Pickens County Schools Transportation Department


The Transportation Department is tasked with one of the most important missions in our school system: To provide safe, efficient transportation for the students of Pickens County.

The professional drivers and monitors of this department operate on 60 routes throughout the county, traveling an average of 2500 miles each day. This could not be accomplished without the ongoing efforts of our support staff and the "heart of our machine", our mechanical staff. Working as a team to ensure "Graduation and Life Preparation for All", this department will continue to keep the wheels turning on one of America's most recognizable icons... the Big Yellow School Bus.

Pickens County School District has chosen VersaTrans e-link for its student transportation online information system (STOIS). The VersaTran STOIS utilizes the latest routing technology to maintain accurate and up-to-date bus routing information.


Phone: 706-253-1727
Fax: 706-253-1729


Contact Information for the PCSD Transportation Department


Name Title Email Address
Ginger Grimmett Transportation Supervisor gingergrimmett@pickenscountyschools.org 
Sasha Merrell Routing Specialist sashamerrell@pickenscountyschools.org 
Donna Underwood Receptionist and PM Dispatcher donnaunderwood@pickenscountyschools.org 
Kay Saunders Data Clerk and Field Trip Coordinator kaysaunders@pickenscountyschools.org 
Nathan Hamby Shop Foreman nathanhamby@pickenscountyschools.org
Todd Harris Transportation Director toddharris@pickenscountyschools.org



Transportation and Student Discipline

Transportation should occur in an environment that is conducive to safety. Safe transportation requires the same order and discipline as in the classroom. Students are subject to the rules and regulations of the PCSD when transported on buses and other school vehicles at the public expense to and from school or other school activities.

A.                  Student Discipline

The driver shall make every attempt to resolve student conduct problems before a formal disciplinary report is made.

This may be done by:

  1. The driver may verbally reprimand a student; issue a written notice of warning; assign a seat; or arrange a conference with the parent, administrator, classroom teacher, or transportation director. These actions are considered informal disciplinary
  2. A formal disciplinary action should occur when a written report is made to the school administrator regarding the student’s misconduct on the bus. Administrators will provide copies of disciplinary action reports to the student, parent, and the transportation

Upon a student being reported to the school’s administration for the first time during the school year, the administration shall make the student aware of the charges and give the student the opportunity to respond. If the administrators determine disciplinary action is warranted, then the administrator shall give the student written notification of the charges and the disciplinary action to be taken using the Discipline Matrix (see page 12). Repeated misconduct will result in progressively more severe disciplinary consequences that include but are not limited to suspension of bus riding privileges for up to ten (10) days, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, permanent loss of bus riding privileges, or referral to a disciplinary tribunal.


B.                  Pickens County School Bus Rules

Students shall:

  1. Comply with the Student Code of Conduct, including school specific rules of conduct and consequences.
  2. Be at the bus stop preferably five (5) minutes before the bus arrives, waiting in a safe place, away from traffic, and 12 feet from where the bus
  3. Cross the roadway in the morning only after the bus has stopped, look at the bus driver for the hand signal, and look in both directions for Before exiting the bus in the afternoon, students will look in both directions, especially to their right at the bottom of the steps.
  4. Cooperate with the driver by sitting in the assigned seat. Students must remain properly seated against the back of the seat keeping their hands to Stay seated until the bus driver’s command, the air brakes have been applied, and the service door opens.
  5. Signal the driver with a waving motion if something is dropped outside the bus and wait for the driver to give a signal before picking up the
  6. Never lose sight of the driver or do anything that would make the driver lose sight of the student. This is a mandatory safety
  7. Never use loud voices, profanity, and/or obscene gestures. Students will be totally silent at railroad crossings (The driver is required by law to look and listen after establishing silence on the bus. This is a non-negotiable safety issue and is a major offense when broken).
  8. Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus, and store all personal items out of the
  9. Assist in maintaining a clean bus by refraining from eating or drinking on the bus, excluding students participating in extracurricular activities. Students who receive food from the Weekend Snack Program are not allowed to have food open during transportation on the school
  10. Refrain from using electronic devices that interfere with the bus communication equipment or the safe operation of the bus; therefore, electronic devices may be used only with headphones. The bus driver may restrict the use of these devices, as he/she deems necessary for the order and safe operation of the bus.
  11. The PCSD is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen
  12. Never use a mirror, laser, flash camera, or any other light or reflective device in a manner that might

interfere with the driver’s operation of the bus.


C.                  Transporting Projects and Prohibited Items on School Bus

Occasionally school projects and band instruments are transported to school. The following guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of students during a possible evacuation of the bus as well and to maintain the comfort, well-being, and safety of all students:

  1. Only projects, band instruments, and sporting equipment/bags small enough to hold in student’s lap,

without interfering with the safety and comfort of others in the seat, may be transported.

  1. Items, including large display boards, should not exceed 18” x 24” and must not contain sharp edges,

corners, or sharp display objects.

  1. Glass, animals, chemicals, flammable/hazardous items, skateboards, or similar items are prohibited and will not be
  2. No items should be stored in the aisle, driver’s compartment, or in front of emergency


D.                  Medication Transport
  1. All medications other than those listed below, whether prescription or over-the-counter, may not be transported on Pickens County school buses. All medication that must be administered during the school day shall be taken directly to the office by the parent or guardian in accordance with school district drug policy and guidelines. Refer to page 17 for complete medication
  2. Students who have on file at their school, supporting medical documentation, may carry at all times with parental/guardian permission, inhalers for asthma, auto-inject Epinephrine for allergic reactions, insulin for diabetes, and Diastat for

[STATE REF.: Georgia Board of Education Policy EBCB/JCDAD (Rule 160-5-3-.13) State Standards B 1(1a.23) LEGAL REF.: O.C.G.A. § 20- 2-50; 20-2-59; 20-2-188; 20-2-751.5]

E.                   Students Who Miss the Bus in the Morning
  1. If a student misses his/her assigned bus in the morning, the student will need to be transported to his/her school by a parent or
  2. For the safety of all students, students shall not be taken to another bus stop to board the Drivers will be looking for students at their assigned bus stop and do not need to be distracted.
  3. If your family is under an Attendance Support Team Contract and your child misses the bus (in the morning or afternoon), contact the Student Services Department at (706) 253-1700 and emergency transportation will be provided. This is not to be used on a regular basis in place of normal bus transportation.
F.                   No One Home in the Afternoon to Receive Students

A student under the age of nine (9) years old or a rider of a special needs bus may not be left at their afternoon drop-off location if no authorized person is there to receive him/her.

  1. The driver will return the student to the school where the parent may pick him/her
  2. The parent/guardian will be charged an after-school program
  3. After the third return of a student to school due to no one home, a referral will be made to the district School Social Worker, which may result in a referral to the Department of Family and Children
G.                  Student Safety

Safety is our number one priority in providing bus transportation. Students are expected to learn their stop, understand their driver’s expectations, and practice safe riding, walking, and waiting habits as they travel to and from school and at their assigned stop. Drivers need to establish safe, orderly, and respectful routines that include knowing their students and developing positive relationships with them.

  1. The PCSD’s Transportation Department provides basic transportation service for students to their assigned stops in the mornings and
  2. School administrators and transportation staff have determined that, for safety reasons, changes in bus transportation will not be
  3. Students who board a bus other than their assigned bus or who request to get off the bus at other than their assigned stop will be returned to the school where the parent/guardian may pick them
  4. Please cooperate with the school and make car transportation arrangements whenever students need to be picked up or taken to any location other than their regular assigned bus
H.                  Questions and Answers Regarding Bus Transportation

Q: How are bus stops assigned to students?

A: The assignment of bus routes and stops is made by Transportation Department staff to transport students to school effectively, on-time, and ready to learn. Students are assigned based on the closest route/stop and/or most appropriate for their residence.

For students in elementary school, a daycare provider may be chosen as the student’s “residence” for morning or afternoon routes, as long as it is in the student’s “home attendance zone” and as long as the Transportation Department can provide a safe route and bus stop for the location. Changes to the assigned stop may be requested by the parent or guardian on a "Change Request for Student School Bus Transportation Form." Students shall be assigned one stop location in the morning and one stop location in the afternoon.

The safety of students is the first consideration when determining bus stop locations; however, the safety of any school bus stop is evaluated with the understanding that the parent/guardian will provide supervision appropriate to the maturity level of the student(s) at the bus stop.

Daycare providers are required to be at the designated stop when the bus arrives to receive students. If they are not present, students will be returned to school where the daycare representative or parent/guardian may pick them up.


Q: Why must students ride their assigned buses to their assigned stops?

A: PCSD provides basic transportation services for students. Our goal of safe, orderly, and respectful transportation service can only be achieved when all partners (drivers, students, parents, and school staff) develop safe, consistent habits and procedures concerning riding, loading/unloading, supervision at the stop, and walking to and from the stop.

The driver and student assigned to the bus develop a relationship that includes an understanding of expectations and requirements for safety on the assigned bus and at the bus stop. When safe routines are disrupted, the driver, student, or parent may be distracted and potentially place students at risk. Drivers must focus on the assigned students who are loading and unloading the bus to ensure their safety. Students who board a bus other than their assigned bus or who request to get off the bus at other than their assigned stop will be returned to the school where parents/guardians may pick them up.