FAQ

What are the hours of the Transportation office?
Hours of operation are 5:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  In the event a bus is out past that time, someone will remain in the office until the bus has returned to the lot or the driver communicates to us that all students have been dropped off and the bus is empty.

Where is the Transportation office located?
The Transportation office/bus lot is located at 5025 Enterprise Dr. which is a quarter mile north of Main St. off of Mason Montgomery Rd. Transportation forms may be dropped off here and parents may come in to look for lost items in our Lost and Found barrels.

Who will be driving my child to school?
Mason City Schools hires quality people to become school bus drivers.  Candidates must have an excellent driving record and pass a pre-employment physical and drug screen.  All candidates must have an FBI and BCI background check.  Once they have met those requirements they receive a minimum of 25 hours of on board instruction from certified instructors in addition to 12 hours of classroom instruction from the Ohio Department of Education.
 
All drivers receive yearly in-service trainings, must pass a yearly physical and every six years go through a recertification process and have BCI background check.

Will I receive notification of my child’s bus schedule?
Parents may access their child’s bus information via Home Access Center.  On July 5, tentative bus stop locations will be available online.  On August 10 bus stops will be finalized and bus numbers and times will be available. 

What is meant by a “Transportation Freeze”?

From July 21 until August 31 no changes will be made to a student’s transportation.
 
If parents know that they will be utilizing child care outside the home, a Transportation Change Request Form must be submitted to the Transportation office prior to July 21. These forms are available online and may be submitted via mail, fax 513-398-6944, dropped off in person or emailed to MCSTransportation@masonohioschools.com

I can’t see my child’s bus stop from my home.  Are there state laws that set the standard for bus stop locations?
There are no laws in Ohio that require a bus stop to be visible from a student’s residence.  In Ohio, students may walk up to one half mile from their residence to a bus stop.  MCS limits this distance for PK and K students and attempts are made to pick up and drop them off closer to their residence because they must be supervised and received by a responsible adult.  Older elementary students may be asked to walk to a corner stop on their street of residence.  As students enter Mason Intermediate and Mason Middle Schools, stops are further from a student’s residence because stops are located to access group stops.  High School routes may have only one or two designated stops per neighborhood.  

Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to their bus stop as much as possible. Some parents take turns walking each other’s children to the bus stop.  This is an opportunity to teach safe walking habits and add to parents’ peace of mind. Walking with a neighbor is more enjoyable for students; the Buddy System is always a good idea. Other parents view the bus stop as a social opportunity to meet with other parents.
 
If my child misses the bus, why can’t he go or be taken to another bus stop?
The state of Ohio has taken steps and designed procedures to insure student safety.  All students are assigned to a specific bus stop. At their stop, they are given a Designated Place of Safety (DPS) by their driver, where they are to stand to wait for the bus to arrive.  This is so the driver can account for students at the stop.  Students who run after the bus or get dropped off at another stop are creating a dangerous situation.  The driver does not know to look for them and in dark conditions, they cannot be seen by the driver. 

Why can’t my child get off the bus and start walking home? Why does he have to wait for the bus to pull away? 
Once again, the State of Ohio has created procedures for student safety.  When students unload at a stop they are to return to the Designated Place of Safety (DPS) and remain there where the driver can account for them and know they are not in the Danger Zone, before the bus leaves the stop.

If students need to cross the street to get to their Designated Place of Safety (DPS) they must watch the driver for a signal to cross the street, stop at the edge of the bus to check traffic for themselves, and then proceed to their place of safety and wait there until the bus pulls away.  

Why can’t my child wait inside the house or my car until the bus arrives; it was freezing cold this winter.
To ensure the safety of all bus riders, Ohio law requires students to be at their bus stop, in their Designated Place of Safety (DPS), 5 minutes prior to the arrival of the bus.  This allows the driver to account for students as they approach the stop.  Students who run from their house or a parent’s car cannot be seen by the driver.  This can have a serious impact on a student’s safety.  Students should dress appropriately for weather conditions.

What if I want my child to go to another bus stop?

Every attempt is made to place a student at stop closest to his residence.  However if a parent chooses to have their student utilize a different stop, parents may submit a Transportation Change Request Form to a different, existing stop.  A new stop will not be created. 

How do I request a new stop for my child?

Bus stops are designed with the big picture in mind for how routes are run and to accommodate multiple students.  Buses do pass students homes in the course of their routes; it is not feasible nor efficient to make home stops for students.  On main arteries, roads with more than 2 lanes or a high speed limit , students will be granted a home stop.

What if the bus runs late?

Buses may run late for various reasons; traffic conditions, mechanical breakdowns etc. If a bus is going to be more than 15 minutes late, an auto call will be initiated to alert the families of those students.  A bus will always be sent to cover a route, regardless of how late.  We will not abandon students at their bus stops. 




 

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