several days prior to the event to check on availability of space on the bus. If there is not room on the bus, other arrangements for transporting to the event will have to be made. Buses do not transport students to non-school related after-school events.

Rural Pick-Up Procedure

The school will as far as possible, provide transportation service from home or daycare to school in the AM and from school to home or daycare in the PM, if the following criteria are met:
  • Point of pick-up is in a safe location. Stops on steep inclines or near the crest of a hill are not safe and other arrangements will need to be made.
  • Roads are in satisfactory condition. Buses will not travel on roads where there is a danger of becoming stuck in deep snow or mud. In cases when the bus cannot get through due to mud or snow, it is the parent/guardian responsibility to get them to a safe bus stop, or school.
  • A clear view is available to the driver at all turn-arounds. If vision is obscured at the point of turn-around, other arrangements will have to be made.
  • If you live on a dead-end road, cul-de-sac the school will provide transportation if: you live 1/2 mile or more from the main road; and, there is a suitable place to turn around. Students who live less than 1/2 mile from the main road; or there is not a suitable turnaround, will need to meet the bus at the main road.
  • All turn-arounds are plowed when it snows; wide enough to accommodate a school bus. If your turnaround is not plowed, please call dispatch (286-4100, ext 1005) to notify bus not to come.
The school will, as much as possible, transport the pupils towards the school without hauling students great distances out into the country. Buses, as much as possible, will start at the end of the routes and travel towards the school, thereby giving the benefit of time to the greatest number of students.

PM routes will be run in the same order as AM routes as far as possible, to even out length of bus ride for all, as follows:
  • If the bus goes directly past where a pupil lives when proceeding in the most direct route towards the "first on in AM" pickup, it will stop and let off pupils that are assigned to that bus.
  • If you want your student/s to walk (or wish to pick them up) from a point on the direct route to the "first on in AM", they need to bring a note to the driver. If it will be a regular, everyday stop, one note at the beginning of the year will be accepted. Students will not be dropped off at these points to walk in inclement weather.
  • 4. The driver is to travel over the route and make stops according to the timetables as designated by the administration; with no student boarding their bus before 7:00 AM, as much as possible.
Students shall not get off the bus other than at their scheduled stops, unless they have written permission from their parent/guardian, signed by the building principal. When sending a note with your child/children giving them permission to get off the bus at a point other than home, please give the name and address where they are to be dropped off; not "grandma's". Most drivers do not know who the student's grandma is, or where she may live.

High school and middle school students should board their assigned buses at the high school/middle school. Students will not be allowed to switch buses at the elementary schools unless they are designated to do so.

Student Behavior at Bus Stops and on Buses


Rules at the Bus Stop
  • Get to your bus stop five minutes before your scheduled pick-up time. The school bus driver will not wait for late students.
  • Respect the property of others while waiting at your bus stop.
  • Keep your arms, legs, and belongings to yourself.
  • Use appropriate language.
  • Stay away from the street, road or highway when waiting for the bus. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before approaching it, and be sure to check traffic even though the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is out.
  • When getting off the bus, move immediately away from the bus.
  • If you must cross the street, always cross at least ten feet in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Wait for the driver to signal to you before crossing the street.
  • No fighting, harassment, intimidation or horseplay.
  • No use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Rules on the bus
  • Immediately follow the directions of the driver.
  • Sit in your seat, facing forward. The aisle needs to be kept clear.
  • Talk quietly and use appropriate language.
  • Keep all parts of your body inside the bus.
  • Keep your arms, legs and belongings to yourself.
  • No fighting, harassment, intimidation or horseplay.
  • Do not throw any object.
  • No eating, drinking or use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
  • Do not bring any weapon or dangerous object on the school bus.
  • Do not damage the school bus.
  • Pets or animals of any type or size will not be transported on the school bus.
  • Sleds, skis, ski poles, ski boards, skates, hockey sticks, fishing rods and related equipment should not be brought on the bus.
Any bus passenger who cannot abide by accepted rules for bus conduct, on the bus or at the bus stop, will be denied transportation privileges. Remember, school bus transportation is a privilege, not a right.

Student transportation is coordinated through the district office in accordance with District Policy # 707. Please call 286-4100 with any questions you may have.

Related School Board Policies