Westwood Public Schools Bus Transportation Pass Program 2013-2014
Westwood Public Schools Bus Transportation Program transports over 1,500 students each year. Our goal is to provide our students with a safe and consistent means of transportation to and from school throughout the school year. The following is important information regarding our school bus transportation program which should answer many of the questions you may have.
Director of Business and Finance
Who is eligible to ride?
Eligibility is based on whether you live within a “riding zone” or a “walking zone”. These zones have been established and adopted by the School Committee.
How do I know what zone I live in?
You can find out what zone you live in by putting your address into the Bus Registration Form on our website www.westwood.k12.ma.us The schools that you are eligible for transportation to will appear in the drop down menu. You may also look on the Town of Westwood’s website, http://www.townhall.westwood.ma.us click on Maps, GIS and then Large School Districts Map to see riding/nonriding zones.
If my child is not eligible to ride, what options do I have for transportation?
Eligible riders will be given the option for paid transportation first. Should seats become available on certain routes, these seats may be available to “walkers”. If you are in a walking zone and would like transportation, please download, complete and mail the Walker Registration Form along with your payment to Westwood Public Schools, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 02090, Attn: Transportation. After receiving your Walker Request Form and payment, the Director of Business and Finance and the Bus Coordinator will review each case in relation to an existing bus route and/or bus stop. You will be notified of the decision prior to the start of school. Bus stops cannot be placed inside a walking zone. Walking students will be assigned to the nearest bus stop that is available. After receiving approval and upon receipt of payment of the transportation fee, these “walking” students will be added to the eligible riders list for that school year only. Annual reapplication is required.
How do I register and pay for the bus?
Please go to our school website, www.westwood.k12.ma.us, follow the link on the home page for Bus Transportation. Please follow the instructions to complete the necessary information. There are two ways to pay: You can pay online with an ACH check or by credit card. MasterCard or Discover are acceptable credit cards. We do not accept Visa. If you are paying by check there is no fee. If you pay with a credit card, there is an associated bank fee which you will be able to view online. If you prefer not to pay on-line, you can download the Registration form from the link above and mail it along with your payment to the Westwood Public Schools, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 02090, Attn. Transportation.
How much is the Transporation Fee?
The annual transportation fee for 2013-2014 is $180 per student ($1 per day) for all students, including Westwood High School students. There is an annual family cap of $450.00 for all students K-12.
What if I miss the June 30th deadline?
Your registration and payment must be received by June 30th. Beginning July 1st, we begin to build the bus route schedule and will need to know who has registered. There is no guarantee of a seat on the bus for registrations/payments received after the June 30th deadline. If the bus is full to capacity and there are no available seats the bus fee will be refunded.
When and who will we receive a bus pass?
Prior to the first full week of school, only students in grades 6 through 12 will be issued a bus sticker. These stickers must be placed on the front or back of the student’s ID (lunch) card. Students in grades 6 through 12 will not be permitted to ride without their sticker. There will be a $5 charge for replacement lunch cards. Elementary students do not receive a bus sticker. Each bus driver will have a list of elementary students that are assigned to their bus.
Can I purchase a bus pass for a partial year or a one-way trip?
There are no bus passes for a partial year or for one way only transportation.
What if I need help paying for the bus fee?
Students who are eligible for Free and/or Reduced Lunch may also be eligible for a reduction in their transportation fee. Please print and complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Form and Bus Transportation Form to see if you are eligible. These forms can be found on our website. Please make sure to check the box on page 5 of the Free/Reduced Lunch application which will allow the Food Service Department to share your information with theTransportation Department. Both forms should be mailed to the Westwood Public Schools, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 0209, Attn: Food Services. Once your application has been processed, you will be notified of your free/reduced status.
If you think you may not qualify for free and reduced lunch, and still need financial assistance for transportation, please contact Ann Brown in the Superintendent’s office at 781-326-7500, ext 1341.
What if I currently qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch?
Those students that are currently approved for Free and Reduced Price Lunch should print and complete only the Bus Transportation Form and mail it to Westwood Public Schools, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 02090, Attn: Transportation. Please attach a note indicating your child(ren) currently qualifies for Free/Reduced price lunch.
Can children be dropped off at a different stop on the way home?
Students may only ride their assigned buses. Transporting students to an alternative, yet existing,stop on the student’s same route may be granted if done so on a regular basis (at least four days per week). Requests for alternative stops should be made in writing to Peter Howard, Bus Coordinator and sent to Westwood Public Schools, 220 Nahatan Street, Westwood, MA 02090. Transporting students for play dates, lessons, or other reasons is not permitted.
How will my child get to the Westwood Public Schools Extended Day Program?
Students in grades 1 through 5 who are "riders" (registered and paid for regular transportation) will be transported to Extended Day automatically. “Walkers” will be required to pay a fee which will be included in their tuition and collected by Extended Day.
Do kindergarten students have a separate bus?
Kindergarten students will be riding on the same bus as grades 1 through 5 and will be picked up and dropped off at designated bus stops. Since the Kindergarten Program will have a half day every Wednesday, on the Wednesdays that grades 1 through 5 have a full day, the kindergarteners will be transported on their own bus. These buses, only for these Wednesdays, will drop students off at their home, where possible. In some cases the drop-off will be the nearest bus stop depending on accessibility to the home. For all other Wednesdays, when K through 5 has a half day, kindergarteners will be dropped off at their regular bus stop.
What are the expectations about behavior on the bus?
Students are expected to behave in a manner that will provide optimum safety of the individual student as well as the safety of other students aboard the bus. A driver’s first responsibility is driving the bus. Drivers are NOT bus monitors. Drivers should and will report safety issues, contact the Police Department, or if problems occur after dismissal, drivers may return a student to school should behavior on the bus so warrant. When a student is reported for violating a safety rule in or around a school bus, school officials will review the situation with the student. Parents may also be notified of the behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense or the frequency of violations, the student may: receive a warning, brief suspension from the bus, or be suspended from riding the bus for the remainder of the school year. Bus fees will not be refunded in these cases.
What should my expectation be about bus schedule times?
Our goal is to maintain the schedules that we provide at the beginning of the year for pick-up and drop-off of students. Given winter conditions, traffic etc., consistency is often times dependent on the condition and status of the roads in Westwood. Please allow extra time for pick up and drop off.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?
During the year, all transportation-related issues should initially be reported to the Transportation Coordinator, Peter Howard, email@example.com or call 781-326-7500, x1338.
If you have any questions regarding Bus Registration, please contact Barbara Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org