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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How far must children live from school before the school district is required to transport them?
A. By statute school districts are required to transport students living more than 2 miles from school. In Rochester, students in grades K-5 living more than 1.25 miles, grades 6-8 living more than 1.5 miles and 9-12 living more than 2 miles are provided transportation.


Q. Must a school district transport children who live less than 2 miles from school if there is a hazard between the home and the school?
A. No. A school district may transport children who would encounter an extraordinary traffic, drug, or crime hazard if they walked, but the school district is not required to provide transportation. In Rochester, the district provides adult crossing guards at 39 locations and does bus for a very limited amount of hazardous conditions, due to extraordinary traffic hazards.


Q. Who determines what conditions are extraordinary traffic, drug or crime hazards?
A. The school district would determine what conditions would be considered hazardous. In Rochester, the district consults with the city traffic engineer to get advice on this subject.


Q. How does the district measure the distance between a child’s home and the school?
A. The non-busing boundaries are computer generated using a positional accurate map from the Olmsted County GIS division. The distance is generated from property entrance to property entrance using the shortest path taking into account walk paths etc.


Q. How far can a school district require a child to walk to a bus stop?
A. There is nothing in law or rule about the distance between the child’s home and the bus stop. This is true for all grade levels. In Rochester, student’s living in cul-de-sac up to ½ mile are expected to walk out to the intersection. The only exception would be for a special education student. It is not uncommon for students to have to walk up to 3 blocks to a bus stop. Visibility of a bus stop from the child’s home is not a deciding factor for bus stops. Most bus stops are at intersections.


Q. Is there a law or rule that limits the amount of time a child can spend on the school bus?
A. There is nothing in state law or rule that set a maximum amount of time a child can spend on the school bus. Local school districts may adopt a maximum time in their school board’s transportation policy. In Rochester, our goal is to keep rides as close to one hour as possible, but students in outlying areas do have rides longer than one hour.


Q. Can my child lose his/her bus riding privileges?
A. Yes. In Minnesota, riding a school bus is a privilege and not a right. Each local school district has adopted rules of conduct for waiting at the bus stop and for riding the school bus. If your child does not follow the rules, your child could lose his/her bus riding privileges for the entire school year. Please note that when school bus routing is mailed, there is an enclosed sheet that discusses the discipline policy in more detail.


Q. Will my child receive school bus safety training at school?
A. Yes. Children in grades K-10 must receive school bus safety training during the first few weeks of school. It is recommended that parents review the school bus safety rules with younger children throughout the school year.


Q. Are there any laws and rules that limit the passenger seating on a school bus?
A. Yes. The number of children on the school bus cannot be more than the number of passengers that can be fully seated. The seating capacity must be adjusted according to each passenger’s physical size but cannot be more than the manufacturer’s rated seating capacity for the bus. No child is allowed to stand while the bus is in motion.


Q. There is more than one nonpublic schools located within the district with the same religious affiliation and grade levels. Can the public school district designate which nonpublic school my child must attend?
A. Yes. If a public school district establishes attendance areas for the public schools within its district, then it has the right to establish attendance areas for the nonpublic schools within its district. Your child must live an eligible distance from the assigned nonpublic school in order to receive transportation from the school district. In Rochester, the district allows the Catholic Schools to set their own attendance boundaries.


Q. There is no nonpublic school of the proper religious affiliation and grade level within the district where we live so we are sending our children to a nonpublic school located in the neighboring district. Is the district where we live and the district where the nonpublic school is located required to provide any transportation?
A. The district in which you live is responsible for the part of the trip that is within its boundaries. Districts can fulfill this responsibility by either providing transportation services or by providing reimbursement. The district where the nonpublic school is located is not required to provide transportation services to nonresident students attending nonpublic schools within its boundaries.


Q. I am open enrolling my child into your district. What are the responsibilities of the enrolling district regarding transportation?
A. The enrolling district has the obligation to transport from the district line. In Rochester, a safe location as close to the district line as possible is designated for the bus stop.


Q. I want my child to be transported based on a daycare. Does the district have to provide transportation?
A. The district will provide transportation to and from a daycare as long as the daycare address meets the same requirements as your home address. The daycare must be in the attendance area of the school attending and meet the distance requirements. Also transportation to and from daycare must be consistent meaning that the pick up and drop off point must be the same every day.


Q. I would like my child to ride the bus home with a friend. How can I arrange this?
A. Students are to ride their assigned bus only due to space issues and student tracking. If you are called out of town on an emergency a temporary care form can be filled out. This will be honored if there is a bus in the area and there is room on the bus. There is a form on our website for this situation. Signed notes from parents are not acceptable.


Q. My child doesn’t qualify for busing. Can I pay for transportation?
A. Yes. There is an opportunity for families that don’t qualify for busing based on distance to pay for transportation. There is information regarding private pay busing on the transportation website.

 
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