Q&A | School buses

All you ever wanted to know about Pinellas school bus eligibility, routes

As thousands of Pinellas students climb on hundreds of school buses this week to head back into the classroom, here are some commonly asked questions and answers.

Students are provided transportation when the home address is more than 2 miles from the school.

Parents should have received a postcard for each student who is eligible and rode a bus last year with his assigned bus stop information. If you did not get a postcard or for more information call the Pinellas County Schools District Call Center at (727) 587-2020. The hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Parents can search bus routes online at pinellas.k12.fl.us/is/trans/new_home.html. Click on "Bus Routes."

I chose to keep my child at the elementary school he attended last year rather than move to my zoned school. Can I take him to the nearest stop and let him ride the bus from there?

Transportation will be provided only for students attending their zoned school. Arterial service will be provided for countywide programs and for high school students who attend a school other than their zoned school. Arterial transportation will be provided for eligible Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle and Osceola Fundamental High School students.

Can I apply for space available?

They will be accepted only from students attending their zoned school who live within 2 miles of the school. Applications may be picked up at school.

The arterial bus stop my child has been assigned to is too far from our home. Can I request a closer stop?

The arterial bus stops are set stops and will not be changed. Parents may need to provide transportation to and from the stop location.

When can I request a closer stop for my child who attends his/her zoned school?

Closer stop requests will not be accepted until Sept. 21. Call the District Call Center at (727) 587-2020 to request that the stop be moved.

Is it my responsibility to transport my child to and from the bus stop?

Yes.

I moved over the weekend. Whom do I contact to get a new bus stop for my child?

Routes are based upon the address the school has on file for a student. It is the parent's responsibility to provide documentation of address to the school. The school will make the necessary changes and notify the transportation department. Transportation will assign a safe bus stop, in alignment with School Board policy and state guidelines.

Whose responsibility is it to inform me that my child's bus is going to be late?

A bus is late when it has not arrived more than 30 minutes after its scheduled arrival time. When a bus is late because of unforeseen circumstances, the school is contacted and it is the school's responsibility to contact the parents.

Who is responsible for informing me that the stop was moved, there is a different route, or there is a different dropoff or pickup time?

The transportation department notifies the schools of any route or time changes. It is the school's responsibility to provide written documentation concerning any route or schedule changes to the parents.

What are the rules or guidelines for bus stop placement near a sexual predator's residence?

Under Florida law, a district cannot establish or relocate a public school bus stop within 1,000 feet of the residence of a sexual predator.

Whom do I contact to request a crossing guard along my child's walk path to school or bus stop?

Parents may request a crossing guard using the form on the Safety First Web page. Click on the link "Travel to School Safety Concerns" and submit the form.

If parents do not have access to the Web they may call the District Call Center (727-587-2020) and a customer service representative will complete the form for them.

Can my child use one stop in the morning and another in the afternoon?

No. Students must use the same stop.

Can a stop be set up for after-school care for my child?

Each elementary school has an on-site day care program. The district does not transport to other day care locations.

A 25 percent budget cut has required the transportation department to reduce services. Paid day care stops were courtesy services that had to be eliminated.

Can I drive my child to an alternative bus stop?

A student is assigned a stop based on his legal address. Students will not be permitted to board at any other location.

All you ever wanted to know about Pinellas school bus eligibility, routes 08/21/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 3:57pm]

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