Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find out what my child’s neighborhood school is (zoned school)?
A student's street address determines the schools that he or she will attend, unless the student has exercised choice. Every residential address has a school attendance zone and feeder pattern, which assigns students to an Elementary school, Middle school and High school. An application called My School Location is located on the District home page to determine the student’s zoned school. The link is provided in the list at the left. Questions should be directed to the School Choice office at (904) 390-2144.
What time will my student be dropped off on early release days?
All bus routes will run approximately 105 minutes earlier than on full days.
The pick-up time on the website says one time but the bus arrives at different times. Why?
We are unable to estimate the exact time the bus will arrive at each bus stop, therefore we ask that students are at the bus stop 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time. If an adjustment to the schedule needs to be made, the bus company will contact our office. We will contact the school and send a letter home with each student explaining the new pick-up/drop-off times and start date. The pick-up and drop-off times can vary depending on the passenger load, traffic conditions and weather.
How is a bus stop location determined?
District policy requires that, when practical, we place bus stops no more than 1 mile from the residence of a student. Bus stops are located as a function of safety, neighborhood logistics, district policy, and transportation requirements. We try to locate bus stops so as to serve the entire needs of a neighborhood for years to come. They cannot be located as a function of personal convenience or schedule. Bus stops are established as necessary at the most reasonably safe locations available at least ¼ of a mile apart, except when student's safety and welfare may be involved. Bus operators do not have the authority to create or delete bus stops.
Who can authorize a bus stop location change?
As bus stops are placed as a function of safety and regulation, only district transportation staff can make changes to stop locations. Bus operators are not authorized to add or change bus stops.
Why are there no bus routes listed for my child’s school?
Some schools have no neighborhood buses because the boundary for that school is within 1.5 miles of the school, and this is considered a non-transportation zone. No bus routes will be listed for these schools.
The bus passes right by my house. Why can’t it just stop and pick up my child at home?
We transport approximately 47,000 students every day, so it is impossible to provide door-to-door service to everyone, and do so in a timely manner. It is more efficient to pick up several students in one stop, usually at a corner or other mid-way point for the students.
Why is my child’s bus stop so far away?
Per Board policy Ch. 8.30.V, any student who resides more than 1.5 miles from his/her assigned school is eligible to ride the school bus to and from that school. One (1) mile is considered a reasonable walking distance to a bus stop for students who are to ride a school bus. Such distance is measured by the most direct route from the closest pedestrian entry point of the property where the student resides (where private property meets the public right-of-way) to the closest pedestrian entry point of the assigned school building or to the assigned bus stop. The District will determine the shortest pedestrian route whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicle traffic. If the closest bus stop is a school less than 1.5 miles from the student residence, the 1 mile rule to a bus stop will not apply. Students who are assigned to Magnet schools and/or programs through the Magnet/School Choice office or other programs such as Alternative schools, are not subject to the 1 mile to a bus stop rule. Bus stops can be more than 1 mile away. Bus stops are established as necessary at the most reasonably safe locations available at least 1/4 of a mile apart, except when student’s safety and welfare may be involved.
There are no sidewalks from our home to the bus stop. Why don’t we have a closer stop?
The surface does not have to be a sidewalk, but simply a surface upon which the students may walk. Walks to bus stops can be evaluated for safety by Transportation staff if requested. Parents/guardians should ensure the safe travel/transport of students to and from the bus stop and supervision while at the stop.
My child missed the bus. Can I follow the bus in my car and allow my child to board the bus at another stop?
For safety reasons, if your child misses the bus, do not attempt to chase, pass, or block the bus along its route. Any action taken to impede or delay the progress of a school bus is unlawful. If possible, take a different route to a stop ahead of the bus and let your child board there. When in your car, directly behind a school bus, it is very dangerous for a child to attempt to run from the car along the side of the bus to board. Nationwide, fatalities have occurred where students have fallen in front of the rear wheels of a departing bus after they jumped out of a parent’s car to run up and board the bus.
Someone told me the bus was late because the run was being “covered”. What does this mean?
When the regular bus operator is absent a substitute operator will be assigned to the route.
I am disabled and unable to accompany my child to the bus stop each morning. Can the bus stop at my home?
Bus routes and bus stops are created for students. It is not possible to accommodate all special situations. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure the safe travel/transport of students to and from the bus stop and supervison while at the stop.
How do I find out about transportation for my special needs student?
Transportation for students in low incidence programs with specific Individual Education Plan requirements is arranged by the special needs section of the Transportation Department. They can be contacted at (904) 858-6200, option 2.
Why are there bus monitors on some buses?
Bus monitors are there to assist with students who have documented special needs or as required by the Transportation Department.
Why did the bus operator ask for my child’s name and student ID number?
FEFP (Florida Education Financial Program) is the primary mechanism for funding the operating costs of Florida school districts. FEFP requires that we maintain records of student ridership. Additionally, this gives the operators and schools a roster of the bus riders.
The bus is running late. Why didn’t I receive a phone call informing me?
At this time, we do not have the technology available to provide notification of late buses to parents/guardians. Staff is on hand to assist with bus information Monday – Friday, 6:00 am to 6:30 pm, and 6:00 am to 4:30 pm on early release days, at (904) 858-6200. Schools are notified when buses run late and should also be able to provide a status.
Will my child be counted tardy if the bus runs late in the morning?
What happens if a school bus is involved in an accident?
If your student’s bus is involved in an accident, the operator will immediately radio their dispatcher with vital information. The dispatcher will notify the appropriate emergency personnel to respond. The school the bus was servicing at the time of the accident will be notified and an appropriate school representative may be asked to go to the scene of the accident, depending on how serious the situation may be. If your child needs to be transported anywhere, for any reason, by emergency medical technicians at the scene, you will be notified. If your student is not injured, you will not be notified and your child will be transported to school or home, as appropriate, as soon as a release is given by local law enforcement. Your student will not be counted tardy or absent. Students are allowed to contact their parents/guardians via their cell phone in emergency situations. If they do not have a cell phone, dispatch will call for them.
Things are happening on the bus that the operator doesn’t do anything about—why?
The operator’s first and foremost responsibility is to drive the bus. Although the operator is required to maintain order and discipline and ensure that students observe all bus safety rules they cannot see everything that is happening on the bus at all times. There is a referral process for drivers to report to the school students who are not observing safety rules. They can refer students if they observe an infraction or if it has been reported to them by a student(s). If something is happening on the bus that concerns you and your child, please contact the principal of your school or call our office so we can assist.
My child is being bullied on the bus. What should I do?
All concerns should be immediately reported to the administration of your child’s school.
Who is responsible for resolving discipline problems that occur on the bus?
Bus operators attempt to correct inappropriate behavior, but often it requires the intervention of a school administrator. The principal of each school is responsible for the administration of school bus discipline.
I would like to talk to my child’s bus operator about a problem on the bus. How do I go about this? Couldn’t I just meet the operator at the bus stop location?
Parents are not allowed on a school bus unless specifically authorized. Parents who decide to board a bus, ignoring the warning of the bus operator, are subject to arrest and prosecution under the law. To talk with an operator, please contact the school your child attends and request a conference with the operator. Please provide the bus number and/or operator name, if possible. The school will coordinate with the Transportation Department and set up a conference.
Where can I get a copy of the bus rules?
A copy of the bus rules is posted on each school bus. Additionally, copies of the bus rules are listed in the Student Code of Conduct as well as on the Bus Safety Information tab of the Transportation home page.
Can the school bus operator suspend my child from riding the bus?
No. A school bus operator does not have disciplinary authority or choice of disciplinary action. An operator can only refer student actions (via a bus referral) to the school for due process. The Duval County School Board has an approved Code of Student Conduct which outlines and guides school-based administrators as to the disciplinary action that is appropriate for each situation and grade level.
Can a bus operator or transportation official change a bus disciplinary ruling?
No. Discipline rulings are exclusively conducted and decided at the school level.
If my child goes on a field trip do the same rules of bus discipline apply?
Yes. The school bus is considered an extension of the classroom. Therefore, all of the rules apply all of the time.
My child was running towards the bus and the operator looked at him/her then drove off. Why?
While it might look as though the operator “looked at the child and drove off” it is generally not the case. Operators must check all the mirrors on the bus before moving. By looking at the mirrors it may seem as though the operator looked at the child, but sometimes the child may not be in their line of sight. The best way to make sure your child does not miss the bus is to be at the stop about 10 minutes before the scheduled stop time.
If my child is suspended from either their morning or afternoon bus, are they suspended from riding all buses both morning and afternoon?
Yes. Suspension or revocation of school bus privileges applies to all vehicles in the Duval County Public School Transportation System for all home to-and-from school trips. A student who boards or attempts to board a school bus other than the one to which the student is assigned or who or departs a school bus at a location other than assigned pick-up or drop-off stop without prior school administration permission is considered to be trespassing.
If my child is suspended from their home to-and-from school bus are they suspended from riding a field trip bus?
No. Suspension or revocation of school bus privileges applies to all vehicles in the Duval County Public School Transportation System for home to-and-from school trips. However, this does not apply to transportation authorized by school administration for field trips.
Can my child bring their skateboard, band instrument, or sports equipment on the bus?
Oversized objects, including, but not limited to, large band instruments or cases, school projects or athletic equipment which cannot be held in the seat, are prohibited, unless prior approval is obtained from the bus operator and the school administration.
What if I have chosen that my kindergarten student must be met at the bus stop by an adult and they can’t get to the bus stop on time?
The bus operator will continue on the route and have the dispatcher notify the school that they are returning the child to the school. Please know that bus operators are not generally authorized to return students to school if an adult is not present. Procedures may require operators to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or Department of Children and Families. While these actions may appear extreme, they serve as guidelines that consistently promote the safety and security of students.
What are the transportation arrangements if my child attends an Alternative school (Grand Park or Mattie V. Rutherford)?
Bus stops are located at public locations, at or near schools. These stops are called “express stops”. The one mile to a bus stop policy does not apply. Parents are responsible for getting students to and from the bus stops. The routes will not change throughout the year. Fourth & fifth grade students from Mattie V. Rutherford are provided shuttle service from four locations: Southside Middle, Kernan Middle, Highlands Middle, and Jeff Davis Middle. Contact the Transportation Department for pick up and drop off times.