What does the State of Michigan say about Transporting my Child to and from School?
Frequently Asked Questions
Isn't the school district required to transport my child?
School districts are NOT required by law to transport regular education children. Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 380.1321 outlines the obligations of the school district IF its board of education elects to provide transportation. Under Article 3 of the Revised School Code, the school district is obligated to provide for the transportation of a special education student if the Individualized Educational Planning Committee (IEPC) has determined that the transportation is a specialized service which is included within and necessary to carry out the student's IEP.
- My child is starting kindergarten. Will the bus pick my child up in front of my house?
There are no special laws or regulations for transporting regular education students enrolled in kindergarten. If your district provides transportation, it will be provided in accordance with the requirements of MCL 380.1321, Section 55 of the Pupil Transportation Act, and local district policy with regard to the placement of the bus stop.
- Is there a law about how far my child has to walk to the bus stop?
No law specifies the maximum distance a student may walk to the bus stop.
- Is there a specified distance that must exist between school bus stops?
The lights on a school bus which are used to notify other traffic of an upcoming stop must, by law, be activated 200 feet from the stop. Thus, bus stops must be at least 200 feet apart.
- What other factors are involved in establishing where the school bus stops?
There are many factors which should be taken into consideration when school administrators establish the placement of school bus stops. The basic legal factors are spelled out in MCL 257.1855, but the primary concern is visibility of the bus to other traffic and the consideration of stopping distances necessary for other motor vehicles in order to accomplish safe loading and unloading of the children. In general, state law requires 400 feet of clear and continuous visibility on a highway or roadway where the speed limit is more than 35 miles per hour, and 200 feet where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour. There is no state law which specifies a maximum distance between stops.
- What about the safety of my child getting to and from the bus stop?
There are no sidewalks where we live and it's not very safe walking on the busy road we live on.It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to see that a child gets safely to and from the bus stop. The school district provides transportation as a non-mandated service and establishes placement of the bus stops in accordance with the requirements of the law.
- Is there a law stating that an adult riding on a school bus for monitoring purposes be seated at a specific location on the bus?
There are no laws pertaining to this issue. In most cases when adults are assigned to monitor students that are being transported on a bus, they are near the student or students who possess the greatest amount of supervisory need.
- My child spends over two hours a day just riding the bus to and from school. Is there a maximum riding time in the law?
There is no maximum riding time in the law for children in kindergarten through grade twelve. Child care licensing regulations establish a maximum riding time of 60 continuous minutes for the transportation of preschool children.
Ironwood Area Schools Bus Policy
Grades K-3 within 0.5 mile of the school.
Grades 4-6 within 1 mile of the school.
Grades 7-12 within 1.5 miles of the school.
Bus transportation is a privilege and not a right.
• The bus driver is the sole authority on the bus while students are being transported.
• Parents are responsible for the safety of their child while going to or from the bus stop and while waiting for the school bus.
• Student must be at the bus stop at least five (5) minutes prior to scheduled pickup time. Bus drivers are not required to wait.
• Damage by your child to school buses, personal property or public property is a parent responsibility.
• Students are expected to conduct themselves in a proper manner at bus stops. The District will not enter into disputes involving parents and/or students concerning matters that take place prior to the student boarding the school bus or after the student has disembarked from the bus on his/her way home.
• Students will ride only assigned school buses and will board and depart from the bus at assigned bus stops. Students will not be permitted to ride unassigned buses for any reason other than an emergency. Must be approved by the Principal.
• A change in a student's regular assigned bus stop may be granted for a special need if a note from a parent is submitted to the building Principal stating the reason for the request and the duration of the change and the Principal approves the change.
• A permanent transfer to another route or bus stop for morning pick-up and/or afternoon drop-off will only be made upon the approval of the Superintendent.
• Students shall cross all streets at least ten (10) feet in front of the school bus and after the driver has signaled the student that it is all right to do so.
• For the safe operation of the school bus, noise on buses shall be kept at a minimum with students speaking in reasonable conversation voices. Students must be quiet at railroad crossings and other danger zones as designated by the bus driver.
• The following cargo is forbidden to be transported on a school bus: pets, alcoholic beverages, drugs, ammunition, explosives, firearms, knives, weapons, razors, sharp objects, or any other dangerous materials or objects. If there is a question on the transportation of a particular item, the Transportation Coordinator should be consulted.
Elementary Animal Symbols
Who remembers Granimals? Where children could pick out their own outfits for school on any given day by matching the animals on their clothing tags and they would be perfectly color coordinated for the day? Well, Ironwood Area Schools has implemented a similar system for your K-6 elementary bus rider. Your child will have a color coded luggage tag placed on their back pack with a sticker of a specific animal. The luggage tag will have your child's name, along with your address and phone number. Students are to get on the bus with the color coded animal that matches their back pack tag. This system helps avoid mix-ups and confusion for younger elementary children in finding their bus and provides contact information to drivers for all elementary aged students. Please be sure to have your child's backpack with them and their tag on their back pack at all times. If you need a duplicate tag/s for any reason, please contact the school office at:
It is a privilege to be able to ride the bus. Your child's bus riding privilege's may be revoked or suspended at any time for unsafe bus behavior.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY TIPS
Please review these safety tips with your child.
Getting on the Bus:
When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness
Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
Use the handrail when boarding
Behavior on the Bus:
If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up
Don't speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
Stay in your seat
Don't put your head, arms or hands out the window
Keep aisles clear of books and bags
Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat
Getting Off the Bus:
Use the handrail when exiting
If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
Make sure the driver can see you
Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe
Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times