Routing Information Available Online Monday, August 13, 2012
Starting Monday, August 13, 2012 you will be able to access bus stop location and time information online using the SchoolView parent portal. If you have not created or used your portal account, please contact the office staff in the school your child attends for SchoolView account set up information. If you have children in multiple buildings, you will only need to contact one building as you will see all of your children immediately after your account is created. Kindergarten parents will receive the SchoolView account set up information during the orientation on Tuesday, September 2, 2012. The link to the SchoolView portal is available on the STMA District site and is located directly above the announcement section.
Routing information (stops & pickup times) will ONLY be printed and mailed to kindergarten parents and families that have not accessed the SchoolView parent portal on August 15-16, 2012. If you do not receive the routing information for your child/children by August 24, 2012, please call the Technology Helpdesk at (763) 497-6500, extension 4357. If you have accessed your SchoolView account, you will NOT receive a bright orange information sheet in the mail.
We need your help to keep our records current. Please notify Don’s Bus Service at (763) 497-2585 with address or daycare provider changes. Changes must be submitted using the change request form available at Don’s Bus or online at www.stma.k12.mn.us/district_information under the transportation section. Don’s Bus Service and the school district needs accurate information in order to provide the best possible service. Please update your contact information on the SchoolView parent portal. The link is available on the STMA District site directly above the announcement section. Also, notify Don’s Bus Service by August 3, 2012 if you have a student driving or receiving alternate transportation every day and will not need bus transportation.
Pick-up times listed represent close estimates and should be within five (5) minutes of the actual time. On the first several days of school, please have your child/children ready 5-10 MINUTES BEFORE the scheduled pick-up time listed online or on the route information sheet and five (5) minutes early thereafter throughout the school year. During the first two weeks of school, pickup times may be adjusted slightly due to changes in the routes.
Please remind your student to ride their assigned bus to and from school and between schools. Students will not be allowed to get off the bus at another school unless you have made prior arrangements with Don's Bus Service. Middle School students participating in a varsity activity will be allowed to exit their bus at the High School. The activity office will notify the bus company which students are participating in a varsity activity.
Don’s Bus Service DOES NOT transport students to more than one (1) address throughout the week and/or school year. Transporting students to the same address daily promotes student safety, assures drivers of continuity, reduces confusion, lowers driver-passenger anxiety and time delays. We ask for your understanding, support and cooperation. Refer transportation questions and concerns to Don’s Bus Service at 763-497-2585. Please feel free to contact the Director of Transportation, Wayne Hoistad, for further assistance at 763-497-6523.
The following Daycare Information will apply:
The parent’s home residence, not day care, will determine elementary and middle school assignment. Buses will not cross school boundaries to transport students in grades 1-5 to or from day care. The parent resident address is considered the student’s address, which determines the attendance boundary unless the student is in a court-ordered residence other than the parent’s residence. The bus company will regard a student’s daycare location as their “residence” for the purpose of transportation if requested by the parent or guardian. (The change form is included in The Knight View newsletter and is available on the District's Transportation page). This form must be turned in to the bus company by August 3, 2012. It is necessary that the daycare be located in the school district and within a school attendance area if applicable. The pick-up and drop-off may not vary from day-to-day but must be the same location every morning and every afternoon. Although this policy is not always convenient for parents, it is the safest for the students. Only the following will be considered:
Transportation Form - PDF
Don's Bus and the district implemented the current two tier system several years ago. This means the buses pick up the K-4 students and then they go out again and pick up the 5-12 students throughout the district. This process is repeated in the afternoon and is why the Elementary start and dismissal times are earlier than the Middle Schools and the High School. This allows the buses enough time to drop off the Elementary students and complete the second tier of routes for the Middle Schools and High School. This system is the most economical way to provide transportation throughout the district.
In the morning, the MS/HS buses drop off at the school that they are closest to after picking up the last student. In the afternoon, the Middle Schools dismiss a little earlier than the High School so the buses have time to get to the High School and pick up those students before they begin the afternoon routes. There is not enough time for the buses to take the Middle School students home and get to the High School in time for dismissal. If they did, it would add considerable cost for transportation, as Don's Bus would need more buses and drivers.
Some students are on the bus for 30-40 minutes, but there is nothing we can do at this time to alleviate this situation. There is a provision in the transportation contract that the route times will not exceed 50 minutes and all routes will average 35 minutes.
Letters from the school are usually mailed out by the last week of July and will indicate if your child is AM or PM.
Transportation is provided based on a Monday through Friday schedule. Consistency is important for your child’s safety. It ensures that your child does not get dropped off at an empty house due to a schedule mix up or a substitute driver. If your child’s schedule varies from day to day, you will have to provide transportation to the alternate location.
Visibility from home is not part of the criteria for establishing bus stops. Bus stops are designed based on traffic considerations. Individual stops at homes add considerable time to a bus route. If you are concerned about your child’s stop, you need to accompany them to the stop.
Due to similar start and end times at Big Woods, STME, Fieldstone, Albertville Primary, and the Parish School, the bus that picks up in your area is picking up students from three schools. In order to arrive at the schools on time, some buses transfer their students to another bus at one of the schools. This saves a great deal of time because it eliminates a stop from the bus route.
At the end of the day, not all of the buses can pick up at the Primary and Parish schools. The buses that do pick up students at these schools proceed to one of the elementary schools and transfer the students to the appropriate buses. The majority of students do not have to transfer but those who do will transfer to and from the same buses every day.
If students transfer buses, the bus they ride will park near the bus they are transferring to. The students that are transferring are allowed off of the bus first and walk in a line to the next bus. The bus driver watches to make sure that all of their students board the second bus. The elementary schools also have staff members outside who monitor the loading and unloading of students.
If an incident occurs on the bus, encourage your child to inform the bus driver. If it is an immediate concern, please call the bus company so that we can investigate the situation and take appropriate action. However, we cannot control situations that occur outside of the bus.