SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
More than a million Texas students rely on school busses to get them to and from more than 9,000 public schools each day. Public schools in the Gulf Coast area provide convenient access to education with free transportation for students.
In Klein ISD alone, the transportation department busses nearly 23,000 students to and from school daily on 240 routes. The goal of all Houston area school districts’ transportation departments is to provide safe access to education. When children arrive at school safe and on time they are better equipped to learn . School bus drivers receive annual training to maintain qualifications and stay informed on current regulations, rules, and safety practices.
What are the benefits of school transportation?
There are numerous advantages to using school bus transportation (Track School Bus Article). Besides getting kids to school safely and on-time, buses are important because:
- Buses mean less traffic on the roads and less poisonous vehicle emissions in the environment.
- Students learn time-management skills by getting to the bus stop on time.
- Children acquire responsibility skills by keeping up with their personal belongings.
- Children can make meaningful friendships on the bus outside of their classmates.
- School bus transportation increases students’ general well-being which can lead to greater academic achievement and self-confidence in social settings.
- The school bus environment can increase the sense of equity in students, and make their ride to school less stressful.
Transportation Services Eligibility
Transportation is available for students who live two or more miles from their home campus or assigned school. Students who live within two miles of their campus may have transportation provided if their neighborhood is deemed dangerous by the district. Transportation is provided for students to and from their designated bus stop, depending on their residence on record. Students are expected to ride their assigned bus and load/unload only at their assigned stop.
School districts do not provide transportation services to alternate locations like friend’s homes, businesses, or after school activities.
Student Conduct on the Bus
School buses are extensions of classrooms. Proper conduct and behavior are expected at all times while waiting for, boarding, riding, or departing the bus. School bus drivers have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for any type of bullying to maintain safe operations for student passengers.
Transportation for Special Needs
The ARD (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) Committee ensures that all students receive fair and appropriate school transportation services based on local, state, and federal guidelines. District transportation goals are to ensure safe and economical bus services. Bus routes for Houston-area special needs students are designed to be less than a 1 hour drive. Parents/caregivers are responsible for meeting the designated bus before and after school to change over custody of the special needs student. (TEA School Transportation Handbook)
Transportation for Magnet/ Choice School
Students in Houston-area academy, magnet, and/or choice schools that are located outside of their home campus are offered dependable transportation. Some students ride their designated campus bus to their magnet campus, and they are returned to the original campus. Parents/caregivers are responsible for transporting the student to and from their home campus.
Credentials for School Bus Drivers
Texas school bus drivers must follow TX DPS guidelines to be certified to transport public school students. All Texas school bus drivers are required to:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Obtain a valid Texas CDL license.
- Maintain a safe driving record.
- Complete the approved state certification course.
- Pass a yearly physical examination by a TxDOT-certified physician.
- Attend a certification refresher course every three years.
In Houston, inclement weather can quickly happen at a moment’s notice. Bus drivers receive regular training to operate in harsh weather like sleet, rain, snow, and slippery roadways. Parents can stay on top of any urgent Gulf Coast weather updates with Accuweather- School Bus Weather Houston.
Your district’s bus information can be found on your local school district’s website or you can contact them directly to inquire about your family’s specific transportation needs. Your district might also use the Transfinder app tool to help you manage your child’s bus transportation.
Public school districts place school transportation services high on their lists of priorities, as free school bus service is essential to students’ physical and mental safety. Transportation to and from school is an invaluable service in a student’s route to educational success.