Provisional Transportation Waiver Program

2019-2020 School Year

The St. Johns County School District Provisional Transportation Waiver Program (PTWP) extends transportation services, i.e. Provisional Transportation Services, to students assigned to district schools based on space availability and criteria.


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.


Applying for a Waiver:

  • Only the Transportation Department may approve waivers.
  • Parents/guardians may apply for waivers.
  • Principals may apply for waivers on behalf of students and parents/guardians on an as needed basis.
  • Parents/guardians and/or principals may apply for waivers at any time.
  • Waiver applications may be submitted online using the Provisional Transportation Waiver Form.
  • For emergency waivers, please see the emergency waiver paragraph below.

 

Emergency Waivers:

  • Under emergency circumstances, school principals may contact the Transportation Department by phone to initiate a temporary emergency waiver.
  • The Transportation Department will provide verbal approval of emergency waivers to principals, dispatch, and bus operators.
  • Emergency waivers are temporary and conditional, valid for up to two (2) school days pending formal application for the waiver by parents/guardians or principals.
  • Transportation will expedite emergency waivers within one (1) school day once an application is received from parents/guardians or principals.

 

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) School Buses:

  • 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

 

Communications:

  • Applicants will receive immediate email confirmations when applications are electronically received by the Transportation Department.
  • The Transportation Department will inform applicants by email regarding waiver decisions.
  • The Transportation Department will inform applicable school principals regarding approved or suspended waivers.

 

Criteria:

  • Parents/guardians must substantiate extenuating circumstances for the student, parent/guardian, and/or family.
  • Parents/guardians must submit applications with all fields completed to include a thorough explanation of need for the service. Transportation will reject incomplete applications.
  • Bus and/or buses must have space availability for the student.
  • Student riders must utilize existing buses, routes, stops, and schedules only.
  • Student riders may not transfer from bus to bus.
  • Waivers are approved for the period requested not to exceed the school year.
  • Waivers are applicable only for the approved student, buses, routes, schedules, and stops.
  • “Bus passes” are not authorized for use on district school buses at any time.
  • Waivers are not permitted to overcome changes in a student’s eligibility for transportation services (newly established walk zone to the school, etc.)

 

Approval Process:

  • Waiver applications are reviewed and approved/disapproved by a Transportation Committee based on space availability and appropriate criteria.
  • For waivers submitted during the summer through the first four (4) full weeks of school, please see the table below:
Northwest
St. Johns County
(Julington Creek/Fruit Cove)
Northeast
St. Johns County
(Ponte Vedra/Nocatee)
Central
St. Johns County
(St. Augustine)
South
St. Johns County
(Southern St. Augustine/Hastings)
Waiver Decision Timeline By third (3rd) full week of school By third (3rd) full week of school By one (1) week prior to school start By one (1) week prior to school start
Effective Date for Approved Waivers By fourth (4th) full week of school By fourth (4th) full week of school First (1st) day of school First (1st) day of school

 

  • Note: Space availability on school buses is lowest in Northwest and Northeast St Johns County. Transportation requires the first month of school to determine actual ridership by eligible student riders and redistribute student loads across buses. Accordingly, Transportation will approve/disapprove waivers and allow students with approved waivers to ride in accordance with the timeline outlined in the table above.
  • For waivers submitted during the school year (after the first four (4) weeks of school), Transportation will review and approve/disapprove waivers within five (5) business days. Approved waivers are effective upon receipt by applicant.

 

Contingencies:

  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to make alternative transportation arrangements until when/if waiver applications are approved by Transportation.
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to develop contingency plans for transportation services in the event waiver applications are not approved by Transportation.

 

Kindergarteners:

  • 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.

 

Waiver Suspensions:

  • The Transportation Department may suspend waivers with two (2) weeks’ notice to parents/guardians due to space availability reasons.
  • The Transportation Department may suspend waivers for reasons outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Parents/guardians may suspend waivers by contacting Transportation.

 

Student Accountability:

  • The Transportation Department will register students with approved waivers as eligible riders for buses in Bus Planner (routing system) to ensure accountability of students and effective communications with parents/guardians.
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to opt in to School Messenger alerts by text in order to receive timely updates regarding transportation matters.
    • From a mobile device, Text “Yes” to 67587.  You will receive a response text message stating, “You’re registered 4 SchoolMessenger notifications”.