Below are the most common questions asked every year, with their answers. If the following is not helpful, or more information is needed, please call us at 518-664-9881
Q: I don’t feel comfortable sending my child to the house down the street. Why can’t the stop be at my house?
A: A bus stop is a series of maneuvers designed with safety as the utmost concern. The driver follows set procedures in executing the stop – stopping, observing, opening the door, boarding or releasing passengers, observing, crossing, and closing the door, and so on. It is safer for these stops to be spread out so the driver can complete all these actions. More stops also increase the length of the bus ride.
Q: My child has to cross two streets to get to the bus stop. What are you doing to insure my child gets to and from the stop safely?
A: It is the parent’s responsibility to get the child to and from the bus stop. It is the District’s responsibility to give the child a safe ride to & from school.
Q: Why can’t the bus come down our dead end street?
A: Because of the size and weight of buses, we typically do not send buses on dead end streets, private streets/roads, cull de sacs and narrow or steep roads.
Q: I still don’t feel comfortable. What recourse do I have to get the stop changed?
A: The first step is to call the transportation office with your concerns. In some cases we will agree with you, and make changes immediately. If not, we will ask that you put your concerns in writing to us. Upon receipt of your written request, a “Bus Stop Review” will be conducted. You will be informed with the results. If it’s not in your favor, your request can be pursued with the Business Manager/Transportation Supervisor.
Q: In regards to crossing, are there students who don’t cross?
A: Depending on the location of the bus stop, we have students who cross the road and some who do not. All students are expected to cross in front of the bus if needed. We do not cross in certain areas, for example 55 mph roads, curved roads with limited sight distance.
Riding the Bus
Q: Can a friend come home with my child on the bus?
A: Yes, if there’s enough room on the bus, and also with a bus pass from the school office.
Q: My daughter plays the cello. The driver is giving her a hard time about getting it on the bus because it’s crowded. What do I do?
A: We try to accommodate everyone; however, if the item doesn’t fit on the students lap, parents should make other arrangements to get their child or the instrument to school.
Q: My child’s bus ride seems very long and I’m only 5 minutes from school. What can be done about that?
A: All our elementary routes range from 25 to 50 minutes long, depending on the pick up/drop off area. However, the time from some homes directly to school is only 5 minutes or less. We are transporting an average of 65 students per bus, sometimes making 25 stops.
Q: My child is having a problem with another student, the bus driver has a seating arrangement, does my child have to sit in that seat with that student?
A: We try to keep seating arrangements that drivers have arranged due to ease of loading/unloading; seating arrangements are also done by age group (youngest to the front – older students to the back)
The Bus Driver
Q: Who is the bus driver?
A: Before they ever transport a single student, the bus driver has:
- undergone training.
- been fingerprinted (criminal background check) and drug tested.
- taken a DMV Road Test.
- taken a “Physical Performance Test” that tests coordination and strength.
- had a physical.
After all this, every year they do a Defensive Driving Review, a physical, and two mandated driver “refreshers.” They also are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Every other year they must take the Road Test, Physical Performance Test, and Written Test.
Q: My child tells me that the older kids in the back of the bus are using bad language and the bus driver does nothing about it. Why doesn’t the driver do something?
A: It is extremely likely that the driver can’t hear what is going on. A bus is a very noisy environment under the best circumstances. It is very hard for the driver to hear what is happening past the first few rows of seats. Drivers are usually made aware of this behavior by the students telling them what is happening.
Q: Another student hit my child and my child retaliated and hit back. The driver only saw my child, and made him come up front. Is that fair?
A: The driver is charged with transporting students safely. The driver must deal with other motorists as well as picking up or dropping off students. Every time a driver must look to the overhead mirror at the students, their eyes are off the road. Therefore drivers must make snap judgments to keep the peace on a bus. It can also be said that the driver won’t see the first hit, but will see the retaliation, and must act on it. The end result is to get the students home safely and efficiently. The driver should not get involved in lengthy discussions about who did what. If there is a concern to be addressed, it should be settled in the principal’s office at school.
Q: A two hour delay has just been announced on TV. When will the bus come?
A: Two hours later than the regular pick up time. The bus is supposed to pick up two hours later, but delays are usually caused because of bad weather, which could mean additional delays.