Every day, Milford School District transports 7,000 students daily to and from school, completing 200+ routes daily covering over 5,000 miles. The mission of the Transportation Department is to provide safe transportation to Milford’s students and support the educational functions and school activities of the Milford School District. All drivers go through hours of training every year to keep our kids safe. Parents can also do their part in helping transportation run smoothly as children return back to school next week.
“For 11th and 12th graders planning to drive to school, a Google form will be sent out via the 11th and 12th grade Schoology pages for students to fill out,” Patricia Gerken, Public Information Officer said. “After the first day of school, student drivers who filled out the form will be called down to the Main Office where they will be asked to provide their license, vehicle registration and proof of car insurance. Copies of these items will be made for our records and the student will be issued a numbered parking pass. Seniors are given priority and parking passes are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no parking fee collected this year. Students will have until Friday, September 16th to obtain their MHS student parking permits.”
Jon LoBiondo, Transportation Supervisor, explained that the district was using a new transportation system.
“Please note that we have implemented a new routing system and the Transportation Department is making every effort to ensure the accuracy of the routes,” LoBiondo said. “Please be at your stop 15 minutes early for the first two weeks. If you have any issues, you can call 302-424-8820 or email [email protected]. Children need to be at the stop and visible to the driver, regardless of the weather. As the year progresses the timing becomes more accurate.”
Changes to pick up or drop off locations should be made immediately, although at this late date parents may need to make alternative arrangements on the first few days of school as contractors and drivers may have already set up the route for the upcoming school year. The district tries to provide them with student information in mid-August so they have the necessary time to prepare for the routes and safe transportation for all students. Bus route information can be found at https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/our-district/departments/transportation/bus-routes.
Bus changes must be made in person at the Milford School District Administrative Office at 906 Lakeview Avenue. A printable form is available at https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/our-district/departments/transportation/transportation-changes and proper identification is required of anyone making a change to a child’s transportation information. The form can be mailed but proper identification must be attached as well. Changes made to a student’s pickup or drop off point take approximately three full business days to complete. If you must change your child’s pickup or drop off point, please allow adequate time for the change to be implemented. If it is an event that occurs suddenly, please make arrangements to take your student to and from school until transportation changes have been confirmed.
“We ask that families please be patient with pick-up and drop-off times during the first week of school as times may vary some as traffic patterns and students becoming more familiar with their route are sorted out,” Gerken said. “If your student misses the bus, please contact your child’s school. If they miss the bus more than two days, please contact the Transportation Office, providing the spelling of your child’s name, the school where they are enrolled, assigned bus number and any other details.”
Transportation is provided for students in grades 1 to 6 who live one mile or more from their school. Students in grades 7 to 12 who live two miles or more from their school are also eligible to ride the bus. Distance is measured between the home and the school along the most direct route on a public road or walkway. In some areas of Milford, streets are marked as no-cross and no-walk which means there are some students who receive public transportation to and from school within the one and two mile boundary as they are not permitted to cross or walk along streets deemed by the State of Delaware to be dangerous due to traffic or other factors.
In addition, Delaware Department of Education governs the distance that a student receiving transportation benefits may be required to walk to the bus stop. According to state regulations, a child can be required to walk up to one-half mile to a bus stop, even on rural roads. The regulation considers a route where a bus leaves the main route to travel less than a half mile as a “spur route” which are not permitted under state regulations. State regulations also state that a child can have one bus stop in the morning and one in the afternoon. Although the morning stop may be different than the afternoon stop, they must be the same each day.
Parents can find bus guidelines on the district website by visiting https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/our-district/departments/transportation/bus-guidelines. LoBiondo provided some simple rules children need to follow on the bus.
“No food or drinks on the bus. Stay seated, facing forward. Keep your feet out of the aisle and use an inside voice when talking,” LoBiondo said. “No pictures or video taken by cell phones as we have camera systems on all buses. Any audio on phones needs to be with ear buds.”
The full school bus code of conduct can be found at https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/our-district/departments/transportation/school-bus-code-of-conduct. A list of current bus contractors can be found at https://www.milfordschooldistrict.org/our-district/departments/transportation/contractor-bus-list.
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