Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to ride a school bus?
All kindergarten students are eligible for busing. Students in grades 1-4 must live at least five-tenths of a mile from the Hillside School gate to receive busing. Grade 5 students must live more than 1 mile from Farragut Middle School to receive busing. No students in grades 6-12 meet the eligibility standard of 2 miles for grades 6-8, and 3 miles for grades 9-12.
My child is not eligible to ride the school bus, but there is a bus stop just 2 doors away, can my child board the bus with the other children?
No. If a student is not eligible to ride the bus, he/she cannot ride the bus. The District is not authorized to use taxpayers' money to transport non-eligible students. In September 1999, the eligibility distance for students in grades 3-4 was lowered from 1 mile to five-tenths of a mile. Eligibility can only be changed by a separate voter proposition.
What if my child attends a private (non-public) school?
Transportation may be available if your student lives within 15 miles of the non-public school, as defined by State Education Law, section 3635.2. Residents of the Hastings Public School District who want to apply for transportation to a nonpublic school for the upcoming school year must have provided proof of residency to the district and must submit their request in writing, using the form found via the link below. As per Education Law 3635.2, requests must be received by April 1st for the upcoming school year. If a family moves into the district after that date, they may apply within 30 days of establishing residency. Proof of birth date is required for children who are five years of age. A copy of the birth certificate must be submitted with the completed form.
Parents may download and type directly into the form, save it, and e-mail it to: email@example.com. The form may also be faxed to 914-295-5976 or mailed to Transportation Dept., Ardsley UFSD, 500 Farm Rd., Ardsley, NY 10502.
BUS AND BUS STOP ASSIGNMENTS
How do I find out my child’s bus number, pick-up/drop-off times, and the location of my child's bus stop?
Bus details may be accessed using the online transportation portal at http://transportation.ardsleyschools.org. Click here for directions to use the transportation portal. Bus assignments for the new school year become available during the 3rd week of August; families will be notified over the summer of the exact date the information on the portal will go “live,” and will receive instructions for logging in. Requests for adjustments in bus schedule must wait until after the opening weeks of school for review.
How are bus stop locations determined?
The District contracts with the QUAD Consortium (based in the Ardsley school district) for provision of transportation management through a consortium arrangement with 3 neighboring school districts. The District advises the Consortium office of its transportation needs and the Consortium develops and maintains transportation programs to meet those needs with private bus contractors. The Consortium office identifies bus stops that are centrally located among students assigned to that bus stop and arranges the bus stops into as safe, efficient and economical bus runs as it can design. The bus stops and bus runs are reviewed at least annually, sometimes more often as the needs of the District may change during the year. Many bus stops have been used for years; others are new, depending on shifting student demographics.
How far will my child have to walk to the bus stop?
No maximum walking distance to a bus stop is set in District policy or regulation, but in practice, walks of more than one- to two-tenths of a mile are rare. Using SED guidelines, students in grades 1-4 could theoretically be asked to walk up to five-tenths of a mile to their bus stop; and up to one mile for grade 5 students.
Can I have my child dropped off at the babysitter's home, or at a childcare facility?
Possibly yes. The District provides limited daycare busing from Hillside School to a few sites, however, this service is limited to only daycare sites within the District. Contact Hillside School, in writing well in advance, to request daycare busing. The request should be on a regular basis, not on an as needed, short term basis; otherwise, students could get lost. In the past bus stops have not been added for daycare purposes.
For some parents the early bus is too early - so parents drive their children, and the late bus is too late - so parents pick up their children, resulting in a lot of empty seats. Would the District benefit from having one bus run and not the early/late configuration that is currently in use?
One bus run instead of two could be used, but this would double the cost of the in-District bus program. Ten buses would be needed instead of five to transport all students at one time. Not only would this create a financial challenge for a district of our size, but the logistics of having ten buses in the Hillside Circle at the same time would create an unsafe environment for our children. Also, the local labor market is hard pressed to provide five bus drivers, let alone ten.
SAFETY and PROCEDURES
How do I know my child will be safe riding the school bus?
The bus drivers have primary responsibility for the safety of students. They handle the day-to-day incidents that occur on the bus and report any repeat offenders or serious incidents to the school where they will be addressed by the assistant principal. In addition, parents should review these important School Bus Safety Rules with their child to ensure that students are familiar with common safety issues and proper school bus behavior.
What happens when a child is not picked up off the bus and what are the rules regarding how old a child must be to get off the bus unattended by an adult?
Children must be met at the bus stop if they are in grade K, 1 or 2. Parents with children in grades 3 and 4 can opt to allow their child to be dropped off without being met, if they call the transportation office at the beginning of the school year. Otherwise, if a child is not met at the bus stop, the student is returned to the school. Usually the school receives a phone call from the bus company while the bus is still enroute.
What is the process for notifying parents of a bus delay or breakdown?
If a bus is more than 15 minutes late, parents can call the bus company dispatch office at 914-476-8840 (in-district buses) or 914-693-7070 (out-of-district buses), the transportation office at 914-295-5544, or the school for more information. If the school is notified that a bus is going to be significantly delayed, the school office will try to call the parents, although this is not very efficient as they are often waiting at the stop. In the future, bus information may be available via the District's broadcast email system.
Who can I contact if a school bus is consistently early for morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off?
Because bus arrivals can vary depending on many variables over which the District has little or no control, students should be at their assigned stop 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled morning pick-up time. If a bus is consistently arriving more than 5 minutes early, please contact the bus dispatch office or the transportation office. If there is a need to officially change the timing of a bus run during the year, you will be notified by the transportation office.
What is the procedure to have a school bus issue reviewed?
E-mail Victor Granuzzo, Transportation Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org with issues, questions and concerns. The transportation office will review the case and respond, being mindful of state regulations and District policies, regulations, and practices that may limit what can be done for parents and students. The transportation office is located in the Central Office of the Ardsley Union Free School District, 500 Farm Rd., Ardsley, NY 10502, phone 914-295-5559.
Who has ultimate authority over school bus issues?
The NYS Commissioner of Education hears some appeals ultimately. State laws regarding school transportation are written in the state legislature and approved by the governor. From the state level, including state agencies such as SED, DMV and DOT, the school boards and superintendents get their directives and develop local policies and regulations for implementation by administrators and staff. Appeals involving laws, regulations and practices work their way back up through the chain of command through local school administrators and perhaps back to the State.
PLEASE NOTE: Hillside Elementary School organizes a Kindergarten bus run late in August to give the students a chance to see what it is like to ride the bus to school. Also, there are meetings at the beginning of the year and periodically throughout the year to review expectations and procedures with the drivers and monitors.