The page has been divided by topics. Click on the topic below to jump to a particular section.
- Bus Stops
- Riding the Bus
- Assigned Seating
- The Bus Driver
- Snow Days/Delays
- Private/Parochial Schools
- General Questions
Q: Can my child’s bus stop be moved so it is in front of my house?
A: Bus stops are set based on a variety of factors; however, safety is the largest concern. Because bus drivers follow set procedures at each stop — stopping, observing, opening the door, boarding/releasing students, etc. — it is much safer for the stops to be spread out and for there to be fewer of them. Additionally, more stops can often make the bus ride longer for students.
Depending on the grade level, students can be expected to travel a certain distance to their bus stop — up to 1/10 of a mile for Bradt students, up to 2/10 for Pinewood students and up to 3/10 for middle and high school students.
Q: What can be done to ensure that my child gets to and from the bus stop safely?
A: All parents are strongly encouraged to review safety protocols with their child(ren) as they relate to getting to and from the bus stop. Depending on the child’s age/stop, these protocols may involve not talking to strangers, staying on the sidewalk, safely crossing the street, etc. Anyone who has concerns relating to the safety of a child’s bus stop should call the transportation office at 356-8260.
Here are some general rules students should obey at the bus stop:
- Students should be at the bus stop at least FIVE minutes prior to the arrival of the bus.
- While waiting for the bus, respect private property and stay off lawns.
- Stay out of the street.
- Avoid horseplay.
- When the bus is in sight, form a straight line. Do not approach the bus until it has stopped moving.
- Board the bus one student at a time without pushing. The stairs can get slippery, so use the handrail.
Q: How do I change my child’s bus stop?
A: Anyone who has questions or concerns relating to a child’s bus stop should call the transportation office at 356-8260. In many cases, changes to a bus stop can be made. In some cases, the transportation office will ask parents/guardians to submit their concerns in writing by the director of transportation. If a parent/guardian does not agree with the director of transportation’s decision, he/she may contact the assistant superintendent for business.
Q: If my child’s bus stop is across the street, does she have to cross the street BEFORE the bus arrives?
A: It is your choice to either let your student be on the correct side when the bus comes, or wait until the bus arrives. However, it is safer for students to wait and cross on the driver’s signal with the bus lights activated.
Q: I have been told that my child must transfer buses. How is that done, and is it safe?
A: All bus transfers are done at schools and drivers/school staff follow specific safety procedures. Elementary students are never left on their own to find their bus.
Q: Can a friend come home with my child on the bus?
A: Of course, as long as there is room on the bus and the friend has a note that was stamped in the school office (elementary and middle schools). High school students may ride any bus and get off at any authorized stop without a note.
Please keep in mind that a students’ disciplinary record could affect this privilege.
Students from other school districts may not ride on district buses.
Q: My daughter plays the cello and is having a hard time getting it on and off the bus. What do I do?
A: The Mohonasen transportation department tries to accommodate all students. However, if a student has an item that will not fit on his/her lap — and the bus is full — it may be necessary for the parent/guardian to make alternate arrangements. Anyone who has questions/concerns about a specific situation should call the transportation office at 356-8260.
Q: Are there certain items not allowed on the buses?
A: Click here to view a complete list of things not allowed on the school bus. Because we want the school bus to be a safe place, the bus driver may restrict students from bringing additional items onto the school bus if he/she feels they present a safety issue. Anyone with a question about a specific item should call the transportation office at 356-8260. View complete list of bus rules.
Q: Is there any way my child’s bus ride can be shortened?
A: All of Mohonasen’s routes range from 30- to 50-minute rides. This depends on the school and the size of the pick-up area. Each bus transports an average of 65 students and can make as many as 25 stops. Mohonasen’s transportation department does its best to make each bus route as safe and efficient as possible.
Q: Is there assigned seating on my child’s bus?
A: Seats may be assigned on buses for safety, efficiency and/or disciplinary reasons. Assigned seats may change at any point during the school year. Anyone with questions or concerns about this should call the transportation office at 356-8260.
Q: Who is my child’s bus driver?
A: Before they ever transport a single student, the bus driver has:
- Undergone extensive classroom and behind-the-wheel training;
- Been fingerprinted (criminal background check) and drug tested;
- Taken a DMV Road Test, followed by a Mohonasen road test and written test;
- Taken a “Physical Performance Test” that tests coordination and strength;
- Had a medical exam.
- After all this, new drivers are mentored by veteran drivers. New drivers ride on their mentor’s runs and drive the runs while their mentor observes. By the end of their first year of employment, a new driver must complete a 30-hour Basic School Bus Driver training.
- Each year, every driver is observed driving their run by a New York State 19A Certified Examiner. They must also take a medical exam and take at least five hours of in-service training. They also are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Every other year they must pass a road test, physical performance test and a written test.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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 building principal. Parents can also call the transportation office at 356-8260.
Q: A two-hour delay has just been announced on TV. When will the bus come?
A: Typically two hours later than the regular pick up time. However, keep in mind that delays are usually called because of bad weather, which often means there will be more traffic. Because of this, please have your child ready exactly two hours after the regular pick up time.
Q: How do I know if there’s a delay or if school is closed?
A: The district has several locations that announce delays or closings, but you can also check the district homepage or sign up for School News Notifier (SNN) to receive an e-mail or text message notification. You can also check on local television or radio stations. The superintendent’s decision is usually made by 5:30 a.m.
Please note that due to the volume of closing notifications sent over SNN, and precautions put in place by the recipient’s email server, these notifications may not be received immediately. It is best to rely on more than one source of information when it comes to weather-related announcements.
Q. If Mohonasen is closed for a recess day and my child’s private/parochial school is open, will we still receive transportation?
A. Under New York State education law and Mohonasen Central School District policy, the school district does not have to provide transportation to private/parochial schools when district schools are closed. However, the district must provide transportation to and from a special needs
school location or program if the parent(s) request transportation.
Q. If Mohonasen is on a two-hour delay, how does that affect my child’s transportation to private/parochial school?
A. If Mohonasen is on a two-hour delay, private/parochial students will be picked up two hours beyond their normal pick-up time. For example, if the regular pick-up time is at 7:30 a.m. and there is a two-hour delay, the student would be picked up at 9:30 a.m.
Q. If Mohonasen is open and running on time, but my child’s private/parochial school or BOCES program is opening on a delay, how does that affect my child’s transportation?
A. Mohonasen provides transportation to private/parochial schools and/or BOCES programs based on each individual school’s delayed opening time. For example, if a child is attending a special education program in the Schalmont School District, and Schalmont is delayed two hours due to inclement weather, that child will be picked up by Mohonasen transportation two hours later than the regular boarding time.
Q. How is the “15-mile limit” determined for my child’s private/parochial school transportation?
A. Students who request transportation to and from their private/parochial schools must live within 15 miles of the school. The “15 mile limit” begins at the end of the student’s driveway/pick-up location and runs to the front door of the student’s private/parochial school.
Q. How will I be notified of my child’s transportation to his/her private/parochial school?
A. Parents will receive a postcard from the transportation department with their child’s bus number, location and approximate pick-up and drop-off times usually by the end of August.
Q. What changes were made to how private/parochial students are picked up in the morning?
A. In September 2014, Mohonasen is changing its method of pick-up and delivery for all students who attend private/parochial schools. Students will be picked up in the morning at or near their house and bused to Pinewood Intermediate School where they will arrive at 7:20 a.m. and be transferred to the appropriate bus that will take them on to their respective school. This change means students will no longer be riding the middle school and high school buses in the morning, but will instead be on their own buses. Since school starts later at Pinewood there will a lot less traffic from staff and other school buses at that time. Afternoon bus runs will continue as in years past.
Q. Are school buses allowed to turn right on red?
A. If a school bus is transporting children, it is illegal for it to turn right on red.