Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
In the course of daily operations KWRL encounters many questions. This page is dedicated to addressing as many of those frequently asked questions as possible. Answering frequently asked questions will be an ongoing process and we will continue to post more questions and answers to our new web-site as the questions come in. Should you have a question that is not answered within the compilation of FAQ below, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or use the google form provided below to submit your own question.
Q: Why can’t I get a bus stop directly in front of my home?
A: It depends upon whether your home is rural or sub-urban and the safety factors specific to your location. Many rural students have no safe path to walk upon to get to a safe bus stop and must have a bus stop located at the end of their driveway. In sub-urban development’s bus stops are created in centrally located locations designed for the developments not for the specific students within those developments. Families come and go from developments, but stops within sub-urban developments should remain consistent for drivers, substitute drivers, the schools and for families. Centralized bus stops is the fair and equitable way to establish stops for all parties. KWRL has a lot of students to transport in a short period of time and are charged with the responsibility of minimizing the amount of time students are on the bus as well as meeting bell schedules. Adding individual bus stops for each family significantly compounds travel time for all students and works against minimizing the time spent riding a school bus and hinders the ability to meet school bell schedules.
Q: My student had to run to the bus stop and almost missed the bus because the bus was almost two minutes early. What time should we be at the bus stop to make sure they don't miss the bus.
A: Bus stop expectations require that students be at the bus stop at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time to insure that they don't miss the school bus. School buses run a route based on stopping at all bus stops on the route. The can get ahead of schedule if there are no students at a bus stop or if there are fewer than normal students at a bus stop. If the bus encounters fewer stops and students then the bus can run ahead of schedule. The bus can pull over periodically if the route gets too far ahead of schedule, but we try to be cognizant of not delaying morning traffic as well. There are times when a bus can have difficulty finding a safe place to pull over without obstructing traffic. A bus is not likely to pull over and wait to get back onto schedule until it is nearly outside of the five minute tolerance, thus students are encouraged to be at their bus stops 5 minutes prior to their normally scheduled bus stop arrival estimate. Bus stop times are arrival estimates and are not guaranteed.
Q: Why does the bus show up early in the PM sometimes?
A: School buses don’t know who will and who will not ride each morning so they drive their route to pick up each potential passenger in the AM. However, in the PM they know who is on the bus and do not travel every road or stop at every bus stop if some passengers are not on the bus for the PM ride. If roads are not traveled and stops are not needed because those passengers are not riding the bus, it speeds up the delivery time and process for all other stops on the route.
Q: Why is my kids bus route inconsistent with AM pick up times?
A: You should not see habitual inconsistency with your bus arriving. Your students bus route should regularly operate within 5 to 10 minutes from the published and scheduled time. If your bus is habitually not arriving within five minutes of your scheduled time then we ask that you contact KWRL so we can investigate the problem. Habitual deviation from the scheduled bus stop times may require we change aspects of the route to get the bus at bus stop(s) on time, or it may require that we change the bus stop(s) scheduled time because the route has changed and the scheduled time is no longer logistically feasible or accurate. Our recent investment in state of the art GPS helps immensely in assessing and managing logistics to help make routes as accurate as possible. KWRL does audit route efficiency over the school year but would appreciate parents notifying us of issues that develop between audit periods so that service schedules or routes can be updated or changed accordingly.
However, it is common for buses to run into difficulty from time to time just like many people do trying to get to work in the morning. Buses can be delayed by construction, down trees, mechanical issues, student behavior, traffic, weather, or many other issues that we encounter as a fleet. Most all of these types of delays are both unexpected and beyond our control so we do the best we can to mitigate the delay of the moment.
Again, if you think that your student's bus is regularly missing the bus stop scheduled time by more than 5 to 10 minutes then we encourage you to call dispatch and ask that the route be audited.
Q: Do I have to meet the bus to receive my Kindergarten student or can they just be released to walk home on their own unattended?
A: All Kindergarten students must be met by an adult or older sibling at their designated bus stop and will not be allowed to walk home unattended. If you cannot meet your Kindergarten student at their bus stop, please don’t have them placed on the bus in the PM and inform the school of other arrangements you have made to transfer custody of your Kindergarten student from the school to family or guardian. This is a KWRL policy that is supported by each district that is designed for safety and consistency. If there is not adult, sibling or guardian at the bus stop to receive a Kindergarten student then the student will remain on the school bus until KWRL or the school can find a guardian.
Q: What are the rules for electronic devices on a school bus?
A: Electronic devices are allowed on the school bus for personal use only. Personal use means that the device and its contents shall not be shared with any other student for any reason. The device shall not be used to capture pictures, video or audio of any other students on the school bus. The device shall not be a distraction to the driver by way of flash, audio or through the motion of passing a device around the bus. The driver has the authority to ban or restrict the use of electronic devices on the school bus to manage safety and violations of the policy. Use of electronic devices on the bus is a privilege not a right and is treated as such to protect the safety and well being of all passengers riding on KWRL school buses.
Q: Why can’t I just call or text my student and tell them to ride other buses if needed?
A: All students should be registered for their school bus. It is critical for student safety that families, schools and transportation be on the same page with regard to where students need to be transported to on any given school day. Students must have a written note from a parent or guardian that is stamped by the school prior to boarding a KWRL school bus that your student is not registered to ride. All changes must be communicated through your student’s school office and should not be communicated through the student. Attempting to board a school bus without a note will delay transportation services for all students as the school and transportation attempt to contact parents if no authorized note is presented to the bus driver.
Q: Can my student be assigned to a seat or be suspended from the bus?
A: Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. One of the most important variables in keeping all students safe is student management. Distracted driving is one of the biggest risks drivers face and the most difficult task we face each and every day. The object of student management is to redirect unsafe behavior in a way that reduces risk and works toward sustaining the safety of all students not just the student engaged in inappropriate behavior. Ultimately if we cannot redirect unsafe, distracting and disruptive behavior then that behavior must be removed from the bus in the interest of safety for all students. Drivers have the authority to seat students where they feel they need to on the bus as part of student management. Seat assignments are a tool at the driver’s discretion and may be temporary or permanent. Removal from the bus by suspension of service is a collaborative decision between the building Admin and the KWRL Transportation Director.
Q: How can I track my student's bus?
A: On the left side of our home page select the page titled "Find my bus route".
Q: Why cant my student bring their tuba onto the school bus and why cant the driver put the tuba into the luggage storage on the bus?
A: Students may only bring instruments onto the bus that they can store in their lap or at their feet. Instruments cannot consume seating intended for other students. If the instrument is in a seat by itself it is considered a loose item by WSP and OSPI and prohibited on the bus for safety reasons. As for putting the instrument or any other item in the luggage area, drivers are not allowed to exit the bus or access luggage bunkers while on "home to school" or "school to home" transportation routes. The only time a driver may access the luggage storage areas is before or after an extracurricular transportation trip when additional student supervision such as a coach or teacher is available.
Q: I live just outside my school district. Can I register my student for the school bus and get a bus stop at my home or near my home?
A: Transportation services are for families that live within an individual school district's boundary. KWRL does not register or authorize transportation for families that live outside of their student's school boundary. All boundary related issues for families living outside of a school boundary area are managed by each individual school district and their respective policies.
KWRL Transportation 989 Frazier Lane Woodland, WA 98674 / 360.841.2023/ www.KWRL.org
Woodland Public School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employee(s) has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:
Vicky Barnes, Title, IX Officer, Civil Right Coordinator, and Affirmative Action Officer, 800 Second St. Woodland, WA 98674, firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 841-2702
- Jake Hall, 504 Coordinator, 800 Second St. Woodland, WA 98674, email@example.com, (360) 841-2720
You can report discrimination and discriminatory harassment to any school staff member or to the district's Civil Rights Coordinator, listed above. You also have the right to file a complaint. For a copy of your district’s nondiscrimination policy and procedure, contact your school or district office or view it online at www.woodlandschools.org.
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