Transportation FAQ

  • Is a special education student guaranteed transportation?

    Bus service is provided by law as a related service, if it is specified in the child’s IEP. Those special education students whose handicapping condition permits, and for whom it is safe to do so, may be required to walk to school when attending their home school if their residence is within the specified walking distance. Similarly, they may be required to use the regular education bus.

    What determines whether a special education student is entitled to transportation?

    Transportation for special education students will be provided when a student's physical, emotional, or behavioral condition warrants it, or when it is necessary to transport a student to a school other than his/her home attendance center.

    Who determines when special education transportation is needed?

    The IEP team determines the need for special education transportation on an individual basis.

    When special education transportation has been decided upon, how does the IEP team request transportation be started?

    A Specialized Transportation Plan must be completed by the IEP team and forwarded to the District Special Education Office. The Special Education Office then forwards the request to the Transportation Office to place the student on a route.

    How much notice is required by the IEP team to start transportation for a special education student?

    Transportation services will be started as quickly as possible. The normal time allotted is five school days from the receipt of the Specialized Transportation Plan by the Transportation Office.

    How are parents notified that transportation has been set up for their student?

    The Transportation Office will contact the parent to confirm bus number, pick-up and drop-off time. It is very important that the parent always has a current number on file with the school.

    How do I change my special needs bus transportation?
    Contact your child’s teacher to notify them of any changes. The teacher will complete a new Specialized Transportation Plan and forward it to the District Special Education Office. The Special Education Office will then forward the changes to the Transportation Office. Address changes may take up to five school days to go into effect.

    Can the pick-up and/or drop-off times change from day to day?

    Generally, morning and afternoon times are reasonably constant for the duration of the student’s placement. They could vary a few minutes in the morning and afternoon due to traffic conditions. As other students are added to or dropped from the route, it may be necessary to adjust these times throughout the school year. If the time needs to be adjusted, the Transportation Office will contact the parent. It is very important that the parent always has a current number on file with the school.

    May a student be dropped off at a location different from the morning pickup?

    Yes. This can be done on a consistent basis upon request (day-to-day changes, however, cannot be accommodated).

    Is curb service available?

    Those students whose handicapping condition(s) does not permit them to go to a designated bus stop may be picked up at the curb outside their residence as directed in the placement decision. (In some cases, this service is not possible due to the location of their home, traffic congestion, which blocks a curb, etc). Parental assistance may be needed in these cases.

    When a student moves, will the same bus continue the service?

    Probably not. Depending on the move, a new school could be assigned, or another route may be involved. When such a move is anticipated, parents should contact their child’s teacher so that arrangements can be made.

    Who is the contact person for the District Transportation Office?

    District Transportation Office contact:
    Carin Fiddyment
    Transportation Secretary
    (417) 523-0522 61602

    If your child requires specialized transportation, the place to start is with your child’s Special Education Teacher. Transportation is a related service for students requiring special education, and any extraordinary service, such as specialized equipment, medical attention, or behavior modification, necessary to ensure a safe ride to school should be noted in the child's individualized educational program (IEP).


    Parent Responsibilities

    The involvement of parents of special education students in bus behavior goes a long way toward positive attitudes among the riders. Not only should parents reinforce the rules of conduct with their child, but they should assist in every way possible.

    What is the first thing a parent/guardian should focus on with his/her special education student?

    The importance of being on time and knowing the four-digit route number that is posted in the side windows of the bus near the front (black numbers on white background) is the first thing a parent/guardian should focus on. Bus operators and bus number (painted on the body and bumper) may change, but the route number will be consistent. (See page 6 for additional information)

    What should parents do to have their children ready for school?

    Parents should have their children ready and at the pick-up site 10 minutes before the bus is due. Tight scheduling does not permit bus operators to wait for your child, nor can they blow the horn because this disturbs others.

    Are there other arrangements for special education students?

    Parents may submit a written request to the principal of the school asking for other transportation arrangements. The request must document how the safety and well-being of the student will be assured. If the request is approved, Transportation will make the alternative arrangements as soon as practicable.

    Can a student be discharged at home without an adult being present?

    If the child is capable of taking care of himself/herself, this might be considered based on a number of other factors (age, handicapping condition, length of time alone, etc.). Such decisions will be made by administrators on a case-by-case basis.

    If the child is late getting to the bus stop, can the bus be returned to pick up the student?

    No. Obligations to other riders and schedules prohibit buses from doubling back for one student. Parents should transport the student to school as soon as possible in order to take part in all scheduled classes.