Q: Who is eligible to receive school bus transportation to and from school?
A: The eligibility of students to receive school transportation services has been defined in Florida Statutes (F.S.) Section 1006.21, to include the following:
Pre-kindergarten disability programs and kindergarten through grade 12 students whose homes are more than a reasonable walking distance, from the nearest appropriate school. A reasonable walking distance for a student is defined by the Florida Department of Education Administrative Code as; “any distance not more than two (2) miles between the home and the school or one and one half (1-1/2) miles between the home and the assigned bus stop”.
Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students with special needs or disabilities, regardless of the distance from home to school.
All students enrolled in a Teenage Parent Program and the registered children of such students.
Elementary age children who live within two miles of their assigned elementary school and who are subject to hazardous walking conditions as defined in Section 1006.23.
Q: How are bus routes and walking distances to stops established?
A: As per Florida Department of Education Rules 6A-3.001, Basic Principles for Transportation of Students, all school bus routes shall be so planned and adjusted to the capacities of available equipment and school buses should be so chosen and assigned to routes and attendance areas that insofar as practicable the full capacity of each bus will be utilized, without standees, to serve students whose homes are beyond reasonable walking distance of the assigned public school center. A reasonable walking distance for any student who is not otherwise eligible for transportation pursuant to Section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is any distance not more than two (2) miles between the home and school, or one and one-half (11⁄2) miles between the home and the assigned bus stop. Such distance shall be measured from the closest pedestrian entry point of the property where the student resides to the closest pedestrian entry point of the assigned school building or the assigned bus stop. The pedestrian entry point of the residence shall be where private property meets the public right-of-way. The district shall determine the shortest pedestrian route whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicle traffic.
Q: Who is responsible for student safety at a school bus stop?
A: Parents/guardians of transported students are to ensure:
the safe travel of their student(s) during the portions of each trip to and from school and home when the students are not under the custody and control of the school district, including during each trip to and from home and the assigned bus stop when the school district provides bus transportation.
that students ride only on their assigned school buses, and get off only at assigned bus stops, except when the district has approved alternative buses or other temporary arrangements due to an emergency situation.
students are aware of and follow the district’s adopted code of student conduct while the students are at school bus stops, and to provide necessary supervision during times when the bus is not present.
when the physical disability of the student renders the student unable to get on and off the bus without assistance, the parent or guardian provides the necessary assistance to help the student get on and off at the bus stop, as required by district policy or the student’s individual educational plan.
Q: How are transported students notified of their bus schedules?
A: At the beginning of each school year, Transportation releases bus routing information to the schools as soon as the routes are finished and approved by the Superintendent. All schools are provided updated routing information for their students on a regular basis throughout the school year.
Q: Can my student be assigned to different bus stops, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon?
A: No. Multiple stops are only permitted on a temporary basis with a note from the parent and signed by the principal or designee for each occurrence.
Q: Why is my child's bus late?
A: Weather, traffic, driver absenteeism, maintenance difficulties and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in arrival of school buses. Please know that we do everything humanly possible to have all buses running on schedule each and every day. In the event your bus does not arrive as scheduled, contact the transportation dispatch office at (352) 955-1701. Please allow 10-15 minutes before calling.
Q: Why can't you come further into my subdivision?
A: Buses come in various lengths, widths, heights and weights. The length is what limits the school bus to be maneuvered in subdivision and tight places. Most subdivisions are not designed with school bus transportation in mind. Every effort is made to keep our buses on main trunk lines in an effort to decrease ride time for our students.
Q: How far can a bus stop be from the student's home?
A: A reasonable walking distance for any student who is otherwise eligible for transportation pursuant to section 1011.68, Florida Statutes, is any distance not more than two (2) miles between the home and school or one and one half (11⁄2) miles between the home and the assigned bus stop.