Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

Can a student be picked up or dropped off at an alternate address, including day care centers on a recurring basis?


Parents requesting an alternate pick up/drop off location must forward a written request directly to their child’s school. Request must include the student’s name, parent/guardian’s name, home address, alternate address, and telephone numbers. To be considered, (1) students must be eligible for transportation and (2) the alternate address must be within the attendance zone of the school.


Why can’t the school bus come down my road? Are buses permitted to travel on private roads?


In addition to student eligibility rules, school buses are only allowed to travel on roadways that assure the safe transport of students. Safety is determined by the ability of the school bus to meet and pass another vehicle of equal size, and the roadway must be well-built enough to avoid damaging the school bus or creating the potential for an accident. The quality of the roadway during bad weather also must be taken into consideration. The safety of the student passengers must be given the top priority. School buses are restricted from using certain private roads. Private roads are only used with the permission of the owner(s). Buses are intended for use on public roadways only. However, if a request is made to enter onto a private roadway, (1) the Transportation Supervisor must determine the safety and maneuverability of the bus entering the area and (2) the owner of the private roadway must provide written authorization for use and complete a notarized Release of Liability” form.


What is the process to have newly enrolled students assigned to a school bus?


Any time a new student is enrolled in a school and lives within the school zone, and outside the mile and one-half radius, a school official should complete a bus registration form.  The school will forward the registration form to the transportation office to assign the bus route number.  The information will be given to the driver. Children attending schools with an administrative transfer are required to provide their own transportation.


What can I do to make my child’s trip to school safe?


Accompany or arrange for an adult to accompany your child to the school bus stop and wait for the school bus to arrive. The same is true in the afternoon. Be at the school bus stop when the bus arrives, and accompany your child home. State law places the responsibility for a child’s safety on the parent until the school bus arrives at the bus stop in the morning, and after the bus leaves the site in the afternoon.


When are emergency evacuation drill conducted? Who must participate?


Federal law requires that at least twice during the school year; each student who is transported in a school bus shall be instructed in safe riding practices and participates in Emergency Evacuation Drills.


Why can’t I get on the bus to talk to the bus driver?


State law does not allow parents or other adults to board a school bus or impede its progress in any way. This law protects the safety of students and helps assure that routes run on time. If a parent has a concern, the parent should communicate with the school principal and/or district’s transportation office.


Can band instruments be transported on the bus to and from school?


Safety is the main issue where band instruments are concerned. In the event of an accident, a student could be seriously injured as a result of an instrument that becomes airborne. Realizing that many students are unprepared for class if they do not have their instrument at home to practice, we will make every effort to accommodate when possible. These items must be held in the student’s lap and must not extend beyond the student’s seating space. The child is not allowed to sit on a book bag or similar carry-on items or store items on the floor of the bus. These are safety requirements. Under no circumstances shall a band instrument (a) block an emergency exit, (b) block the service door (c) block the driver’s compartment and (d) obstruct the aisle of the bus. Instruments will not take up a seat, the student with the instrument must sit nearest the window and be able to hold and control the instrument during transit.


Why can’t the school bus come closer to my house?


School buses cannot stop in front of every eligible student’s home.  There are three rules established by South Carolina state law that provide guidance to the school district regarding the placement of school bus stops.  State law requires that the school bus cannot stop more frequently than every two-tenths of a mile (about 350 yards).  Children who live within 1½ miles of the school they are zoned to attend are not eligible for state-funded school transportation service.  Students may be required to walk up to a three-tenths of a mile to access their school bus route. In cases where students live more than three-tenths of a mile from an existing route, an additional route segment would be added.


Can my child be required to sit in a designated school bus seat?


Yes, students can be assigned to a seat. This is a practice used by many school districts to control behavior on the school bus. State law gives school districts this authority.


Can a non-handicapped sibling ride a special education bus?


Assignments to special education buses are dictated by the student’s IEP. Approval for a non-handicap sibling to ride a special needs bus may be authorized on a Space Available bases or under provisions of a 504 plan.