Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: How can I arrange for my child to be transported by a bus?

A: First, you must register your child with her/his school. The school will give your child a student number and from this point it will take the Transportation Department approximately 48-72 hours to arrange for transportation. After transportation has been arranged, the school will be notified. Your child will then receive a Bus Assignment Verification Form with their bus and stop information from her/his school. Your child may ride the bus with this form.

 


Q: What law states that my student can only ride a school bus when they are assigned?

A: Florida Administrative Code: Chapter 6A-3 Transportation

6A-3.0121 Responsibility of School District and Parents or Guardians for Students Who Are Transported at Public Expense.

(c) The district shall inform parents, guardians, and students at least annually in writing of their responsibilities and related district policies as follows: To ensure that students ride only in their assigned school buses and get off only at assigned bus stops, except when the district has approved alternative buses or arrangements (2).

*Please note that in order to obtain transportation services on a St. Johns County School District bus, the student must first be registered at their assigned school and have a student number.


Q: I drove my car to the school, and my odometer indicates that the distance is over 2 miles. Why is there a discrepancy?

A: Your home may be less than 2 miles walking distance from the school. According to the State Board of Education rules, the walking distance determines when transportation is required. Walking distance is measured along the shortest available pedestrian path from your home to the school.


Q: As a parent, can I write a note so my child can ride another bus to school or home?

A: No, the Bus Operator will not accept a note from a parent to change the child’s regular bus for student accountability purposes. A student must ride the bus she or he is assigned through their school’s registration. Student accountability allows us to maintain the safety of your child.


Q: Can I ask the principal to write a note for my child to ride another bus to school or home?

A: No, the Bus Operator will not accept a note from school staff to change the child’s regular bus for student accountability purposes. A student must ride the bus she or he is assigned through their school’s registration. Student accountability allows us to maintain the safety of your child.


Q: Why does the bus stop so far away from the intersection listed as my child’s stop?

A: The Florida Department of Education mandates that our buses stop 50ft before an intersection or 200ft after an intersection. Our routing team determines which provides optimum safety for students and informs the Bus Operator to follow the recommendation (50ft before or 200ft after).


Q: What is considered permissible behavior on a bus?

A: Character Counts in St. Johns County schools and in buses. Students must follow the regular procedures on a bus just like they would in school. Consider a bus as a moving classroom. Students need to follow the Bus Operator’s procedures in order to ensure safety, therefore minimizing distractions while the Bus Operator is driving. If a student chooses to not follow directions, it could result in a referral which could result in a loss of transportation privileges.


Q: I am the parent of a kindergartener. Do I need to be at the stop every time my child is dropped off?

A: Yes, you or another listed guardian must be at the stop in order to ensure the safety of your child. If no one is at the stop, our Bus Operator will bring your child back to school. If it repeatedly occurs where no parent/guardian is at the stop, transportation privileges could be suspended for a certain amount of time.

School bus operators are directed to only discharge kindergarteners at a bus stop when the parent/guardian is physically present at the student door of the school bus to receive the student. If a school bus operator does not see the parent/guardian at the student door of the bus, they are instructed to keep the kindergartener aboard the bus and contact dispatch by radio. If a parent or guardian requires a kindergartener to get off a bus with an older sibling or to be met at the student door of the bus by anyone other than the parent/guardian, an approved Provisional Transportation Waiver is required from Transportation.


Q: I don’t like my child’s stop. Can my child go to another stop?

A: No, your child must be picked up and dropped off at their assigned stop for student accountability purposes, therefore maintaining the safety of her/him.


Q: My child’s route just changed. Why did this happen?

A: We try our best to make minimal changes throughout the school year. If this did happen, it was a result of our routing and safety team needing to optimize safety with our growing student population in your area.


Q: My child left an item on one of your buses. When can she/he retrieve it?

A: Your child can retrieve it from the Bus Operator the next time she/he rides the bus.


Q: One of my children rides an ESE bus, can my other child ride with her/him?

A: Provisional Transportation Waivers are not permitted for siblings to ride ESE buses. Eligibility for ridership of ESE buses:

      • School based IEP Team approved IEP supporting specialized transportation services in accordance with the state’s five (5) criteria
      • School based approved 504 Plan requiring specialized transportation services in accordance with state’s five (5) criteria