Important Reminders and Frequently Asked Questions
Your child should always be at his/her bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up. During the first week of school, buses may be late during pick-up and drop-off. Please be patient. Kindergarten students: please fasten your bus tag to your backpack.
When will I receive information about my child’s bus stop and pick up time?
You should receive a letter from the transportation department a week before school starts. Bus routes will also be posted on the website a week before school begins. Unlike other districts, we do not list our bus routes in the newspaper. Because of the size of our district and the number of bus routes, it is too costly to purchase space in the local newspaper.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s bus stop, call the Transportation Department at 486-4955.
What should I do if I have a problem with my child’s bus?
You can call the transportation department at 486-4955.
Do kindergarten students receive special care?
Kindergarten students are given very special care during their first year of school. They receive a kindergarten tag for their backpack for easy identification by school staff and drivers. It is district policy to only release kindergarten students to their parents, guardians, or siblings in sixth grade or older. If nobody is at the bus stop, a child will be returned to the school for parent pickup.
What should I do if the bus is late?
Please, be patient if the bus is late. Unfortunately, we cannot call parents when buses are caught in traffic or slowed due to weather conditions. We will call parents if a bus is involved in an accident.
Will you transport my child to a childcare provider after school?
In order to arrange bus transportation to or from a childcare provider, you must complete a Childcare Transportation Request Form (available on the website). This form must be received by April 1 for transportation to a commercial daycare center, and by August 15 for an in-home childcare provider. We will only provide transportation to in-home childcare providers that reside within your school’s attendance zone.
Should I call the transportation department to find out about school delays or cancellations?
No, please do not call the transportation department to find out about school delays or cancellations. We have limited phone lines, and particularly during delays, need to keep the lines clear to continuously assess road conditions.
There are a variety of sources of information for school delays, closings, and early dismissals:
Arlington SchoolMessenger automatic calling system
Local Radio Stations
Parents and staff may sign up for automatic email notification by registering with cancellations.com
What items are students prohibited from bringing on the bus?
Due to space and safety constraints, a student cannot carry any items on the bus that he/she cannot comfortably hold on his/her lap or that could be a hazard in the event of an accident. Sports equipment, such as baseball bats, field hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, and golf clubs are prohibited.
How are bus routes and bus stops determined?
Bus stops are determined by four basic factors:
- Arlington Board of Education policies
- An attempt to have as many group bus stops as possible in order to limit the time children spend on the bus
Bus stops are created using a computerized routing system, taking into account policy and safety issues. Board of Education policy stipulates that an elementary school student can walk up to ½ mile to school or to a bus stop and that a middle or high school student can walk 1 mile (compared to state regulations that allow an elementary student to walk up to 1 mile and a middle or high school student to walk up to 3 miles). We try to avoid entering cul-de-sacs. We also take into account driver visibility and the level of traffic and speed on a roadway when determining stops.
What training do Arlington bus drivers receive?
Arlington bus drivers go through rigorous training to become a bus driver and to maintain their employment.
Prior to being hired, they must pass a written test and receive their commercial driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Upon being hired, they must take a 2-hour refresher course. During their first year of employment, bus drivers must receive 30 hours of classroom training.
School bus drivers must attend refresher courses twice a year. While the state requires four hours of training each year, Arlington requires seven hours. Drivers are required to pass a defensive driving test and a physical every year. Additionally, every other year they must pass a performance test, a written exam, and a rigorous physical performance test.
Since the Dutchess County Bus Driver of the Year Award was established in 2002, Arlington drivers have won nine out of the past 15 years. An Arlington School District special education driver/monitor team won the New York State “Above and Beyond Award” for providing exceptional service to students with special needs in 2008 and 2009.