The Chicago Board of Education seeks to create and maintain an effective and efficient school bus transportation program for all eligible students. In order to achieve this end, a student transportation task force convened by the Board has examined a number of issues related to school bus service. This policy, which reflects the work of the task force, promotes and codifies CPS efforts to support a cost-effective and safe school bus transportation program for students by: (1) providing a means by which the district can gather in a timely fashion the information it needs to create school bus routes; (2) establishing a way for parents to request that the school bus pick-up site for their children be changed; and (3) providing avenues of communication with parents or legal guardians regarding the CPS transportation program and its options.
"Eligible students" means CPS students who participate in designated programs for which school bus transportation is available and who live within the mileage parameters established by the Board for such program.
"Non-eligible students" means CPS students who do not qualify for the CPS school bus transportation program, but who may be able to receive available school bus transportation in limited situations upon timely application.
"Park Kids Bus Service" means transportation to after school programs at located at Chicago Park District facilities that operate continuously throughout the school year five days a week, which are located over 1.5 miles from the school and located near an existing bus route.
I. Applying For CPS School Bus Transportation Services
- Eligible Students
All parents or legal guardians of eligible students annually must submit a timely application for school bus service to the appropriate school their child(ren) attends or will be attending during the next academic year. The following application process shall be used:
- Schools shall provide parents or legal guardians of eligible students a packet of materials regarding CPS school bus transportation services that includes an application for school bus services, a projected school bus pick-up location, and forms for requesting a school bus stop location change.
- Parents and legal guardians shall submit applications for school bus services to the school their child(ren) will attend during the next school year.
- Parents and legal guardians of eligible students shall be notified by the school issuing their transportation information packet as to a deadline date in the second semester of the current academic year by which to apply for inclusion on a school bus route commencing at the start of the next school year.
- Parents and legal guardians may request a change in the bus stop location when they believe their children will be forced to cross busy streets that reasonably constitute a safety hazard. Parents and legal guardians shall submit requests for a school bus stop location change to the school their child(ren) shall be attending during the next school year. Requests shall be forwarded to the Bureau of Student Transportation which will determine if a safety hazard exists that warrants changing the students' assigned school bus stop location.
- Parents and legal guardians of eligible students also shall use the application to indicate their intention to enroll their child(ren) in an authorized Chicago Parks District - Park Kids Program and to request bus service to the program.
- Parents and legal guardians of eligible students shall use the bus service application form to indicate their request for bus service to a Before/After School program (day care provider).
- Bus service for siblings of eligible students is provided on a space available basis only. Parents and legal guardians must apply annually at the school attended by the eligible student(s) for sibling bus service. Siblings and eligible students shall use the same bus service pick-up site. Sibling access to CPS bus service shall end at the time the eligible student no longer receives such service to his or her school.
- For the 2002-2003 school year only, the application deadline date for school bus transportation service and requests for a change of bus stop location is April 22, 2002.
- Non-Eligible Students Access to Chicago Park District - Park Kids Bus Service
Applications will not be accepted for bus service for non-eligible students. Parents and legal guardians of non-eligible students must submit an application to the school their child(ren) attend for Chicago Parks District - Park Kids bus service. Such applications shall be reviewed on a first come, first served basis, with no guarantee of space availability.
II. Provision of Cps Bus Service
The Chicago Public Schools shall provide bus service to eligible students based on the following parent and/or legal guardian applications and considerations:
- Eligible Students Filing A Timely Application For Bus Service And Change Of Bus Stop Location Request Forms
Eligible students whose parents or legal guardians filed a timely application for bus service shall be placed on routes established by the Bureau of Student Transportation ("the Bureau") for the start of the upcoming school year. Similarly, eligible students whose parents or legal guardians file a timely request for a change of bus stop location shall be assigned to the request bus stop for the upcoming school year. Application deadlines shall be established on an annual basis and shall be timely communicated to parents and legal guardians by the principal of the school which their child(ren) will attend.
- Failure To File A Timely Application For Bus Service
Eligible students who fail to file a timely application for bus service will be provided interim school bus transportation, utilizing an existing bus routes and pick-up locations. Final routing and site pick-up locations will be issued before the first Monday in November or ten days after submitting an application, whichever is later.
- Failure To File A Timely School Bus Stop Change Request
Eligible students for whom a school bus stop change request was not submitted by the bus service application deadline will be required to use the originally assigned bus stop location until the first Monday in November, or ten school days after the submission of a stop change request form, whichever is later.
The Bureau shall determine whether or not to grant a bus stop change request. After reaching a decision, the Bureau shall notify the school of the student making the bus stop change request. The school principal shall inform parents that their request has been granted or denied. If the Bureau denies a bus stop change request because it determines that the assigned location does not pose a safety hazard, then parents or legal guardians may appeal the decision to the CPS Chief Operating Officer or designee within seven (7) school days. No appeal shall be allowed when the Bureau denies a request due to non-safety factors such as overcrowding at the requested bus stop site.
- Enrollment In A School After The Application Deadline For Bus Service
Eligible students who enroll in a school after the application deadline for bus service will be provided interim school bus transportation, utilizing an existing bus routes and pick-up locations. Final routing and site pick-up locations will be issued before the first Monday in November or ten days after submitting an application, whichever is later.
- Change of Address After The Application Deadline For Bus Service
Eligible students who change address after the application deadline for bus service will be provided interim school bus transportation, utilizing an existing bus routes and pick-up locations. Final routing and site pick-up locations will be issued before the first Monday in November or ten days after submitting an application, whichever is later.
III. Relation of Transportation Policy to Other Policies
This policy sets forth the exclusive procedures that eligible students shall use to receive CPS bus transportation services. Nothing in this policy shall affect the eligibility provisions for student transportation established by other Board policies.
This policy shall not in any way be construed as applying to or affecting the transportation rights provided to students with disabilities and/or homeless students, as defined by applicable federal and state law and Board policy.
V. Annual Review
The provisions of this policy, including student eligibility for CPS bus service and the Board's Title I obligations, shall be subjected to review and revision on an annual and ongoing basis.
|Legal References||(1) No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; (2) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq. (1997); (3) Board Report 96-0327-PO3 (Revised Open Enrollment Policy); (4) Board Report 90-0919-PO1 (Utilization of Physical Resources); (5) Board Report 99-0526-PO1 (Policy on Facility Utilization and Establish Goal That Each Chicago Public and Charter School Enroll a Natural Proportion of Students With Disabilities); (6) Board Report 99-0825-PO5 (Policy Regarding the Framework For Magnet Schools and Programs of the Chicago Public Schools)|