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Transportation FAQs

How are non-busing areas determined?

The non-busing area is determined by measuring the shortest distance from the student’s residence (where the front of the property meets the street), by reasonably safe walkway, street or highway that is accessible to the public, to the assigned entrance of the school the student attends. If any portion of where the front of the residential property meets the street is outside this distance, the student will be provided busing to and from school. The non-busing area is at a distance of one mile for grades K-5 and a distance of one and one-half miles for grades 6-12.  The Transportation Coordinator determines the shortest or most direct route.

How do I know if we live in a non-busing area?

View non-busing area maps [Add Link(s)]

How will I know which bus my child takes?

Parents receive a postcard before school starts each fall showing bus stop locations, bus numbers and times for the school(s) your child(ren) attends. You may also access this information via Synergy, which requires a “PIN” and student ID number (not available to non-public school students).

How are bus stop locations determined?

Bus stops are established so students in kindergarten and grades 1-5 who live one mile or more from their school and students in grades 6-12 who live one and one-half miles or more from their school are transported to the school in their attendance area.

Our goal is to consistently identify bus stops in neighborhoods on the basis of safety, efficiency and distance between stops. Generally bus stops are located at an intersection in order for the driver to have a wide area to scan for traffic and students, to create efficient routes and to minimize buses backing up.

  • School bus drivers do not have the authority to change bus routes or student pick-up/drop-off locations.
  • Generally, bus stops are located at least three blocks apart.
  • Generally, 20 – 25 students may be assigned to a bus stop. This number may be exceeded at cul-de-sacs, high-density housing areas and high school stops because students are not standing on through streets and/or they are older.
  • Bus stops are placed at locations that meet defined criteria, are centrally located and within reasonable walking distances from the student’s home.
  • We are not able to locate all bus stops within the line of sight of each student’s home or daycare.
  • Activity Routes –  For busing to home from after-school activities, the bus stop is located within one mile from the student’s home.

What is the maximum length of time for a bus route?

Routes are established so no student rides the bus for more than one hour and 15 minutes one way. Preschool routes will be established so no student rides the bus for more than 45 minutes one way.

Under what conditions is consideration given to adjusting bus stop locations?

Roads and streets sometimes intersect on areas of road that cause concern for school bus transportation and the motoring public. We make every effort to select safe places to load and unload students given these varying factors of roads, streets, traffic speed and locations of residences. Adjustments to bus stops may be made when we believe a safer alternative is available. (Administrative Regulation 707.2AR, School Bus Safety).

Why do some children have to cross the street to board the bus?

We are not able to route buses so all children can wait for the bus on the door side. We recommend children wait on the side of the street on which they reside. The bus will activate warning lights and a stop arm to alert traffic in order to accommodate students who need to cross the street to board the bus.

We live on a cul-de-sac. Will the bus come down our street?

Except to transport special education students, buses generally are not routed down cul-de-sacs because of the danger to small children and property caused by the bus turning around and/or backing up in a small area. However, elementary school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs which are one mile long or longer, and middle school and high school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs which are one and one-half mile or longer.

Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and has hills and curves. Can we have an additional bus stop so our children do not have to walk to existing stop?

With the large number of streets and bus stops in our school district, it is necessary for some students to walk on roads that have hills, curves and/or no sidewalks.

I cannot see the bus stop from my house.

The school district provides transportation for over 22,000 students to and from school each day.  We are not able to position bus stops so that all parents are able to see the stop from their home.

My child carries a large musical instrument and/or a heavy backpack and he/she is the only student using the bus stop. Can the stop be moved closer to our home?

Generally, bus stops are centrally located for all students. Bus stops are not changed to accommodate one or more students because that may displace other students further from their home. Even though other students living along the route may not be riding the bus, we must keep bus stops as they have been published. A central bus stop is necessary because other students may begin riding the bus or new families may move into the neighborhood. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure their child arrives safely at the bus stop.

The bus drives right past my house. Why can't it stop at my house?

The higher frequency of stops makes other drivers impatient. This may result in drivers driving around the bus and causes greater safety concerns than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops, making overall student ride time longer.

I own a daycare and need the stop at my house because the state requires me to see the students at all times. Why can't the bus stop be located at my house?

As noted above, bus stops are centrally located and at intersections. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the daycare provider to get the students to the bus stop.

I have young children at home and/or I leave home because of work

In order to be consistent and fair in placement of bus stops, the school district is not able to establish stops based on personal circumstances.

What if my child occasionally needs to be dropped off at a different stop?

Students may be picked up or dropped off at a destination other than their normal bus stop only when requested in writing by the student’s parent or guardian and signed by the school principal. The written request must be approved by the principal and given to the bus driver each time a different pick-up or drop-off point is desired.

How can I help my child have a successful bus ride to/from school?

  • Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Monitor children from damaging the property of others at the bus stop.
  • Be aware the bus will pick up and drop off students at the same stop every day school is in session.
  • Help your children learn their bus numbers.
  • Review the bus safety rules with your children.
  • Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day, for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or child care provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.
  • Bus pick-up and drop-off times are based on favorable weather and road conditions. Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pick-up and drop-off times. Parents will be notified of any major changes in bus schedules that affect their child.

Winter Safety

Winter weather can be challenging for students due to extreme cold temperatures and snowy conditions.

Students should dress appropriately for cold weather and wear heavy jackets, hats, mittens or gloves, and boots.

In addition, students should be on time at the bus stop. However, sometimes buses will be late due to weather and/or road conditions, and in those cases, students are not expected to wait more than 15 minutes for their bus to arrive. If possible, parents should drive their children to school if their bus is more than 15 minutes late.

Other tips for students

  • Students should wait for the bus several feet further back off the road in a safe place. The roads can be slippery.
  • Use the handrail when boarding and exiting the bus to prevent slips and falls on icy steps.
  • Keep head and limbs inside the bus windows to prevent frostbite and other injuries.
  • Before crossing in front of the bus, wait for an “all clear” from the driver. Cross 10 feet in front of the bus so the driver can see you as you cross.
  • Don’t play on snow piles at the bus stop — you could slide into the street.
  • Don’t try to retrieve personal items from under the bus that may have fallen — the driver can’t see you.
  • Don’t push or shove when getting on or off the bus.
  • Don’t chase the bus or grab the bus when it’s moving.

Tips for parents and guardians

  • Parents should keep their car windows clear of frost, ice and snow.
  • Parents should use extra caution in school zones and at bus stops, especially where snow piles exist.
  • If a student misses the pick-up, don’t try to catch the bus at another stop. Drive the student all the way to school.
  • Don’t follow buses too closely with your car — they make frequent stops.
  • Always stop for red flashing signals on a bus.

For information on how the district determines if school should stay open in winter weather, visit the emergency school closing page.