Frequently Asked Questions
1. What bus does my child ride?
You may access this information by going to the "Just for Parents" section of this web page. Information is listed for each school district when this information has been compiled. If the information you need is not available on this web site, you may contact the school. On rare occasions, the school may not be able to help you. In that case, please contact the Transportation Department at 985-748-2423. Please note, this information is an estimate based on route configurations in existence when the data was compiled. In some cases, this information will be inaccurate.
2. Who should I call if the bus does not arrive on time?
After thirty (30) minutes, you should call the school (if it is open) or Transportation Department at (985) 748-2423.
3. What information should I have ready when I call?
You should know your child's bus number as well as the school, child's name and stop location.
4. What are the hours of operation at the Transportation Department?
A Transportation Department staff member is generally available by telephone from 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM on school days. Regular office hours are from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. The office is closed from 12:00-1:00 PM.
5. Will my child have the same driver every day?
In general, yes. Exceptions may be necessary due to special trips, illness or retirement on the part of the regular driver. In addition, the variety of school programs may affect driver assignments in the short term. Similarly, some of the students receiving transportation services are highly mobile and frequently change addresses and levels of service. When these factors are combined with the limited routes and a variety of contractual constraints, single students route changes can "domino" to affect several routes and drivers. Please be assured that every effort is made, while accounting for these factors, to keep changes to a minimum.
6. 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 or 504 plan, are eligible for "curb-to-curb" service. This service is typically restricted to situations where a less restrictive environment is not possible or where the possibility of a life threatening medical issue or disability requires this type of service.
For other students, service is provided in accordance with distance guidelines set by the Tangipahoa Parish School Board that assures a maximum travel distance to the stop of 3/10 mile for all elementary and secondary students. The bus driver will select the stop location and inform the student where to meet the bus. Students needing transportation to an address other than home may apply for this service through their school principal. These assignments are allowed on a space available basis. Priority is given to passengers who live on that route. Those passengers riding on a space available basis may only use an existing stop. Within these guidelines, every effort is made to improve route efficiency by grouping students to stops and, where possible, providing service on major streets. Please note, these guidelines do not apply to students riding a special needs bus. Please note, these guidelines do not apply to students riding a special needs bus.
7. Can I require that my child only be released to me at the bus stop?
The parent/guardian is responsible for meeting the bus if they believe it is necessary. Only certain designated students, whose needs are addressed through an IEP or 504 plan, are eligible for "must be met" service.
8. To whom should I report my address or telephone number change?
The school must be contacted immediately with the new 911 address and/or telephone number information. In addition, telephone number changes should be reported to the school and the driver directly. Once the new data are properly recorded, it may take up to five school days to implement a new route assignment if appropriate.
9. Why is the bus late and why wasn't I called?
Some of the situations that could cause lateness include traffic, road closures, weather, vehicle breakdowns or a late prior route. Since we operate more than 260 buses that, serve 18,000 students daily, it is virtually impossible to contact parents when the bus is off schedule. However, it is the driver's responsibility to notify parents when the bus route is altered in a manner that would affect the bus schedule on a permanent basis.
10. How will I be notified of a change to my child's stop time (or stop location)?
The Transportation Department will contact the bus driver with any route changes. Revisions to route may occur from time to time to accommodate a new stop, address route schedules or load. This information is distributed to the school sites for distribution to the students. In addition, the driver should notify you or your student when the bus will arrive at the home stop in the morning and evening.
11. I got home late (in PM) and I cannot find my child. What do I do?
A bus is considered late when it is more than 30 minutes overdue. If the bus is late in arriving at your stop, try to call the school to see if the bus arrived at school on time or if the school is aware of another type of delay such as a traffic problem, road construction, or road closure. This will let you know if the bus is behind schedule. If the bus experiences a mechanical failure or traffic incident, a spare bus will be sent to the scene to complete the route if the regular bus cannot be used.
If your student was not on the bus, try calling your student's friends or other places he or she may have gone after school. A call to the campus may inform you that your student missed the bus, stayed for detention, or may be involved in an after school activity. "Must be met" students are usually returned to school if they are not met. You may also wish to call your bus driver to see if your student boarded the bus at school or if your student got off at another stop.
A call to your local law enforcement agency is usually the best option if the above options have not located your student. If the student is not a "must be met" student, Transportation Department staff can assist others in locating your child. This may involve contacting the police and/or home contact of school personnel.
Parents are encouraged to develop a plan with their student(s) that instructs them what to do if they do not follow their regular schedule. You may wish to have them call both home and work to leave or contact you by cellular telephone or pager. Younger students may need to have these numbers kept with them in the event they need to reach you. Work with your student(s) in memorizing their full name, address, and telephone number. Students should also know how their telephone number is listed in the directory in the event that they need assistance from law enforcement or others in contacting you.
12. I have a question regarding a bus stop location or pick up/drop time. Whom should I call?
Please contact your school first. Each site has a transportation liaison responsible for coordinating service with the Transportation Department. These liaisons are trained to answer most bus service questions and should be able to provide an estimate of the bus schedule. If the liaison does not know the answer to your question, they probably know who to contact and can probably get back to you with an answer. On rare occasions, the site liaison cannot help you. In that case, please contact the Transportation Department at 985-748-2423.
13. If my child uses a wheelchair, what do I need to know?
You must go to your student's school and complete a Special Needs Bus Application & Confidential Medical Information Bus Form. A recent photograph of your student is required on the form. Once the application is completed, it may take up to five school days to implement the route assignment if appropriate. If a lift bus is not available, other arrangements may be made.
Wheelchairs are transported on Tangipahoa Parish School System's school buses in a forward facing position when possible. If transported in a chair, the chair must have working brakes and operational footrests, the seat and back of the chair must be properly attached to the chair. The harness and/or trunk support system must be attached to the wheelchair and the lap belt must be in working order. In addition, lap trays, if used by the student, must be removed and stored during transportation. Lap trays can cause injury to the passenger during emergency braking or in the event of an accident. The driver will be responsible for this as well as all other securement issues. Finally, we remind our drivers that even if the child is independent, the driver or attendant should still be the one wheeling the chair on and off the lift. We ask that power chairs be put in the manual position for transportation purposes when possible.
14. How long can my child be on the bus?
There is no law or regulation which limits the amount of time a student may ride. The District makes every effort to keep ride times as short as possible.
15. Can I ride the bus with my child?
No. For liability reasons, the only passengers allowed are students, bus drivers and aides, and certain District employees.
16. What should I do if my child misses the bus? What should I do if my child is late to the bus stop?
Take your child to school. Do not go to another bus stop. Don't run after the bus. Don't bang on the sides of the bus. Don't cut in front of the bus. These are extremely dangerous actions that have resulted in student deaths in other localities. Although bus drivers are trained to look in all directions for people and for cars, there are blind spots. The driver may not see the student and probably won't hear the student. It is important for students to be on time at the bus stop.
17. My child has to cross the street to get to the bus stop. This is a safety issue.
Parents are responsible for the safety of their children to and from bus stops and are particularly encouraged to accompany young children.
Bus routes may be designed where students have to cross a roadway to get to or from the bus. School bus drivers are trained and school buses are equipped with traffic warning devices to enhance a safe crossing.
18. Why can’t my child bring his large band instrument or back pack with rollers onto the bus?
Many of our buses are at or near capacity. Many large instruments require a full seat or at least a seat for the student and the instrument. Many of our buses do not have this available space. Also, Federal law prohibits the aisles or doors from being blocked in any way. Smaller instruments or backpacks that can be held in the students lap or placed under the seat are not a problem. Improperly stowed items become “projectiles” and may block egress of students in the unlikely event of an accident and can cause additional serious injuries to students. We do appreciate your cooperation in this situation.
19. Are there items that children are not allowed to have on the bus?
Balloons, skateboards, any glass items, live animals (including bugs), toys, and large bulky items are not allowed on the bus for safety reasons as well as space consideration.If your child has a large musical instrument to transport, please contact our office to verify that there is space on the bus for the instrument.
20. Is the driver allowed to leave small children at a bus stop if no adult is there to meet the child?
Yes. The parent is responsible for being sure someone meets the child every day. If a student seems afraid or unwilling to be left at the stop, the driver may keep the student on the vehicle and continue on the route until a parent can be contacted. Parents should make sure their children are familiar with the surroundings at their bus stop and know the safest route to walk home if no one is there to meet them.
21. How many students are allowed on each bus? My child’s bus is overcrowded.
This varies according to the size of the bus. Full-size buses can take up to 71 elementary school students. Passengers are not allowed to stand. 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.
22. My child tells me that the older kids in the back of the bus are using bad language, and the bus driver does nothing about it. Why doesn't the driver do something?
Because a school bus is a noisy place, it can sometimes be hard for a driver to hear what is happening in the back of the bus. If a child is having a problem with something that is being said or done on the bus, he/she should tell the driver, their teacher, their principal, or someone else at their school. If a child does not feel comfortable "telling" on another student, his/her parent should call the transportation office or the child's school.
23. Another student hit my child, and my child retaliated and hit back. The driver only saw my child, and made him come up front. Is that fair?
Bus drivers are charged with transporting students safely. Every time he/she must look into the overhead mirror to ensure that students are behaving, their eyes are off the road. Because of this, they may need to discipline students as they see fit in order to keep the peace on the bus. If there are disciplinary concerns, the child and/or his/her parent should talk to the child's teacher or principal. Parents can also call the transportation office at 748-2423.
24. I regularly meet my elementary student at his bus stop for discharge but occasionally I am late. Will the bus driver wait for me? My child is not Pre-k.
Only Pre-kindergarten students are required to have an adult at the bus stop for discharge, all other students are discharged regardless if an adult is at their stop. If your child is hesitant or fearful to discharge the bus because you are not at the stop, the bus driver may return the student to their school and the parent will be contacted to pick up their child.
25. My child has daycare on Tuesday and Thursday and comes home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Can the District accommodate this alternate transportation schedule?
Students are assigned only one pick-up and one drop-off location Monday through Friday. Consistency in bus stop locations reduces the risk of misplacing a child and confusion on the child's part regarding which bus to ride. The District will not alter transportation to allow students a different pick-up or drop-off location on separate days of the week or different weeks of the year.
26. My child goes to school in one district but my daycare is in another. Can my child ride to and from daycare to school?
Transportation across district lines is not permitted. Route timing, distances, and bus capacities make it impossible to accommodate this type of request. The child's parent would be responsible for transportation arrangements.
27. 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 pick up 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 pick up 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.