FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: Bus Stop Information
What time should my child be at the bus stop?
All students should be at the bus stop ready to board at least 5 minutes prior to their pick up time. Students should not be waiting in vehicles, inside a home or on a front porch.
How far can a bus stop be from the student’s home?
Bus stops for elementary students may be up to 1.5 miles and secondary students up to 2 miles. This does not include driveways or private lanes. The district will attempt to make walks shorter than the maximum. (PA School Code 1949 24 PS 13-1362 ad 17-1726A)
Because the safety of the students is of utmost importance to us, bus stops in rural areas will be evaluated on the traffic flow (local and through traffic), site distance, length of the road, ease of turn around, density population on the road, existence of railroad crossings, and traffic and road conditions. What this means is that you may need to bring your child out to a stop that is safest for not only your child but also others that are riding the bus.
I can’t see the stop from my house. Can’t the stop be closer?
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to see the stop from their house. We transport 6,000+ students each day. It is not feasible to put all the stops in sight range. Parents must use good judgment by either going to the stop with the child or working with other families in the area to support safety.
The bus goes right down my street. Why can’t the bus stop at my house?
Bus stops are centrally located for students. The District attempts to keep the number of stops minimized thus keeping the buses moving, ultimately reducing the ride times. In most cases, we try to use intersections that are easy to locate and where motorists are more alert to pedestrians. Stopping at every driveway inconveniences the motoring public causing them to become impatient. This results in people attempting to drive around the bus, which creates a dangerous situation.
Why do some children have to cross the street to board the bus?
The Armstrong School District is not able to route buses so that all children can board the bus on the door side. Students should always wait on the side of the street where they live and wait until the bus has stopped traffic in all directions before crossing the street.
Will the bus driver wait for me if I am late to meet my Kindergarten student?
Unfortunately, the bus driver cannot wait, even on a rare occurrence. Only kindergarten students are required to have an adult at the bus stop for discharge. If a parent/guardian is not at the kindergartener's stop, the driver will continue their run, attempt to contact parent/guardian and if no one can be reached, the student will be taken back to their school where the parent/guardian is to pick them up. In the event that the principal/designated staff are unable to reach parent/guardian/emergency contact after 15 minutes of being at the school, CYFS will be contacted. In cases that an adult or designated person is not at the stop to get the kindergarten student off the bus there will be a series of steps that ASD will follow. Guardians will get a warning (1st time), meeting with building principal (2nd time) and a call made to CYFS (3rd time).
Is the district responsible for making sure someone is home at time of drop off?
Parents/Guardians must assume responsibility for their child (grades 1st-12th) after drop off at the requested stop. The district cannot be responsible to determine whether parents are home at time of drop off.
Who is responsible for student behavior at the bus stop?
Parents are solely responsible for their child’s behavior at school bus stops. It is important that parents monitor their child’s behavior and ensure that their child(ren) wait for the school bus in a safe location away from the road. If inappropriate behavior is reported, this information will be investigated.
FAQ: Late Bus Information
Why is my child’s bus late?
Weather, traffic, traffic lights and unforeseen incidents are responsible for delays in arrival of school buses. Please know that we do everything possible to have all buses running on schedule each and every day. In the event that your bus does not arrive as scheduled, contact your bus company or the Transportation Office at 724-548-6014.
When the bus is running late, why don’t you call to inform the parents?
In most cases, there is simply not enough time. With over 100 buses running at one time, it is difficult to focus on one vehicle to call the numerous families assigned. In the case of a breakdown, our focus is on getting a replacement vehicle to service the students as quickly as possible.
FAQ: Bus Discipline Information
Who handles discipline on the bus?
The driver is the authority figure responsible for enforcing the safe transport rules. The driver handles minor discipline problems, speaking to students or re-assigning seats. More serious issues are addressed at the school by principals. Incident Report Forms may be submitted to the school by drivers. This may result in a warning, detention, suspension, or other form of discipline.
FAQ: Childcare/ Daycare Information
Is it possible to transport my child to and/or from a daycare rather than my home stop?
Yes, however, the daycare must be within the attendance area of the school being serviced. The Department will not travel outside the attendance border for child care purposes. A Busing Request form must be completed and submitted to the Transportation Department. Additionally, daycare must be for 5 days a week; however, it can be for AM only, PM only or both. The District will not alter transportation to allow students a different pick up or drop off location on separate days of the week or different weeks of the year. Temporary bus passes will not be issued for this.
FAQ: Kindergarten Transportation Information
What if I am late or unable to be at my kindergarten student's stop at the designated time?
The bus driver is not permitted to discharge kindergarten students unless an adult is at the stop to receive the student. If no adult is present, the bus driver will return the student to their school and the parent will be contacted to pick up their child. If you need to have a different adult at the bus stop please call the student's school and to provide us with the name of the adult. They will notify the Transportation Department who will then contact the bus company and that authorized adult will have to provide proof of ID in order to have the child released to them. If no proof of ID is shown, the child will be taken back to the school. In cases that an adult or designated person is not at the stop to get the kindergarten student off the bus there will be a series of steps that ASD will follow. Guardians will get a warning (1st time), meeting with building principal (2nd time) and a call made to CYFS (3rd time).
FAQ: Miscellaneous Information
What should I do if I move during the school year?
Notify the school of your change of address and let our Department know 7-10 days ahead of your move so that we may get your child assigned to a bus stop, if you are still located in the Armstrong Area School District. If you move outside the school’s attendance area but still in the Armstrong School District and wish to have your child remain at that school, you must complete a Student Transfer Request form (fill out at your chid's school), receive permission from the principal which will then need approved by the Superintendent of ASD. Transportation will not be set up until said transfer is tentatively approved.
Can my child eat food or have open food containers on the school buses?
Students are not permitted to eat food or open food containers on the school buses at any time as some students suffer from severe allergies to certain foods. Keep in mind that the child with the allergy may not be on that specific run, but may ride that bus at another time that day and just the smell or oil from some foods may get on seats or seat backs. Packed lunches/meals must remain unopened in a student’s bag or backpack while they are on the bus. Students who violate this restriction will be subject to disciplinary action.
How should I find out about school closings and delays?
Closing and delay information will be posted on our website (www.asd.k12.pa.us). Information will also be sent to WPXI, WTAE and KDKA. You will also receive an automated message, unless you opted out of receiving them. Please contact your school if you wish to sign up to receive any of the notifications.
My child forgot something on the bus, what should I do?
The best thing to do is contact the bus contractor to make arrangements to get the item.
A.J. Myers & Sons, Inc.-724-548-5881
Barker, Inc.- 724-548-2343
Shriver Contract Services, Inc.- 724-545-2408
Smith Bus Company- 724-354-3180
Valley Lines- 724-295-9150
How can my child ride home on another bus?
At this time temporary bus passes may be issued in emergencies situations only. Parents must submit a note to the principal’s office stating who their student is to ride home with, the bus number, the bus stop and the date requested. If approved, your child will be issued the temporary bus pass.
Can my child ride another bus home to a friend or relative’s house?
No. Students are not permitted to ride home on buses that are not their assigned buses. Emergency exceptions may be permitted as determined by the building principal.
There is a 50/50 custody agreement for my child. Can I get him/her assigned to two different buses?
Yes, you can have two different bus stops assigned; however, the following documents need to be received in our office prior to the second stop being assigned: a copy of the 50/50 custody agreement and a Custody – Request for Additional Bus Assignment Form that is signed by both parents and the student. This form can be found on the Armstrong School District website under Transportation Forms.