Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario

October 19, 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I find out about busing arrangements for my children?

At any time, you may go to PARENT LOGIN (formally called TRANSPORTATION BUS LOOKUP) or contact the secretary at your school. If they are unable to help you they will direct you to the appropriate STSCO personnel.

2. I am unhappy with my stop location and want it changed. I feel it may be unsafe for my child. How do I change the stop location?

We are governed by eligibility policies of your Board. These policies provide transportation eligibility distances. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get the student to and from the stop, both in the morning and the afternoon. Concerns can be registered with STSCO staff, but it is indeed a parental responsibility to get children to the stops.

3. Do all JK students receive bus stops at their door?

JK students are governed by the same eligibility policy as all other students. STSCO will try to use centralized stops which are normally placed at road intersections.

4. Does the STSCO office close at the end of June like a school?

The STSCO office is open year round. The summer months are ideal planning months as regular schools are closed. We encourage parents to contact us during the summer months rather than the very busy, first few weeks of school.

5. If I have infants at home, can I change my bus stop to my door, so I do not have to bundle up my children?

Your children's transportation is governed by the same policies as other families who do not have infants at home. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get students to and from the stop, both in the morning and the afternoon.

6. If my spouse and I are separated, is it possible for my child to ride from both my house and then my ex-spouse's house on different days?

This depends where you both live and the legal status of your separation. If both parents live within the school's attendance boundary and you have a custody agreement, which states the frequency of the living arrangements, you may be eligible for dual transportation. Each request is unique and will be evaluated individually.

7. Should I have concern with mixing elementary and secondary students on the same bus?

Combined elementary and secondary busing has been in place in many areas across your Board's jurisdiction. These arrangements work well and bus behaviour is monitored cooperatively by the bus driver and school administration. If there are any issues associated with discipline, language or seating assignments, they will be addressed by the Principals of the schools affected.

8. Why are there no seat belts on school buses?

Very few injuries happen in school buses. Instead of requiring seat belts, school buses are designed and constructed differently from passenger cars. School Buses protect passengers through "compartmentalization", a design that includes:

Studies have shown that adding seat belts to the current seating configuration of a school bus can increase the chance of head and neck injuries. For a seat belt to be effective, it must be worn correctly, snug and on the upper thighs. Because school vehicles carry passengers from the very young to high school students, if seat belts were used, they would need to be readjusted and their use monitored. A seat belt not worn correctly may cause serious injuries.

9. What is the seating capacity on a school bus?

The maximum capacity of a standard school bus is 70 passengers. However, STSCO recognizes the safety concerns and problems associated with loading buses to maximum capacity. The general guidelines used are:

Using these guidelines, typical bus maximum capacities will be:

10. What are the rules for Video Surveillance on buses?

In accordance with School Board Policy, from time to time throughout the year, it may be deemed necessary to use video surveillance on any given school bus to monitor activity and ensure provision of a safe environment for students. Only the Principal, school bus company officials and Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO) officials are permitted to view the video footage and the Principal is ultimately in charge of discipline and activity on the bus, in the same way as they oversee activity at their school. This notice is provided to you for your general information and will serve as formal notice should a system need to be placed on your child’s bus during the current school year. Any questions regarding the use of a bus video surveillance system or related School Board Policy can be directed to Joel Sloggett, Chief Administrative Officer at STSCO."

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