Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

Are bus stops the same every year?
No. While stops are fairly consistent from year to year, changes may be made based on student enrollment.

My child left an item on the bus. How do I get it back?
Items left by students will be held on the bus for one week and may be claimed by the student. If you need the item prior to your student riding the same bus again, please contact the Transportation Department to make pick up arrangements. Any unclaimed items will be placed in a lost and found box located at the the appropriate school building. Twice a year all unclaimed items are given to charity.

We live Out-of-District, will my student be transported to school?
Yes, the district will transport your student. However, the location of the stop is based on the amount of space available on the bus.  If the Transportation Department verifies there is room on a bus, then it is the parent's responsibility for transporting the child to/from an existing bus stop every day. No new stops or special arrangements will be made for out-of-district students.  If the bus becomes over crowded the out -of- district students will be assigned to an alternative bus stop.

My student's bus is crowded and overloaded. How will this be corrected?
It is our goal to fully utilize all the space on all the buses in our fleet. The term "overloaded" indicates a bus is filled beyond its rated capacity. An overloaded bus will be corrected by the fourth Wednesday after Labor Day. Students are assigned three (3) to a seat. We appreciate that this may feel crowded to your student; however, it is not a situation which would necessitate correction.

Why can't my child have a friend ride home on the bus?
According to the Spring Lake Public Schools Board of Education policy, each student will be allowed to have one pick-up location and one drop-off location. Students will not be allowed to ride a different bus to and from school with friends or make any temporary transportation changes. Our routes are designed to take advantage of each bus seat, provide daily consistency and eliminate confusion.

The bus passes my house, why can't you stop and pick up my student?
We do pass most homes in the District. There are approximately 2,500 students. Each bus stop takes at least 30 seconds; imagine how long it would take to pick up 60 students on one bus, and still get them to school on time. This is why we have group stops.

Why can't my student bring his large band instrument onto the bus?

LAW REQUIRES that ALL items carried on a bus must be held on the lap of a student. Articles may not occupy a seat, be under a seat, be in the aisle or block emergency exits.

Band instruments that will be allowed on the bus are those that are small enough to be held in the student's lap and not to exceed the height of the seat or interfere with the seating space of other students. Hockey and lacrosse sticks along with bats, golf clubs, sleds, skateboards, skis, snow boards, or any other piece of recreational equipment will not be allowed on the buses for student transportation.

If my child is absent from school, do I need to notify transportation?
If your child is the only child assigned at a bus stop, or is transported by a special needs bus, the notification would be appreciated.

The following questions were provided by the Michigan Department of Education:  

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 requirement 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. Spring Lakes distance is up to one mile to school for K-12. Up to one mile to stop for 7-12 and up to one half mile to stop for k-6. Distances may be further for cul-de-sacs, subdivisions, dead-end and one-way roads. 

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.

My child spends over two (2) 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.  Spring Lake Public Schools does everything they can to maintain bus routes to one hour.