Provisional Transportation Waiver Program (PTWP)

2020-2021 School Year (Revised 05/15/2020)

  1. Overview: The St. Johns County School District Provisional Transportation Waiver Program (PTWP) extends transportation services to students assigned to district schools based on operational capacity, space availability, and established criteria below. The program is secondary to the Transportation Department’s primary mission of providing transportation services for school arrival and dismissal operations.
  2. Applying for Provisional Waivers:
    1. Only the Transportation Department may approve provisional transportation waiver requests.
    2. Parents/guardians may apply for provisional waivers.
    3. Principals may apply for provisional waivers on behalf of students and parents/guardians on an as needed basis.
    4. Parents/guardians and/or principals may apply for provisional waivers at any time during the year.
    5. Waiver applications are available at the PTWP tab at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation. The application is also posted under quick links on the main school district web site under the Provisional Transportation Waiver link.
  3. Criteria:
    1. Provisional transportation waivers are considered under the following circumstances only:
      1. Students/children of school district employees requiring transportation services between schools using existing buses, routes, and stops on a space available basis.
      2. Students volunteering to support school based programs at schools other than their zoned/assigned school using existing buses, routes, and stops on a space available basis.
      3. Split custody orders when both parents reside within the student’s assigned school zone. Typical situations include the following:
        1. Both parents reside along the route of the same school bus.
        2. Both parents reside with the same school zone albeit two (2) different school buses.
      4. Extreme hardship situations affecting a SJCSD student/family.
        1. Past example: serious illness or injury of a parent which creates extreme hardship on a student/family.
        2. Waivers under “extreme hardship” require school principal endorsement via phone or email to the Director of Transportation in advance of consideration for service.
      5. After school programs coordinated and supported by respective schools:
        1. The Arc of St Johns in St Augustine, FL
        2. The W E Harris Recreation/Community Center in Hastings, FL
        3. The Players: Championship Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida in St Augustine, FL
        4. The Ketterlinus Gym Community Center
      6. Instances when a parent/guardian requires a pre-kindergartener or kindergartener to disembark a school bus with an older sibling or to be met at the student door of the bus by anyone other than the parent/guardian.
    2. Bus and/or buses must have space availability for the provisional waiver student.
    3. Student riders must utilize existing buses, routes, stops, and schedules only.
    4. Student riders may not transfer from bus to bus.
    5. Waivers are approved for the period requested not to exceed the school year.
    6. Provisional waivers are applicable only for the approved student, buses, routes, schedules, and stops.
    7. “Bus passes” are not authorized for use on district school buses at any time.
    8. Provisional waivers are not permitted to overcome changes in a student’s eligibility for transportation services (newly established walk zone to the school, Two Mile Rule, etc.).
  4. Emergency Provisional Waivers:
    1. Emergency provisional waivers in accordance with School Board Rule Chapter 8.00 (6) are intended to address emergency circumstances affecting a student and family for a period of five (5) days or less.
    2. School principals must contact the Director or assistant Director of the Transportation Department by phone to initiate an emergency provisional waiver.
    3. The Transportation Department will provide verbal approval of emergency waivers to principals, dispatch, and bus operators as appropriate.
    4. Emergency waivers are temporary and conditional, valid for up to five (5) school days.
  5. Exceptional Student Education (ESE) School Buses:
    1. Provisional transportation waivers are not permitted for ESE buses except under Paragraph 3, Subparagraph A., Roman numeral v.
    2. Provisional transportation waivers are not permitted for siblings of ESE student riders to ride ESE buses.
    3. Eligibility for ridership of ESE buses:
      1. School based IEP Team approved IEP supporting specialized transportation services in accordance with the state’s five (5) criteria
      2. School based approved 504 Plan requiring specialized transportation services in accordance with state’s five (5) criteria
  6. Communications:
    1. Applicants will receive immediate email confirmations when applications are electronically received by the Transportation Department.
    2. The Transportation Department will inform applicants by email regarding waiver decisions.
    3. The Transportation Department will inform applicable school principals regarding approved or suspended waivers.
  7. Approval Process:
    1. Waiver applications are reviewed and approved/disapproved by the Transportation Department based on space availability, operational capacity, and the criteria outlined.
    2. Waivers are approved by Transportation following the reconciliation of eligible student riders aboard buses (normally after the second (2nd) full week of school).
  8. Contingencies:
    1. Parents/guardians are encouraged to make alternative transportation arrangements until when/if waiver applications are approved by Transportation.
    2. Parents/guardians are encouraged to develop contingency plans for transportation services in the event provisional waiver applications are not approved by Transportation.
  9. Kindergarteners and Pre-Kindergarteners:
    1. For safety and security reasons, school bus operators are directed to only discharge pre-kindergarteners/kindergarteners at a bus stop when the parent/guardian is physically present at the student door of the school bus to receive the student.
    2. If a school bus operator does not see the parent/guardian at the student door of the bus, they are instructed to keep the pre-kindergartener/kindergartener aboard the bus and contact dispatch by radio.
    3. If a parent or guardian requires a pre-kindergartener/kindergartener to disembark 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.
  10. Waiver Suspensions:
    1. The Transportation Department may suspend provisional waivers with two (2) weeks’ notice to parents/guardians due to space availability reasons.
    2. The Transportation Department may suspend waivers for reasons outlined in the Student Code of Conduct at any time.
    3. Parents/guardians may suspend waivers by contacting Transportation.
  11. Student Accountability:
    1. The Transportation Department will register students with approved provisional waivers as eligible riders for buses in Bus Planner (routing system) to ensure accountability of students and effective communications with parents/guardians.
    2. Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring their students ride the appropriate buses as per the provisional transportation waiver.
    3. Parents/guardians are encouraged to opt in to School Messenger alerts by text in order to receive timely updates regarding transportation matters.
    4. From a mobile device, Text “Yes” to 67587. You will receive a response text message stating, “You’re registered 4 School Messenger notifications”.