Section 3 – GENERAL TRANSPORTATION RELATED QUESTIONS
Q. What is the mission of the Michigan Center Schools Transportation Department?
A. To provide safe and efficient transportation to get students physically present and emotionally prepared for learning to experience success every school day.
Q. What should I teach my child in order to be a safe bus rider?
A. The school bus is an extension of the classroom. The Behavior Expectations on the school bus are similar to the behavior expectations in the school classroom: Be Safe; Be Responsible; Be Respectful.
In general, students need to observe the following three primary Bus Rules:
1.) Stay in your seat, facing forward.
2.) Keep all hands, body parts and personal belongings to yourself.
3.) Obey the bus driver at all times.
Each school bus in the Michigan Center fleet has these Behavior Expectations and Bus Rules posted at the front of the bus for all riders to observe and to follow.
As you review the rule to Stay in your seat, facing forward… teach your child the “3-Bs” – Bottom-to-the-bottom; Back-to-the-back; Backpack on your lap.
Q. What is the maximum “walk distance” to a school building?
A. State law defines that if a school district chooses to provide transportation, the district should be ready to provide transportation if that child lives greater than 1.5 miles from the school building.
Q. If I think the weather is too questionable, I may not want my child attending school. Do I have the right to not send my child on the bus?
A. Absolutely. School administrators take considerable effort to assess weather conditions very early in the morning (before 5:30 a.m.) and throughout the school day. As a parent/guardian, you can make the choice to keep your child home if you feel weather conditions warrant it.
Across the nation, school buses are respected as the safest form of transportation, year-after-year. School buses are uniquely designed to offer unparalleled protection to your child while inside the school bus. Bus drivers are professional in transporting students to and from school and school-related events. Great effort is taken to provide a safe environment for your child while in the custodial care of the school bus driver.
Q. Should I call if my student will not be riding the bus?
A. Generally this is not necessary. To maintain a regular and consistent schedule, it is best if the bus stops at each assigned bus stop, regardless of whether your child is riding or not. If the bus has to go significantly out of its way to reach your assigned bus stop, a call to the Transportation office well in advance of the bus stop time may be helpful.
Q. Why can’t my child receive a “Bus Pass” to ride a bus to a friend’s house?
A. Michigan Center school buses transport approx. 1,300 students daily. Many buses are filled to capacity and “extra seats” may not be available. A “Bus Pass” may be issued only in “emergency” situations by the school building office.
Q. I pay taxes. Isn’t the school district “required” to transport my child?
A. School districts are NOT required by law to transport regular education students. For most students, riding a school bus is a privilege provided by your local school board and is not a service that is mandated or paid for by the State. Schools receive no added funding from state tax dollars for choosing to provide – or not provide – pupil transportation. By law, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to see that your child is in school.
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.
Q. I would like to talk to the bus driver. Where and when is the best time to visit?
A. Generally speaking, the bus stop is not the best time to visit with the bus driver. Buses run a tight schedule. At the bus stop, bus drivers need to remain focused on the safety of all students on and off the bus.
If you must visit with the bus driver at the bus stop, approach the driver from the bus driver’s window (left side of the bus). NEVER BOARD A SCHOOL BUS to visit with the bus driver – it can be very frightening to bus riders and can startle the bus driver.
The best time to visit with the bus driver is after the driver has finished the bus run and has parked and secured the bus. You can request to speak with the bus driver’s supervisor or can request a meeting with your bus driver and the Director of Transportation, by contacting the Transportation office.
Q. How can I contact the Transportation Department?
A. The Michigan Center Transportation Department is located in the bus garage area at 400 S. State St., Michigan Center, MI 49254
You can contact the Transportation office:
By e-mail at Lori.Grantham@mccardinals.org
By telephone at (517) 764-9122 – Calls are returned in the order received within one (1) business day.