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Frequently Asked Questions

For the Transportation Department

What hours is the Transportation Department open?

Transportation Department is open from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on school days.

Can the driver stop at my house to pick up or drop off my child?

Only certain students, whose needs are addressed through an IEP plan, are eligible for "curbside service."  "Curbside" service is normally restricted to situations where a less restrictive environment is not possible or where medical issues require this type of service.  For other students, service is provided in accordance with district guidelines.

Who should I report my address or telephone number changes to?

The school office should be contacted as soon as possible with all address and telephone number information changes.  The registrar will put the information into the system allowing visibility to the Transportation Department.

How will I be notified of a change to my child's stop time, stop location or bus number?

If the change in time is less than five minutes, the driver will notify the students of the change.

I got home late (in P.M.) and I cannot find my child.  The school is closed and no one answers the phone at the school.  What do I do?

Calling the Transportation Department is usually the best option under these circumstances.  The transportation staff can assist you in locating your child.  If they are closed, call the Palacios ISD Police Department at 361-920-8871.

I have a question regarding a bus stop location or pick up/drop time.  Who should I call?

Please contact the Transportation Department.  The staff is trained to answer most of the service questions.  If the person does not know the answer, they will know who to contact and have your call returned with the answer.

My child's bus is overcrowded.  Can some children be placed on another bus?

School bus sizes are stated in terms of passenger capacity.  It is assumed that elementary school-aged children will ride three (3) per seat.  Every attempt will be made to limit middle and high school student to ride two (2) per seat.  Even if the bus has three elementary students or two middle or high school students in each seat, it will seem crowded but it will not be over capacity.  It is our goal to fully utilize all the space on all of the buses in our fleet.

I cannot see my child's bus stop from my house.  How can I get the bus stop moved closer?

The bus stops are located at centralized locations that can be safely accessed by a significant number of students to minimize the time and mileage of a run.  If you have a concern about your child's safety you are encouraged to accompany your child to the bus stop.  As a safety consideration it is safer to have several students wait at a stop versus an individual.

Why are the school bus seats spaced so close together?

  • The purpose of spacing school bus seats so close is to contain the child in a cushioned compartment with only a minimum amount of space between energy-absorbing surfaces.
  • In the 1970's the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Safety Administration determined that the safest and best arrangement for school bus seating would be a "compartmentalization" concept.  Under this concept, seat backs are made higher, wider and thicker than before.  All metal surfaces are covered with foam padding.  They must also have a steel inner structure that springs and bends forward to help absorb energy when a child is thrown against it.  The seat is required to be anchored to the floor so strongly that it will not pull loose during this bending action.  The floor must be so strongly that it will not be bent or torn by the pulling act ion of the seat anchors.
  • Finally, if the seats are too far apart, the child could be thrown too far before being cushioned and/or could be thrown outside of the bus compartment altogether.  The rule today states that the seat back be no further than 24" away from a defined point.

Why don't they require seat belts on the school buses?

  • Seat belts are not required by law in school buses.  Research has determined that compartmentalization is a better solution, as listed under question #11.  Some arguments favoring compartmentalization over seat belts are as follows:
  • Compartmentalization is easier to manage.  The protection of the seats exists without having to depend on any actions by the driver or the students.  Seat belts require supervision and discipline to keep them clean and in use.
  • Compartmentalization works well for one, two or three students per seat.  To arrange seat belts to properly handle any combination is difficult; the best solution with seat belts is to restrict each seat to two students and two belts; which would reduce the capacity of the bus.
  • Conventional seat belts which are lap restraints are not suitable for small children whose abdominal area and bone structure are not developed to take the force of a lap belt alone.
  • Compartmentalization, once it has done its job, leaves students free to evacuate the bus.  Seat belts could leave students strapped in, upside down, or unconscious in burning or flooding buses.

My child left a jacket (books, instrument, etc.) on the bus.  How can he get it back?

The driver's must check their bus after each run.  Items left on the bus by students will be held by the driver and may be claimed by the child.  Fragile, expensive items are taken off the bus in the evening for their protection, but the driver will bring them back on the bus the next morning to be claimed.   If an item does not get claimed, the driver will turn it into the school's lost and found or the transportation department if they are not sure which school the item belongs to.

Can my child ride another bus or have a friend ride their bus home with them?

Only under extreme last minute emergencies.  It is impossible to efficiently utilize our buses when taking into account each and every child's outside school activity needs.  Transportation is a privilege provided for each child from home to school and school to home or daycare.  If you will be out of town and know in advance or if your child needs to go to another child's home after school for any reason, parents should work out transportation issues together ahead of time.  A parent will be required to pickup these students.  If permission is granted for your child to ride another bus and all of the students assigned to that bus ride and there is no room left for extra passengers, only those students assigned to that bus will be given transportation service.  Even with permission for your child to ride another bus, you still may receive a call from the school requesting a parent to come and pickup a child due to the lack of seat availability.  Permission will be granted only to the parent requesting a change in their child's transportation service.  We cannot grant permission to the receiving parent for a change in another child's transportation service.  Students must have a signed permission form from the principal

Who do I contact for permission for my child to ride another bus home?

You need to contact the school so that the school knows that they need to put your child onto another bus and can give your child a pass so that the driver knows where to drop your child.  This will ensure that the driver gets last minute emergency changes and that the child gets taken to the correct stop.  However, please note #14 above.

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