Bus update for the week of March 1. Service suspended for: #5 – Pine Ridge, #5 – Central Middle/Central High, #6 – Northern Trails, #6 – Northern Middle/Northern High, #74 Knapp Forest, #74 – Eastern Middle/Eastern High, #75 – Central Woodlands, #75 – Central Middle/Central High. Service resumes for: #40 – Northern Trails, #40 – Northern Middle/Northern High, #65 – Thornapple, #65 – Central Middle/Central High, #72 – Knapp Forest, #72 – Eastern Middle/Eastern High, #93 – Pine Ridge, #93 – Northern Middle/Northern High.
Is Forest Hills required to transport my child to and from school?
School districts are not required to transport general education students. If a school district elects to provide transportation, it must comply with statute MCL 380.1321. Under Article 3 of the Revised School code, a school district is obligated to provide for the transportation of a special education student if the Individualized Educational Plan Committee has determined that the transportation is a specialized service which is included within and necessary to carry out the student’s Individualized Educational Plan.
How are bus stop locations determined and why might they change?
Bus stops are determined based on where students live along with application of our home to stop distance parameters (see “how far does my child have to walk to get to a bus stop”). Stops are placed in neighborhoods, subdivisions and along public and private streets as centrally located throughout these areas and in accordance with state pupil transportation law.
There may be a variety of circumstances that cause a change to a bus stop location. There are legal requirements for a bus stop as provided in MCL 257.1855 such as stops being a minimum of 200 feet apart. Other factors include student ridership, route time, and visibility. Periodically changes in stop locations are necessary due to environmental changes (trees, signs, poles or other obstructions) that impede visibility or cause other compliance issues.
How far does my child have to walk to get to a bus stop?
There is not a legal requirement for maximum walking distance to a bus stop. Forest Hills uses the following distances as guidelines when establishing bus stop locations:
- Elementary (K-6) – 1/2 mile
- Secondary (7-12) – 3/4 mile
It is important to note that there may be cases where these distances are exceeded. Walking distances are measured along public streets and walkways using GIS map data within our routing software program. In some cases, live measurement is used to verify distances if there is a question. In such cases, measurement is done with a manual measuring device from the center of the driveway to the home using the shortest walking route to the bus stop location.
What about the safety of my child getting to and from the bus stop?
It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to ensure the safety of their child to, from, and while at the bus stop. Forest Hills provides transportation as a non-mandated service and has established placement of bus stops in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Where can I find additional school transportation information?
Additional transportation information may be found on the Michigan Department of Education’s Pupil Transportation website and from the following key groups and organizations that partner with or support pupil transportation: