Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are face coverings required on school buses?
Yes, the West Ada School Board voted to require face coverings in all schools and on school buses during its meeting August 25th.
Q. What will happen if my student does not wear a face covering on the school bus?
Students that forget a face covering will be offered a disposable face mask by the bus driver. All students will be transported to school in the morning. However, students may be refused entry to the school bus in the afternoon by the bus driver if they choose not to wear a face covering after being offered one. Parents of students who are unable to wear a face mask should speak to the school nurse or their IEP team about 504/IEP transportation accommodations.
Q. Who is eligible to ride the school bus?Transportation is provided for students who live within the attendance boundary and outside the 1.5 mile walk zone radius around their nearest appropriate school. Students who fail to respect the rights and safety of others by not obeying the school bus safety rules may lose their bus riding privileges.Q. What is a walk zone?Transportation is not provided for students who live within one and one-half (1.5) miles of their nearest appropriate school. Walk zone distances are measured by the most direct route from the home of the door of the school of attendance.Q. What are the criteria for establishing school bus stops?Bus stops are generally located at or near corners and intersections. Students may be required to walk several blocks to the nearest established bus stop (0.8 miles for High and Middle School - 0.4 miles for Elementary.) Stops are established based on student location, traffic patterns, and route hazard considerations and may change from year to year based on student population. Visibility from the home to the bus stop is not a criterion for establishing a bus stop. Parents or guardians are responsible for their student’s safety while walking to or from the bus stop and it is recommended that parents accompany their student if at all possible or that students walk together as a group.Sometimes, buses may need to travel down private roads or parking lots in order to satisfy Idaho code 33-1502 (...no board of trustees shall be required to route school buses or other passenger equipment over any road not maintained as a part of a highway district, county, state or federal highway system, or by the state or national forest service; except, that the primary requirements to be observed by the board of trustees are the safety and adequate protection of the health of the pupils.) In those cases the Bus Access Request form should be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of the desired start of transportation.Q. Can my student be dropped off or picked up at a daycare?Only a licensed day care center, family day care home, or a group day care facility as defined in Section 39-1102 Idaho Code may be substituted as a bus stop for the student’s residence. The child care facility must be within the attendance boundary and more than 1.5 miles from the school to which the student will be transported. Students may not be transported between day care facilities and home.Q. Can my student ride home with another student on their bus?If it is necessary to ride another bus or to get off at another stop other than the student’s regular bus stop, the driver must have a note signed by the parent or guardian authorizing the change. If there is not sufficient seating available on the bus, the student may not be allowed to ride.Q. Can I request to have my bus stop location changed?Valid bus stop change requests for existing bus stop locations will only be accepted from September 15 to October 31 of each school year. Following that date, only new move-in stop changes will be considered.Q. How do I find my bus stop?If you need to locate your nearest bus stop or find the schools students can attend in your area, try the Bus Portal. Click on the Bus Stops link on the Westada.org home page, select the "Search Without Login Now Live" link, and then enter your address and the online system will find your schools and your nearest bus stop. For more detailed instructions use this link to access the Bus Stop Portal Instructions.Q. What if I feel my student’s bus stop is unsafe or too far away?To request a change in your stop, contact Cascade Transportation at 208-229-8500. Cascade Transportation will return your message with their review of your request in 3-5 business days.Q. How do I request transportation service if I cannot find a stop?Students who live more than 1.5 miles from school are eligible for bus service (students who live closer may qualify for safety busing if certain conditions exist. If you are unsure, check out our Walk Zone Maps here https://www.westada.org/Page/13875). To request bus service contact Cascade Transportation at 208-229-8500.
Q. What is the seating capacity on a school bus?Our full size busses are rated for 69-72 passengers. We allow students at any level to be 3 to a seat, but we require our drivers to ensure all students fit entirely within the confines of the school bus seats.
Federal regulation does not specify the number of persons that can sit on a school bus seat. The school bus manufacturers determine the maximum seating capacity of a school bus. The manufacturers use this number, which is based on sitting three small elementary school age persons per typical 39 inch school bus seat, in the calculations for determining the gross vehicle weight rating and the number of emergency exits. School transportation providers generally determine the number of persons that they can safely fit into a school bus seat. Generally they fit three smaller elementary school age persons or two adult high school age persons into a typical 39 inch school bus seat. NHTSA recommends that all passengers be seated entirely within the confines of the school bus seats while the bus is in motion.
Q. What if my child is on crutches?
Students using crutches are not allowed to board a regular school bus due to the high risk of serious injury. Unrestrained items on a bus can become projectiles. This is why all large objects that cannot fit on a lap (or in an open seat) are not permitted on the bus. Regular school buses do not have the necessary means to secure crutches.
For students that are eligible for transportation and must use crutches to assist in mobility, WASD will arrange for alternate transportation to be provided. A Specialized Transportation Request form must be completed by the school nurse and submitted to the transportation department. The goal of WASD is to have alternative transportation in place within 3 days of the special request.If you have additional questions, please contact:Cascade Transportation Company50 N. Ward AvenueMeridian, ID 83642Phone: 208-229-8500