1. 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 the bus routes must be doubled out or run as a second load to or from the school due to the regular driver being absent.
Drivers check buses before their routes and sometimes find mechanical problems that can cause delays and require driving another bus for that day. This can cause the bus to be unpunctual.
Please know that we are doing everything humanly possible to have all buses running on schedule everyday. In the even that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, please allow ten to thirty minutes before calling the Transportation office or the school.
2. Why did you suspend my child from riding the bus?
Behavioral expectations on the school bus are much like those in the classroom. Then, factor 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. When there is an infraction, a referral is turned into the 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. All buses have video cameras, which are used to verify incidents. Our goal is never to deny any student transportation to and from school, but we must maintain safety for all students.
3. Why does my child have a seat assignment?
Seat assignments are a positive way for the ride to be consistent and safe. It is also our policy for elementary and middle school students to be assigned to a specific seat. This aids the driver with discipline and learning each student’s name at the beginning of the school year. We trust our drivers to let us know when this policy is no longer effective.
4. Why can't my child get off wherever they want in the afternoon?
To avoid multiple problems, the driver requires a note, signed by the parent and school administrator to alter the destination of students. This allows the drivers to focus on driving and safety instead of having to decide whether the student should be allowed to change their routine and get off with a friend or ride to an entirely different neighborhood. This should be the decision of the parent. The driver has no other way to verify that the parent has made this decision. This policy avoids confusion and the chance of students getting lost or running away.
5. How do you decide when it is too dangerous for school buses to transport students to school due to inclement weather? Who decides? How is the public notified?
Schools within the Valdosta City School System will not remain open if the safety of the students cannot be guaranteed. When an unscheduled early dismissal or emergency closing is necessary, announcements will be made via a school communication system and via the following media:
www.valdostadailytimes.com WTHV AM 810 WAAC FM 92.9 WAFT FM 101.1 WGOV AM 950 WHLJ Foxy 97.5 WQPW Mix 96 WVLD AM 1450 WGVA FM 105.9 WSTI FM 105.3 WXHT FM 102.7 WKAA FM 99.5 WWRQ FM 107.9 WLYX FM 96.7 TALK 92.1 FM WALB - TV 10 WCTV - TV 6 WXTL - TV 27
The school communication system will be utilized as soon as a decision has been made when schools must close for emergencies OR for early dismissals. If conditions do not permit a decision to be made the evening before a possible closing, media announcements will begin at 5 A.M. the morning of the closing. Prior arrangements should be made by parents for someone to be at home when schools must close or when young children are dismissed early for any reason.
6. Why are there only 30 students riding some buses and my child's bus is crowded?
Decisions regarding each bus route are made by careful planning based on information from the school registration, previous similar routes, and Department of Transportation data. Most routes are fixed during the summer months and changes are made after the first two weeks of school, if not sooner. The more current information we are given, the better decisions regarding specific routes we can make. Distance from school, number of buses and drivers, and grouping of students and neighborhoods are factors considered also. Sometimes it is just not possible to have the exact number of students on every run. State and National guidelines allow for up to 20% over capacity seating. Our guidelines are as follows:
|Our Passenger Seating Guidelines|
|Bus Capacity||Grades K-5||Grades 6-8||Grades 9-12|
Severe Clause means that when a discipline infraction occurs under the policy, the student is subject to immediate referral to the principal with NO exceptions. Specific severe clause infractions, which include drug, weapons, alcohol, tobacco, and bullying are listed in the Student Code of Conduct Booklet.
We are always looking for good candidates to train to become school bus drivers. Applications are available at:
The Transportation Department
1710 Eastwind Road
A committee of people already involved in a student’s education determines transportation needs. After it has been determined that the student would benefit from being transported apart from the mainstreamed students, the teacher will complete and send a special needs transportation request to our office for processing.
Our goal, for students within the Valdosta City Schools district, is no more than one hour.
SAFETY is our main goal and concern. Changes may be granted for consistent schedules within the child’s regular route.
Yes. Our Dispatcher is available from 6 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. and 12:30 P.M. to 5 P.M. by phone at 229-245-5640.
School buses come in various sizes ranging from 25 to 36 feet long, 20,000-26,000 pounds, 12-13 feet high and 6-9 feet wide. The length is what limits the school bus to be maneuvered in cul-de-sacs and tight places. Smaller buses can turn in a shorter radius, while longer buses cannot maneuver the same circle without backing the bus, which is avoided in routing if possible. Residents sometimes park trucks, boats, and trailers on the streets. Children leave their bicycles, skateboards, and basketball backboards on the streets. Although our drivers are trained to be able to parallel park their buses, some sub-divisions are not designed with school bus transportation in mind. Please know that we will design school bus routes to be safe and convenient to the majority of students within the limits of time and physics.