Transportation FAQ

  • Is a special education student guaranteed transportation?

    Bus service is provided by law as a related service, if it is specified in the child’s IEP. Those special education students whose handicapping condition permits, and for whom it is safe to do so, may be required to walk to school when attending their home school if their residence is within the specified walking distance. Similarly, they may be required to use the regular education bus.

    What determines whether a special education student is entitled to transportation?

    Transportation for special education students will be provided when a student's physical, emotional, or behavioral condition warrants it, or when it is necessary to transport a student to a school other than his/her home attendance center.

    Who determines when special education transportation is needed?

    The IEP team determines the need for special education transportation on an individual basis.

    When special education transportation has been decided upon, how does the IEP team request transportation be started?

    A Specialized Transportation Plan must be completed by the IEP team and forwarded to the District Special Services Department. The Special Education Office then forwards the request to the Transportation Office to place the student on a route.

    How much notice is required by the IEP team to start transportation for a special education student?

    Transportation services will be started as quickly as possible. The normal time allotted is two school days from the receipt of the Specialized Transportation Plan by the Transportation Office.

    How are parents notified that transportation has been set up for their student?

    The Transportation Director or Bus Driver will contact the parent to confirm bus number, pick-up and drop-off time. It is very important that the parent always has a current number on file with the school.

    How do I change my special needs bus transportation?
    Contact your child’s case manager to notify them of any changes. The case manager will complete a new Specialized Transportation Plan and forward it to the District Special Services Department. The Special Services Department will then forward the changes to the Transportation Office. Address changes may take up to two school days to go into effect.

    Can the pick-up and/or drop-off times change from day to day?

    Generally, morning and afternoon times are reasonably constant for the duration of the student’s placement. They could vary a few minutes in the morning and afternoon due to traffic conditions. As other students are added to or dropped from the route, it may be necessary to adjust these times throughout the school year. If the time needs to be adjusted, the Transportation Office or Bus Driver will contact the parent. It is very important that the parent always has a current number on file with the school.

    May a student be dropped off at a location different from the morning pickup?

    Yes. This can be done on a consistent basis upon request (day-to-day changes, however, cannot be accommodated).

    Is curb service available?

    Those students whose handicapping condition(s) does not permit them to go to a designated bus stop may be picked up at the curb outside their residence as directed in the placement decision. (In some cases, this service is not possible due to the location of their home, traffic congestion, which blocks a curb, etc). Parental assistance may be needed in these cases.

    When a student moves, will the same bus continue the service?

    Probably not. Depending on the move, a new school could be assigned, or another route may be involved. When such a move is anticipated, parents should contact their child’s teacher so that arrangements can be made.

    Who are the contact personnel for district transportation changes?

    Central Office:
    Sarah Marlin or Teri Arthur
    Administrative Assistants
    (417) 859-2120 

    If your child requires specialized transportation, the place to start is with your child’s Special Education Case Manager. Transportation is a related service for students requiring special education, and any extraordinary service, such as specialized equipment, medical attention, or behavior modification, necessary to ensure a safe ride to school should be noted in the child's individualized educational program (IEP).


    Parent Responsibilities

    The involvement of parents of special education students in bus behavior goes a long way toward positive attitudes among the riders. Not only should parents reinforce the rules of conduct with their child, but they should assist in every way possible.

    What should parents do to have their children ready for school?

    Parents should have their children ready and at the pick-up site 10 minutes before the bus is due. Tight scheduling does not permit bus operators to wait for your child, nor can they blow the horn because this disturbs others.

    If the child is late getting to the bus stop, can the bus be returned to pick up the student?

    No. Obligations to other riders and schedules prohibit buses from doubling back for one student. Parents should transport the student to school as soon as possible in order to take part in all scheduled classes.