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TRANSPORTATION FAQ'S

Mt Olive Township Schools Transportation Office

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding School Bus Transportation

Mt Olive Township Schools Transportation Office receives as many as 100 phone calls daily. Here is a list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS to assist you with answers to the most commonly asked questions. If your question is not answered here, please do not hesitate to phone 973/691-4005. Diane Laracuente, is our secretary and will direct your concern to the appropriate party.

Questions

·           Why is my child's bus late?

·           Why did you suspend my child from riding the bus?

·           Why can't you call when you know that the bus will be late?

·           Why can't you come further into my sub-division?

·           Why does my child have a seat assignment?

·           Why can't my child get off wherever they want in the afternoon?

·           How do you decide when it is too dangerous for school buses to transport students to school due to inclement weather? Who decides? How is the public notified?

·           Why are there only 30 students riding some buses and my child's bus is crowded?

·           What is a zero tolerance policy?

·           How can I become a school bus driver?

Special Needs Transportation

·           How can I receive transportation for my special needs child?

·           How long does it take to set up transportation for my special needs child?

·           What is the average time length of the ride for special needs students?

·           Why can't last minute changes be granted?

·           Why can't my regular education child ride the same bus with my special needs child?

·           Can I reach someone in the Transportation Department before 8 AM?

 Answers

Why is my child's bus late?

Weather, traffic, driver absenteeism, maintenance difficulties, and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in the arrival of school buses in the morning and afternoon.

·            Sometimes the bus routes must be doubled out or run as a second load to or from the school due to the regular driver being absent.

·            Traffic in the Mt Olive area is increasingly snarly.

·            Drivers check buses before their routes and sometimes find mechanical problems that can cause delays and require driving another bus for that day. This can cause the bus to be unpunctual.

Please know that we are doing everything humanly possible to have all buses running on schedule everyday. In the event that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, please allow ten to fifteen minutes before calling the transportation office or the school.

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Why did you suspend my child from riding the bus?

Behavioral expectations on the school bus are much like those in the classroom. Then, factor in the mobility of that "classroom" and traffic, added noise and the size of the "classroom" and you have a potential catastrophe if there are not clear expectations and enforcement. The behavioral expectations on the bus revolve around the individual rights of every person on the bus, including the driver and the collective rights of students and driver as it pertains to SAFETY. Anything that jeopardizes the safety of individuals on the bus is viewed as serious.

Most drivers have Bus rules or Expectations posted on the bus. When there is an infraction, a referral is turned into the school administrators, who are responsible for contacting the student and parent to solve the lack of compliance with bus expectations. The school administrator is solely responsible for consequences based on the incident as described by the driver and student. Most buses have video cameras, which are used to verify incidents. Our goal is never to deny any student transportation to and from school, but we must maintain safety for all students.

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Why can't you call when you know the bus will be late?

It is simply a numbers problem. There are as many 54 students on each bus. That is at least 54 phone calls in a short time frame to parents who are quite possibly at the bus stop with their children. It is just not feasible. Please know that there is a bus on the way and that we will do everything humanly possible to transport your child to and from school in a timely manner every day. If your scheduled bus is more than ten minutes late, please allow for the time that it requires for the route to be driven as a second load.

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Why can't you come further into my sub-division?

School buses come in various sizes ranging from 25 to 36 feet long, 20,000-33,000 pounds, 12-13 feet high and 6-9 feet wide. The length is what limits the school bus to be maneuvered in cul-de-sacs and tight places. Smaller buses can turn in a shorter radius, while longer buses cannot maneuver the same circle without backing the bus, which is avoided in routing if possible. Residents sometimes park trucks, boats, and trailers on the streets. Children leave their bicycles, skateboards, and basketball backboards on the streets. Although our drivers are trained to be able to parallel park their buses, some sub-divisions are not designed with school bus transportation in mind. Please know that we will design school bus routes to be safe and convenient to the majority of students within the limits of time and physics.  

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Why does my child have a seat assignment?

Seat assignments are a positive way for the ride to be consistent and safe. It is also our policy for elementary, middle and high school students to be assigned to a specific seat. This aids the driver with discipline and learning each student's names at the beginning of the school year. It also aids the driver in the event of an accident to identify quickly those students who may be injured.

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Why can't my child get off wherever they want in the afternoon?

To avoid multiple problems, the driver requires a note, signed by the parent and school administrator to alter the destination of students, for emergency reasons only. This allows the drivers to focus on driving and safety instead of having to decide whether the student should be allowed to change their routine and get off at an alternate stop. This policy avoids confusion and the chance of students getting lost or running away.  

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How do you decide when it is too dangerous for school buses to transport students to school due to inclement weather? Who decides? How is the public notified?

The Superintendent of schools is responsible for the final decision to close schools due to inclement weather. The decision is made after administrative staff report from various positions in the township regarding road conditions. Other factors considered are school facility information (heat, water, power), school parking lot conditions, temperature and wind chill, snow and ice build up on main and secondary roads and weather forecasts and predictions. A decision will be made and the public will be notified as soon as possible. The following media sites will carry that information to the public:

Internet TV Stations Radio Stations Phone
www.news12.com News 12 New Jersey

WMTR 1250 AM

WDHA 105.5 FM

WRNJ 1510 AM

WRNJ 107.1 FM

WNNJ 103.7 FM

WNNJ 1360 AM

973/691-4019

If the schools close during the day, the students will be sent home on their regular bus or IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT PHONED IN DIRECTIONS THAT DAY UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.

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Why are there only 30 students riding some buses and my child's bus is crowded?

Decisions regarding each bus route are made by careful planning based on information from the school registration, previous similar routes, and Department of Transportation data. Most routes are fixed during the summer months and changes are made after the first two weeks of school, if not sooner. The more current information we are given, the better decisions regarding specific routes we can make. Distance from school, number of buses and drivers, and grouping of students and neighborhoods are factors considered also. Sometimes it is just not possible to have the exact number of students on every run. State guidelines allow for up to 54 capacity seating.

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What is a zero tolerance policy?

Zero Tolerance means that when a discipline infraction occurs under the policy, the student is subject to a mandated suspension with NO exceptions. Specific zero tolerance infractions and the suspension designated for each offence are listed in the Mt Olive Township Schools policy manual. This information is also available in local school handbooks.

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How can I become a school bus driver?

While we require that you already have your Commercial Drivers License, we are always looking for good drivers to train to become school bus drivers. Applications are available at our central office:

89 Route 46, Budd Lake, NJ 07828 or by phoning 973/691-4000.

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 Special Needs Transportation

How can I receive transportation for my special needs child?

A committee of people already involved in a student's education determines transportation needs. After it has been determined that the student would benefit from being transported apart from the mainstreamed students, the case manager will complete and send a special needs transportation request to our office for processing.  

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How long does it take to set up transportation for my special needs child?

Up to ten (10) days are needed to obtain all emergency information, process routing information, contact drivers and communicate with parents and other professionals involved.  

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What is the average time length of the ride for special needs students?

Our goal, for students within the Mt Olive Township Schools, is no more than one and one half hours. 

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Why can't last minute changes be granted?

SAFETY is our main goal and concern. Changes may be granted for consistent schedules within the child's regular route.  

Why can't my regular education child ride the same bus with my special needs child?

Special needs transportation is granted in accordance with a student's needs as a related service to the IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Students who receive an education without an IEP are provided transportation through conventional means.  

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Can I reach someone in the Transportation Department before 8 AM?

Yes, our Dispatcher is available from 6 AM to 8:00 AM by phone at 973/691-4005.

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Mt. Olive Board of Education
227 US Highway 206, Suite 10
Flanders, New Jersey 07836
Questions or Feedback click here
Phone: 973.691.4000 Fax: 973.691.4022

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