Although it is still summer vacation, Milford School District Transportation Office is working diligently to create bus routes for the upcoming school year. Harold Walters, Supervisor of Transportation, says that the summer months are the busiest for his staff as they move students up to new grades and assign them to buses for the upcoming school year.
Mr. Walters says that, although the majority of students will have no change in bus transportation unless they are changing schools, parents sometimes make changes to daycare arrangements during the summer. In addition, families may move to a new address within the district, requiring a change in pickup or drop off locations. These changes can have a significant impact on bus transportation as bus loads must be balanced to prevent overloads and to keep bus rides to a minimum.
“Anyone who needs to change transportation for their child needs to visit our office to make the change,” Mr. Walters said. “They will need to provide us with photo identification and proof of residence, such as a utility bill or lease in their name. We require parents to come into the office rather than make a phone call for the protection of the student. We want to make sure it is the parent or guardian on record.” Parents can download and complete an Application for Student Transportation from the Transportation Office Website.
Mr. Walters said that the deadline to make changes to a child’s bus transportation is August 12 at 3 PM. The Transportation Office is open until 8 PM from July 21 through August 2 to accommodate any parent who cannot make it into the office during regular hours which are from 8 AM to 4 PM.
“If a parent misses the deadline on August 12, their child will not have transportation on the first day of school,” Mr. Walters said. “They will need to provide transportation for their child until August 29, four days after school begins.”
Mr. Walters said that delaying changes to a child’s pickup or drop off location leads to significant problems for his staff as well as bus drivers and contractors who must set up the bus routes for students long before the first day of school. Contractors must locate the addresses for all students on bus routes, plan the route in the most efficient manner and confirm that the routes are under a certain time. A last minute addition to a bus route can completely change the route, requiring the driver and contractor to shift other stops, changing the times students whose transportation has not changed as well.
“Last minute student changes can sometimes create last minute changes to a whole bus route,” Steve Peterman, a bus contractor for Milford, said. “It’s disheartening for a driver to go out, find the stops and set the times, only to find out that they have to start all over again because somebody waiting until the last minute to make the change.”
Bus route information is mailed to the student’s address that is on file with the district approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year. The district asks that parents have the correct information on file as soon as possible to be sure they receive the information. Parents may also view their child’s bus information online through the Transportation website by entering the student’s school identification. The entire route can be viewed by entering the bus number. The Transportation Office reminds parents that the times noted are estimates and that the bus driver should contact them with more accurate times. Mr. Walters says that bus routes are in a constant state of change as students are added and deleted or students in high school begin driving to school.
High school students who apply for and receive a parking permit to drive their own vehicle are removed from the bus route per state law. If a student needs busing with a parking permit on an occasional basis, parents may contact the high school to see if a temporary bus pass is available.
The Transportation Office is located at 315 Kent Place in Milford. Parent with questions can contact the office at 302-424-6476.
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