Can my student attend and be transported to a neighborhood elementary school that is not the one assigned to our attendance area?
A transfer to a neighborhood school outside of your attendancearea may be possible as long as there is space available at the school youare choosing and the transfer complies with school district and statepolicies. Transportation is not provided. For more information, call the Student Placement Center at (651) 632-3760.
What is an Attendance Area?
An attendance area defines which addresses are assigned to whichschools. Each address within Saint Paul is assigned by Board of Education action to one elementary, one juniorhigh/middle school and one high school.
Who Receives Transportation?
SaintPaul Public Schools provides transportation to students who areeligible under state regulations and Saint Paul Board of Educationpolicies. Generally, a student is eligible for transportation if thestudent lives within the school attendance area and is at least onewalking mile from school. A walking mile refers to a one-mile distancewhen a student walks on city streets taking the shortest route fromhis/her home to school. In most cases, transportation is also providedto Saint Paul students living more than one walking mile from themagnet/citywide option or secondary school they attend. Call theschools you are considering to find out if your student is eligible fortransportation based on where you live.
Are drivers required to check for sleeping kids?
Each school bus driver is required to do a walk through inspection from the front to the rear of the school bus at the end of each individual AM, Noon, or PM trip, or field trip segment to or from an elementary school, to ensure that no sleeping children remain on the school bus and to check for vandalism. The school bus driver must also conduct a walk through inspection from the front to the rear of the school bus upon leaving the school bus for any reason. During the walk through inspection the driver must check all seats, as well as the floor under each seating position.
Whenever the driver leaves the bus for any reason he/she shall place a placard in the rear window of the bus to indicate that the bus has been checked .
Each school bus operating under contract to the District must equipped with a automatic system which requires the school bus driver to go to the rear of the school bus and perform a physical action at, or near, the rear emergency door/window prior to leaving the school bus.
When is a good time to call the Transportation Department
The Transportation Department receives the highest number of calls during prime route times. These are the hours of 6:30 A.M. - 9:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. Calls related to late buses, allegedly missed stops, accidents, stop cancellations for that day, and operational problems are priority calls during these hours. If you have questions or comments that are not urgent, please wait to call during the hours when the routes are not in operation or contact the office of the school your child attends.
How far must children live from school before the school district is required to transport them to school?
Minnesota Statutes require that children must live two miles or more from their assigned school before a school district is required to provide transportation to and from school. It is a local school board decision on whether to transport children who live less than two miles.
The Board of Education Policy on transportation provides that students will be transported if they reside one mile or more from their attendance area school or from a school attended under the District's state approved desegregation plan.
How does the District measure the distance between a child’s home and the school?
For elementary students the walking distance is measured on public roadways or walkways using the Recommeded Safest Walking Route to School which is normally the route utilized by the School Patrol. For secondary students the distance is measured by the most direct route along public streets and walkways.
How far can a school district require a child to walk to a bus stop?
Minnesota Statutes and state agency rules do not address the distance a child may be required to walk between home and the bus stop. The maximum distance is up to the local school district.
Saint Paul transportation guildelines require that normally an elementary student may be required to walk up to one-third mile and a secondary student up to one half mile to or from the school bus stop. However, in certain circumstances, such as dead end, unpaved, and inaccessible streets; private roads; or narrow streets such as those in the lower Highwood Hills area, students may be required to walk longer distances to or from the bus stop.
My son was late for the school bus and the driver did not wait.
It is the responsibility of the student to to be at the assigned school bus pickup location at least five minutes prior to the scheduled pickup time. Under the requirements of Minnesota Statutes and District policy the school bus eight light system must be utilized for all student pickups except situations where a student needs physical assistance in boarding or leaving the school bus.
Under Minnesota statutes the school bus driver cannot reactivate the school bus eight-light system once the system has been shut down and must continue with the route. Reactivation of the eight light system is a serious traffic violation which upon conviction may result in loss of the bus driver's school bus endorsement.
Can I have my child dropped at a friend's home for several days?
No. For student safety temporary changes of five days or less will not be made.
Who do I call when my child doesn't make it home?
Call your child's school first and then call the Transportation Department at 696-9600. The Transportation Department is staffed each day school is in session until all route buses have cleared the final trip in their route sequence. If the routes have all cleared and the Transportation Department is closed please call the Saint Paul Police Department at 291-1111.
Can I have my child picked up and dropped off at my work?
No, a work location does not qualify as a daycare under Minnesota Statutes and District policies. Minnesota statute 123B.92 allows school districts to designate a licensed day care facility, respite care facility, the residence of a relative, or the residence of a person chosen by the pupil's parent or guardian as the home of a pupil for part or all of the day, if requested by the pupil's parent or guardian, and if that facility or residence is within the attendance area of the school the pupil attends.
Can I ride the bus to school with my child?
Due to concerns related to safety, security, and vehicle capacity parents are not allowed to ride to or from school on District route buses. Drivers are instructed not to allow unauthorized passengers on School District routes and to immediately request assistance if an unauthorized older student or adult boards the school bus and refuses to leave.
Can I send my child home with a friend?
No. Transportation is provided to eligible students from and to the assigned school bus pickup/drop-off location. Students who are ineligible for transportation are not allowed to ride route buses. Students are not allowed to use alternate bus stops or switch buses.
Can my child have transportation from home and daycare?
Students may have different pick-up and drop-off locations, however the student may have only one pick-up address five days per week and one drop-off address five days per week. Each of the locations must be within the attendance area of the school the child attends, or within the transportation area of a state approved desegregation program.
Can my child ride the bus to Boy Scouts and soccer practice after school?
Transportation is not provided to ineligible students at any time. For the safety of the student transportation is not provided to eligible students to any location other than the assigned school bus stop. Transportation to personal after school activities such as medical visits, shopping, movies, religious instruction, boy/girl scouts, or other personal activities is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
How are students added to transportation?
Students who are registered in a school by the close of previous school year, and who do not have a change of residence address, such as daycare, are routed from information in the District Student Census System. Students who register in a school after the close of the prior school year must be submitted to the Transportation Department by the office of the school the child's attends.
How do I change my home or daycare address?
All changes in residence or daycare must be submitted to the Transportation Department by the office of the school the child attends. For the safety of the child, and to ensure that school records are current, the Transportation Department will not accept a change of address from a parent or daycare provider.
How early does my child have to be at the school bus stop?
Each eligible student is responsible for being at the assigned pick-up location at lest five minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time. The school bus driver cannot block traffic and wait for late students. Buses due multiple trips serving many schools and cannot be sent back to pick-up students who were not at the pick-up location at the scheduled pick-up time.
I live just under one mile, can my child ride the school bus?
Under District Board of Education Policy, transportation is provided to students who reside one or more miles from the attendance area school or city-wide magnet program. The mile (5,280 feet) is measured along normal city streets using the route taken by the School Patrol at the elementary level and by most direct route to school at the secondary level. Each school office has a map showing the one mile limitation for transportation eligibility.
The bus drives right past my house. Why can’t it stop at my house?
District school buses drive by the homes of thousands of students each day. It is not possible to stop at every corner near which a student resides. The greater the frequency of stops a school bus makes the more the motoring public becomes “impatient.” or frustrated with the stopping school bus. This results in drivers illegally passing the stopped school bus and endangering the students boarding or exiting the school bus.
Unnecessary stops also result in delays in loading and associated longer rides for all students. This also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops, making overall student ride time longer. It also increases District transportation costs because the longer the bus route the less likely the route will fit into a cost efficient multiple trip combination.
I need the stop at my daycare because the daycare provider says she is required to see the students at all times but cannot leave her house.
The School District must treat students coming from, or going to, a daycare in the same manner in which we treat students coming from, or going to, their private residence. School bus stops are established as central gathering points for all students who reside in a defined geographic area surrounding the stop. It is the responsibility of the daycare provider, like the parent of a student coming from home, to supervise the students when traveling to and from the school bus stop.
I want the bus stop changed because I can't see it from my house.
The Saint Paul Public Schools provides student transportation servie to over 46,000 students to and from school each day. The District cannot establish bus stops so that all parents are able to see the stop from thier residence,
School buses are routed to travel straight through neighborhoods whenever possible. School bus stops are established as gathering points for students residing in the neighborhood surrounding the stop. An elementary student may be required to walk up to 1/3 mile and a secondary student up to 1/2 mile to and from the school bus stop.
Can the driver suspend my son?
The school bus driver is responsible for reporting all incidents of unacceptable student conduct that he/she observes, or is informed of, to the building principal. The principal is responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Board of Education Policy on Discipline for Transported Students.
The contractor and/or the contract school bus driver do not have the authority to suspend transportation privileges for a student classified as eligible by the School District. A student who presents him/herself at a scheduled school bus stop may not be denied transportation to school unless the driver has been notified by the school principal or District Transportation Department that the student has been suspended from transportation service.
My child had a problem on the bus and I want to see the video tape!
Disciplinary information, including video tapes from in bus cameras, is private data under 34USC and Chapter 13 of Minnesota Statutes. In bus cameras record all activity that occurs on the school bus by all students riding the bus that are within the view of the camera. The Transportation Department staff cannot and will not show video tapes taken by in bus cameras to anyone other than authorized School District staff, such as the building Principal or his/her designee and, in certain instances, authorized law enforcement personnel.
My child was suspended for misbehavior. I want to know what happened to the other student involved.
The School principal and Transportation Department staff cannot and will not discuss student disciplinary matters with anyone other than the student's custodial parent or legal guardian. Disciplinary information is private data under 34USC and Chapter 13 of Minnesota Statutes.
The driver plays the radio on the bus. Who chooses the station?
Drivers are required to have broadcast radios set to stations which are appropriate for school children and which do not have program content with obscene or sexually based content, or which promotes illegal activity including membership in gangs or use of controlled substances. Any parent with concerns about a radio station should contact the school principal or Transportation Department.
Can the driver smoke on the bus?
Minnesota Statute 144.4165 prohibits the use of any tobacco product in any facility which is owned or leased to a school, or a school district, or in any vehicle which is owned or leased by a school or school district, including school buses under contract to a school or school district. No driver may smoke at any time in any vehicle under contract to the Saint Paul Public Schools.
Why wouldn't the driver let me take a picture of my son on the bus with his friends?
No photograph or video tape may be taken of any student without the permission of the parent or guardian in the form of a signed release to the School District on file for the school year. This includes photographs or video tape recordings taken on the school bus by school bus drivers, parents, or other individuals. The driver may not allow a parent to photograph students on the school bus without the written permission of the building principal.
My child is attending a Saint Paul Public School under Open Enrollment. Can he have transportation.
Transportation service is provided to nonresident students attending a Saint Paul Public School under one of the Minnesota Enrollment Options Programs (Open Enrollment), foundation aids exchange, or other program for which transportation is authorized under Minnesota Statutes. Transportation is provided from stops within the attendance area of the school the child attends which are over one mile from the school. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to supervise the student in traveling to and from the school bus stop. In no event will a stop be established inside another school district.
I am concerned about by child's driver and want to see her driving record.
Driver’s license information is confidential information under the Drivers Privacy Protection Act, Public Law 103-322(18USC§2721) and the agreement between the District and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The District may not discuss or divulge the contents of a driving record to anyone other than the employer.
What can I do to ensure my child's safe ride?
1. Discuss the school bus safety rules with your child.
2. Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
3. Help your children learn their bus numbers.
4. Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or child care provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.
5. Understand that the bus pick-up and drop-off times are based on existing weather and road conditions. Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pick-up times. Parents will be notified by the school of any major changes in bus schedules that will affect their child.