North East ISD Transportation
Important School Bus Schedule and Routing Information SY 2016-17
With the existing chronic, severe driver shortage for the past six years, and for the start of the regular school year calendar, major adjustments/changes had to be made to the District’s pupil transportation services. This was done to optimize route efficiency and to increase ridership on each bus as best possible. For example, some students were transferred between buses to reduce the number of buses because of not having enough drivers, while hundreds of walkout distances had to be extended, but well within the current established parameters (quarter mile - elementary, half mile - secondary) at all three grade levels District wide to keep buses on time to and from school. No modifications will be made to any bus stops during the first three weeks of school. We will continue to monitor, address and consider any concerns and make decisions, adjustments, and/or changes based on the merit of each situation and in the best interest of all concerned for each bus route in order to provide fair and consistent services, District wide as best possible. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
REGULAR SERVICE PARAMETERS
A school bus is an extension of the classroom and transportation is a privilege for students. As stipulated by State guidelines, transportation is available for children who live two miles or more from their assigned school. The distance a student lives from their assigned school is measured using the shortest route that may be traveled on publicly maintained roads between the nearest property line of the school and the nearest property line of the student's legal residence based on State guidelines. Students residing within two miles of their assigned school may have transportation available if their neighborhood qualifies as hazardous under the district's hazardous transportation rating system as stipulated and applied in accordance with State and local policy as indicated below. Students who participate in vocational programs or classes not offered at their school are shuttled between schools. Special education students are eligible for transportation if need is established through the Admission, Review, and Dismissal process.
Temporary Hazardous Transportation Services
State law provides a provision and stipulates that a District may evaluate certain traffic conditions and offer temporary hazardous transportation services to students residing within two miles of their assigned school based on the following applicable (basic) guidelines. "A hazardous condition exists where no walkway is provided and students must walk along or cross a major traffic artery, an industrial or commercial area, or another comparable condition". A Hazardous Route Committee consisting of representatives from a few local law enforcement departments, community constituents and executive directors/directors from the District's Construction Management, Police, Risk Management, Safety and School Administration for Campus Support departments provides the evaluations and recommendations to determine who (students) will/will not receive hazardous transportation (temporary) services based on the following points of interest: "Description of Area (industrial, commercial, residential, etc.); Description of Streets and Highways to be Crossed or Traveled; Design of Streets and Highways to Be Crossed or Traveled; Distance-Home to School; Traffic Controls Located Between Home and School Which Assist the Student; Traffic Density of Major Roads or Arteries; Speed Limits of Major Roads to be Crossed; Number of Major Intersections to Be Crossed; Number of "Feeder" Streets (streets that carry neighborhood traffic to major streets/arteries) to be crossed; and Condition of Walkway (no sidewalk required)".
Special Note: Determination of who (students) will/will not receive temporary hazardous transportation services when a new school will open occurs only after the respective boundary of the concerned school(s) has been presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees.
Pick Up Time Criteria
Regular transportation attempts to arrive at every bus stop on time. Due to the variances between individual clocks and changing traffic patterns, students are asked to arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time. Buses will load students and depart the stop. Regular buses do not wait for late students under most circumstances. All buses will wait 10 minutes at the school in the afternoon for students to board. Students are expected to proceed immediately to the buses. Bus drivers are instructed not to stop or open the door for late students due to safety concerns having students too close to moving bus wheels.
Bus routes are created to enhance student safety while maximizing route efficiency. Established bus stops will be located equitably near and/or between student's residences and are created to allow students to safely wait off the main roadway for the bus as best possible. Stops are also created to minimize students walking in highly traveled roadways for long distances without sidewalks. It is the parents responsibility to supervise their children between their home and the bus stop and while at the bus stop. Any Kindergarten/Pre-Kindergarten student(s) who cannot be released to a parent / responsible adult will be taken back to the school office (unless a Bus Stop Supervision Waiver Form has been completed) and may lose his/her bus riding privileges after approximately three (3) occurrences.. Stops are not placed in dead end streets whenever possible to minimize bus accidents while backing (Backing is a very dangerous maneuver for a school bus). Stops are spread as far apart as criteria will allow in order to decrease the number of stops each bus will make on its route thus minimizing riding time for the students. Elementary students may be required to walk up to 1/4 of a mile to a bus stop. Secondary students may be required to walk up to 1/2 of a mile. Bus routes are designed to limit student ride time to no more than 55 minutes one-way if at all possible, however, most students ride under 30 minutes one-way.
The above design criteria is for regular students only. Students in special programs are subject to different design criteria. Contact the Transportation Special Needs Office at 356-9201 for additional information.
Bus Schedules/Bus Stops
School bus schedules and locations of bus stops are determined and designed to provide certain standardized mechanics to ensure that equitable, efficient, economical, controllable, manageable, and SAFE services are rendered as best possible to transport eligible students between home and school with fairness, continuity and consistency, District wide.
Any deviation from the standard bus schedule and designated bus stop location is generally not permitted unless there is a legitimate one-time or verified long term situation as based on State general guidelines which are indicated, in part, below:
“After determining eligibility for transportation services, shall allow a parent to designate a child care facility or the residence of a grandparent of the child, instead of the child’s residence, as the regular location for purposes of obtaining transportation under the system to and from the child’s school. Either designated location must be an approved stop on an approved route.” Education Code 34.007 (b)(2)
Child care facility means “a facility licensed, certified, or registered by the Department of Family and Protective Services to provide assessment care, training, education, custody, treatment, or supervision for a child who is not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or operator of the facility for all or part of a 24 hour day whether or not the facility is operated for profit or charges for the services it offers.” Human Resources Code 42.002 (3)
Should there be a need for deviation of guidelines, it may be requested for consideration with submission of the NEISD Bus Ride Permission Slip which may be retrieved from the website. This form should only be used to request a deviation from the original bus schedule and designated bus stop as follows:
1. A legitimate request concerning a one-time only situation, e.g. riding a different bus or being dropped off at a different bus stop, should be submitted for review/approval by the attending campus administration and then provided to driver. Any other reason outside of these examples will have to be coordinated with the Transportation Department in advance of the desired date of the requested change of service which may require 5 work days or more.
2. For a long term, urgent/hardship situation, or in order to designate a child care facility or the residence of a grandparent as the bus stop, submit the “Permission Slip” for consideration and possible approval to the Transportation Department from the parent and thorugh campus administration. The review process may require 5 work days or more once the request is received at the Transportation Department.
3. STUDENTS AND FAMILIES SHOULD COMPLY WITH AND CONTINUE TO USE THE ORIGINAL BUS ROUTE SCHEDULE TO TRAVEL TO/FROM SCHOOL/HOME UNTIL NOTIFIED BY THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT.
Bus Ridership Capacities
School buses are rated by manufacturers to have a capacity based on three riders per seat. North East ISD has adopted goals for ridership per bus at 65 riders at elementary levels, 55 riders at middle school levels, and 50 riders at high school levels. While these are our goals, there may be times when ridership exceeds these numbers but every attempt will be made to minimize or reduce any overcrowded bus based on driver availability, routing, and operational options. However, ridership will not be allowed to exceed the manufacturer's rated maximum carrying capacity.
Name Tag Procedures for Elementary Students
All elementary students will have and wear a name tag all year. Before leaving school and while students are loading: Student will be checked for his/her name tag to ride the bus home for the PM run. Should a student not have a name tag, the bus driver will immediately notify a school administrator before departing the school for assistance in getting the needed student data. IF STUDENT DATA CANNOT BE OBTAINED, THE STUDENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO BOARD THE BUS AND WILL BE TURNED OVER TO A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR.
KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS: Should a kindergarten student not be met or released to a parent/guardian or a designated or responsible individual or not accompanied by an older sibling, or if something seems strange or out of normal order, the driver will ascertain disposition instructions from the dispatcher. Student(s) not able to be delivered will be returned to his/her home school office after completion of the elementary run. Parents or guardians should complete the NEISD Bus Stop Supervision Waiver Form to preclude problems.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS: Following provisions outline how pre-kindergarten students will be accommodated and transported between home and school: 1) Eligible pre-kindergarten students receive transportation between home and school while ineligible students only receive shuttle service between their home and receiving schools before and after school. Parents are responsible for ensuring that ineligible students are provided means of getting to/from their home school and residence. 2) Should a student not be met or released to a parent/guardian or a designated or responsible individual, or if something seems strange or out of normal order, the driver will ascertain disposition instructions from the dispatcher. Parents or guardians should complete the NEISD Bus Stop Supervision Waiver Form to preclude problems. Student(s) not able to be delivered will be: a) Eligible Student - will be taken back to his/her home school after completion of the run. b) Ineligible Student - will be turned over to a school administrator in the loading zone or taken into the office as appropriate at the shuttle school after completion of the run. 3) Students who are not properly received on approxmately three (3) occassions may lose their bus riding privileges.
As of: AUG 3, 2016