Frequently Asked Questions
1. I received a bus for my child in the past because I don’t think it’s safe for him to walk to school. Why won’t he receive a bus this year?
As in past years, Dayton Public Schools will continue to transport students who live more than 1.5 miles away from his or her school (as well as those with an individual education program that mandates transportation).
However, in order to provide regular, on-time service to all qualifying students, the district has tightened transportation requirements. This means families who lived inside the 1.5 mile radius and have previously received a bus assignment for individual exceptions (such as living near vacant structures, etc.) will no longer be transported. Only those who have a route to school affected by one of four hazards (river, active railroad tracks, bridge with no sidewalks, and major highways) will be considered for transportation.
2. How is my child supposed to get to school now?
We believe it’s critical to work as partners toward student success, which is why we are asking parents to collaborate with their children’s schools. Each DPS elementary school is working to create a “Safe Routes to School” plan, which may include a walking school bus (a plan to help parents create walking groups) or different traffic plans to help with the morning/afternoon car congestion.
3. What is the maximum time a student may ride his/her school bus in Ohio?
There is no identified target number that districts are obligated to meet. It is up to each school district to manage the length of time students ride their bus. Ride times vary by traffic, locality and numerous other criteria; therefore, each school district’s ride times can be different.
4. We moved during the school year; how do I change my child’s bus?
All transportation changes are made through the student’s school. Please be sure to update the school with your latest information, including address, phone number and day care arrangements.
5. How long will it take for my child to receive transportation?
At peak times, under normal conditions, it may take up to five business days from the time Transportation receives the request for your child to be placed on a bus route. The parent is responsible for the child’s transportation during this period.
6. How do I request transportation for a student?
A DPS student automatically receives transportation, provided the student meets the criteria. A transportation request for a non-DPS student may be made through the school he/she attends.
7. What is my child’s bus number?
How do I find out what bus my child will be riding?
Parents will receive an automated phone call approximately two to three days prior to the first day of school, in addition to receiving a letter. Both communications will contain the student’s bus info (bus number, pickup/dropoff times, and bus stop location). If parents have not received a phone call or letter two days prior to the beginning of school, please call 542-4010.
8. What is ‘state minimum’ transportation?
State minimum requires transportation for only those students in grades K-8 who reside more than 2.0 miles from school. The state does not require us to transport grades 9-12. However, districts do have an obligation to transport students with special needs, as identified in those students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP).
9. My child has an IEP (individual education program), but transportation is not being provided. Why is this?
A child who has an IEP does not automatically receive transportation unless the IEP team writes this into the related services. If transportation is not included on the IEP, your child will be transported similarly to regular education students.
10. I have been told the bus will not stop in front of my house and my child will have to wait for the bus at another location that is not visible from my home; what can I do?
No law requires a parent to be able to see a bus stop from his or her home. It is the parent and/or guardian’s responsibility to make sure a student arrives at and from the bus stop safely. Walk your young child to the bus stop and have older children walk in groups. There is safety in numbers; groups are easier for drivers to see. Brightly colored clothing is easier for drivers to see than dark colors. Have your child pack his/her belongings in a backpack so items are not lost along the way. Make sure your child leaves the house so that he/she gets to the bus stop at least ten minutes before stop time. Running can be dangerous!
11. I want my child to wait inside my house until the bus is at the stop. Is this allowed?
Dayton Public Schools requires children to be waiting at the bus stop ten (10) minutes prior to and ten (10) minutes after its scheduled arrival. Bus drivers must count the students at the bus stop before they load and as they get on the bus to ensure all children are safely onboard. If students are not waiting at the bus stop, the bus driver cannot count them and cannot be certain all the students are safely on board. Waiting at the bus stop before the bus arrives further ensures that no one chases after a bus, which is a very dangerous thing to do. Many districts also instruct their buses not to stop at locations where no students are waiting.
12. Will my child receive door-to-door transport?
No. The pick-up point will be within a reasonable distance of the home. Door-to-door transport is not provided.
13. Why does my child have to be at the bus stop 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after the scheduled time?
It is important for your child to be at the bus stop ahead of the scheduled pick-up in order to assure he or she will be transported. Sometimes, traffic or weather may mean an early arrival or late arrival; remaining at the stop after the scheduled pick-up time will allow extra minutes to help account for those inevitable delays.
14. Why can't my regular education student ride the same bus with my special needs student?
Special needs transportation is granted in accordance with a student's needs as a related service to the IEP (Individualized Education Program); this type of transportation has specific regulations that make it impossible to transport special needs students with regular education students. Students who receive an education without an IEP are provided transportation through conventional means.
15. Why is my child's bus late?
Weather, traffic, driver absenteeism, maintenance difficulties, and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in the arrival of school buses in the morning and afternoon. Sometimes, bus routes must be doubled or run as a second route if the regular driver is absent.
16. Why can't you call when you know the bus will be late?
The district is working on developing a new way of notifying parents when buses are late; this will require parents to “opt in” by providing a working cell phone number to receive text messages from Transportation. One of our biggest challenges to date has been maintaining current contact information for parents, many of whom change phone numbers and do not notify the district.
It is our goal to provide transportation to those students who qualify, every day, on time. Unfortunately, unexpected glitches such as traffic delays or a shortage of drivers covering routes may mean your child’s bus is late for pickup or delivery. Because of the rapid nature of these delays, we may not be able to give you a specific time.
17. Why did you suspend my child from riding the bus?
Behavioral expectations on the school bus are much like those in the classroom. Add in the mobility of that "classroom" and traffic, added noise and the size of the "classroom" and you have a potential catastrophe if there are not clear expectations and enforcement.
The behavioral expectations on the bus revolve around the individual rights of every person on the bus, including the driver and the collective rights of students and driver as it pertains to safety. Anything that jeopardizes the safety of individuals on the bus is viewed as serious. Most drivers have bus rules or expectations posted on the bus; also, the yearly Student Code of Conduct booklet is distributed by the school and discussed in-depth with your student.
When there is an infraction, a referral is turned in to school administrators, who are responsible for contacting the student and parent to solve the lack of compliance with bus expectations. The school administrator is solely responsible for consequences based on the incident as described by the driver and student. Our goal is never to deny any student transportation to and from school, but we must maintain safety for all students.
18. Why can't my child get off wherever she wants in the afternoon?
To avoid multiple problems, the driver requires a note, signed by the parent and school administrator, to change where a student gets off the bus. This note allows the drivers to focus on driving and safety instead of making individual decisions. It also verifies that the parent is aware of the change and helps avoid confusion about the student’s location.
19. My child missed the bus pickup in the morning; will one come back?
No. Because of the large and complex number of routes our district runs, we are not able to send buses back to pick up students who have missed the bus.
20. Do you transport high school students?
No. High school students requiring transportation ride the RTA bus. For more information on routes and the price of student bus passes, go online or call 425-8300.
21. How do you decide it is too hazardous to transport students to school because of weather?
When deciding whether to close schools, factors that are taken into consideration include:
- Amount and type of snow;
- When the snow falls, and when the snowfall is expected to end;
- Ability to clear parking lots and sidewalks around schools;
- Condition of all streets (thoroughfare and residential), and bus stops;
- Freezing rain and the effect on roads, power lines and tree limbs;
- Wind and wind chill; and,
- Temperature (watched closely when predicted near 0º)
Members of the DPS weather team closely monitor local forecasts at first announcement of a storm front. At all times the safety of students and staff is the basis for determining the cancellation of school.
The condition of all roads is also considered. There will be times when the regular buses cannot travel on all roads because of large accumulations of snow, or because of certain drifting patterns in some areas of the district. Main roads, over time, may be cleared after a morning snowfall, but our residential streets often remain hazardous beyond those early hours when buses deliver our children to school.
In most situations, the decision to close schools will be made by 4:30 a.m. When schools are closed for the day, all extra-curricular activities, interscholastic athletics, practices, and field trips are cancelled. Notification of school closings because of inclement weather will be sent to local radio and TV stations, and posted on the DPS website.
22. Can my student get off the bus without a parent/guardian/designee there to meet them? What happens if I am not there to meet the bus?
A parent/guardian/designee is required to be at the stop only for kindergarten students. Students in grades one through eight are not required to have an adult at the stop.
If no adult is at the stop to receive a kindergarten student:
- DPS students are taken to the Transportation Center, 4290 N. James H. McGee Blvd.
- Non-DPS students are returned to the child’s school of attendance
23. How are bus stops determined?
Bus stops are determined by the Transportation Department, which considers the number of students living in the area.
24. How can I become a DPS school bus driver?
To be considered for a bus driving position, complete an online job application through the Dayton Area School Employment Consortium. Depending on staffing levels, Dayton Public Schools will conduct driving hiring and training on an as-needed basis.
Dayton Public Schools provides a high-quality education in a safe environment that prepares our students for success in school, work and life by providing a highly effective trained staff working each day with community resources.