FAQ

FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my child have an assigned seat?
Seat assignments are a positive way for the ride to be consistent and safe. This will also assist the driver regarding discipline and damage done on the bus.

Does Transportation call when a bus is running late?
No, unless there are extenuating circumstances. There are as many as 70 students on a bus. That would require at least 70 phone calls in a short timeframe to parents who are possibly at the bus stop waiting. You may choose to call the Student Transportation Call Center at 860-443-0317 after 15 minutes beyond the scheduled stop time.

Who is responsible for my child on the way to and from the bus stop?
The parent/guardian is responsible for the safety and conduct of their child/children on the way to and from, or while waiting at the bus stop.

What should I do if my child does not get off the bus at home in the afternoon?
If your child does not arrive home in the afternoon, the first step should be to contact the school to see if the child is still there. If the student is not at the school, call Transportation at 860-439-7878. Calls after normal business hours should be directed to Student Transportation Call Center at 860-443-0317.

What kind of transportation is available for special needs students?
A special needs student's right to be eligible for special transportation is based upon two federal statutes enacted by Congress. Services are based on an individual need to children from the age of 3 through 21. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) established by a multi-disciplinary team qualifies a student for special education services which may include the need for transportation.

What kind of training does my child's driver receive?
Each driver receives 48 hours of behind the wheel training and 40 hours of classroom training. All drivers receive the same all-inclusive training in anticipation of having to drive any type of bus and manage various students with differing behaviors and/or limitations. Each driver is also required to complete 10 hours of annual in-service training prior to the start of each school year.

Why can't the bus come down my street?
Buses generally come in various lengths, widths, heights and weights. The length and turn radius are what limits a school bus's ability to maneuver in cul-de-sacs and tight places. Most subdivisions are not designed with school bus transportation in mind. The placement of general education bus stops within communities can present safety risks, private property damage and traffic issues.

How are bus stop locations determined? 

Bus stops are placed in centralized locations. Stop locations must be clear of any hazards, allow space for students to stand single file as they await the bus and be visible to the approaching school bus driver and other drivers. When you receive your child’s bus stop information by written notice or phone, two intersecting streets and corner are often indicated. Instruct your child to stand on the street listed first on the stop description.

How many students can ride a single bus?
This answer varies depending on the size of the bus. Typically, a large bus will carry up to 50 high school students, 60 middle school students and up to 70 elementary students.

Why does my child have to be at the bus stop ten minutes before the pickup time?
There are many factors that may affect the time a driver arrives at a given stop. Daily traffic patterns and student loads are unpredictable and may cause a driver's time to vary. These situations, plus differences in clock times have proven over the years that arriving 10 minutes early gives a student an adequate window of time to ensure they catch the bus.

How is the  walk zone calculated?

Per the School District Regulation 3541, Walking Distance and Safety Conditions are as follows:
A "walking distance" from a school is measured  by means the linear measure of a prescribed pedestrian route between the student’s residence to a point at the entrance of the school, or the bus pick-up area, or a safe entrance to the school grounds located within one hundred feet of the school building entrance; or the route from the point on the public thoroughfare nearest the residence to the school bus, or vehicle, embarkation point established by the administration. 

What are the bus rules, and where can I find them?
The rules are outlined on this website. Click on "Bus Safety/Rules & Regs".

What time can I plan on to meet my student's bus returning from school?
Unlike the scheduled pick-up times, drop-off times can vary greatly. The PM drop off time provided by written notice or phone is only an approximate and can varying up to 15 minutes based on traffic and other delays. Buses usually depart school sites 7 minutes after the scheduled release bell time.  Some buses are scheduled to pick up at more than one school for sister schools, magnets and schools in close proximity to each other. Once the driver has loaded all students, they will begin traveling the assigned route which likely includes stopping at several stops.  Some variation in stop times can be expected due to varying traffic patterns through the work week.  Most buses will fall into a pattern after a few weeks so parents/guardians can ensure they are at the stop on time.  When school release times are altered (for certain test schedules, parent-teacher conference days, extra staff development days, etc.), the schools and/or the driver will let the students know. Parents/Guardians can determine the potential arrival time based on the school’s release time. For example, if the school will release one hour earlier than usual, the bus will likely arrive at the bus stop one hour early.

When will I receive my child’s bus stop assignment information?

Student bus schedule information will be distributed to the schools during the second week of August. Schools will send that information directly to the parents with other opening of school information. 

My child does not have a bus stop; how do I get one and how long will it take?

Determine if the child is enrolled in school and the enrollment date.  The child must be entered in PowerSchool at the school level or student assignment.  Transportation receives downloads from PowerSchool through the data warehouse nightly.  IF a child is determined eligible for transportation and requires a bus stop, the transportation routing technician will be notified in a report each morning.  The number of changes and work to be processed will impact the turnaround time for a child to receive a new bus stop or change to an existing stop. The transportation department’s goal is to have all bus stops assigned within 3 business days from the date of receipt. The new or changed bus schedule for a child will be available from the Transportation Specialist. This will be official notification with details of the bus stop, time and bus number, as well as, the effective date for the service to begin.    

We have moved and I need to change my child’s address, how do I do this?

The parent/guardian needs to contact the school and provide proof of residence address.  The new address needs to be entered into PowerSchool.  Transportation eligibility will be determined and a bus stop will be scheduled accordingly.  If the address is not correct or is not updated, Transportation cannot be held responsible for the location a child is picked up or dropped off.

If the school assignment on my child’s bus schedule is not correct, who do I call? 

Contact Julian Wilson in the Welcome Center Office at 860-439-7878 to verify the school assignment.

My child’s bus has not shown up and/or is consistently late; who can I call? 

The parent should contact the Transportation Office they are responsible for New London Public Schools to discuss your concern and find a resolution.   Please be patient at the beginning of school due to the number of changes in schedules and also the number of calls being handled in the transportation office and area offices.  The goal is to serve all customers in a timely fashion and with accuracy

Are parents and/or authorized persons  required to accompany a Pre-K and K student at a bus stop ?

Parents and/or an authorized person are required to accompany a Pre-K and K aged student at the bus stop.  A bus driver may not release a Pre-K or K aged child from the bus unless this person(s) is present at the bus stop.   All other students, aged 1-12, may wait for the bus and be discharged from the bus without the presence of an adult and/or authorized responsible party. 

The bus didn’t show up on time for my child. How long should he or she wait at the stop?

Your child should arrive at the stop at least ten minutes before the regular arrival time of the bus. If there is a substitute driver, the times may not be absolutely consistent with the regular times. If the bus is late ask your child to remain at the stop. Buses break down, roads are blocked, drivers become ill or have emergencies, but there will always be a bus at every stop. If the wait becomes extreme, please call your area transportation office.

My child left a coat (glasses, instrument, retainer, books) on the bus. How does the student  get it back?

Drivers check their buses after every run. Items left by students are held by the driver for several days and may be claimed on the bus by the child.  Unclaimed and unlabeled items are donated to charity. You can help by labeling all of your child’s school belongings with the child’s name and school.

Why are buses sometimes late?

School bus drivers can have the same reasons as motorists for being late. Traffic delays, weather conditions, accidents or driver’s illness are just a few reasons. School buses also have mechanical breakdowns or “no starts” that cause delays in picking students up on time. In cases where the regularly assigned bus or driver is unable to pick up students, a separate bus and driver are dispatched to pick up the students as quickly as possible. Please contact the transportation area office that serves you child's school.

Why do schools have different bell schedules?

In order to maximize the use of our school bus fleet and to provide a more efficient operation with as few buses as possible, schools are put into distinctly different time schedules. That enables one bus to serve two to four different schools within 2 ½ hours in the morning and afternoon. 

What should I do if my child is late to the bus stop, even though we can see the bus and can make it there before the bus pulls off?

It is important to be on time at the bus stop. Students and parents should never run after a bus, bang on the side of a bus or cut in front of a bus. These are extremely dangerous actions that could lead to injuries and, in other localities, have resulted in deaths. It is better to miss the bus than risk injury. Although bus drivers are trained to look in all directions for people and for cars, there are blind spots and danger zones.

From my front door or window, I can’t see my child’s bus stop.

Parents are encouraged to accompany young children to the bus stop. Bus stops are placed so that no elementary child has to walk more than approximately 0.5 of a mile and no middle no more than approximately 1 mile  or high school student has to walk more than approximately 1.5 of a mile.

My child has to cross the street to get to the bus stop. This is a safety issue.

Parents are responsible for the safety of their children to and from bus stops and are particularly encouraged to accompany young children.
Bus routes may be designed where students have to cross a roadway to get to or from the bus. School bus drivers are trained and school buses are equipped with traffic warning devices to enhance a safe crossing.
Safety is a team effort and a responsibility shared by the parent, student, bus driver and motorist. 

What items can my child bring onto the bus?

If students cannot hold their belongings in their laps or fit them under the seat, then the belongings should be left at home or taken to school by another means. Items cannot take up a seat, be placed in the aisle or be put in front of any emergency exit.

Why aren’t school buses equipped with seat belts?

The issue of seat belts on buses has been debated for more than 30 years. Please go to www.nhtsa.gov and enter “school bus” in the “search NHTSA” block to learn more.

The bus goes right past my house. Can you add an additional stop by my driveway if I have special circumstances?

 A higher frequency of stops can make automobile drivers impatient, resulting in cars driving around the bus and creating greater safety problems than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also makes overall student ride time longer to have more bus stops.
We provide transportation for over 4,500 students per day. In order to be consistent and fair in the placement of stops, we cannot establish bus stop locations based on personal circumstances such as having small children or a daycare in your home, or not being able to see the bus stop from your house, or because your child has a heavy musical instrument. It is your responsibility to get your student(s) safely to the assigned bus stop.

Please note:

  • School bus drivers do not have the authority to make changes to the route or stop locations.
  • Generally, 15-20 students are assigned to one bus stop. This number may be higher in cul-de-sacs, high density housing areas, and secondary school routes.
  • Bus stops are placed at locations that meet defined criteria, including being centrally located and within a reasonable walking distance of the student’s homes.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2017 West Corporation. All rights reserved.