Transportation FAQ

  • Another child is harassing or bullying my child while they are on the bus. What should I do?

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    BHCS has a policy that specifically prohibits “bullying” at school, during school events and field trips, and on a school bus. The bus driver’s main focus must be on operating the school bus safely. As a result, the majority of the driver’s attention is focused on the road and traffic conditions, Students who engage in bullying or harassing behaviors are subject to disciplinary action. Please report any problems to your child’s school so that appropriate steps may be taken.

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  • Are there consequences if a student misbehaves on the bus?

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    Yes, Bus drivers report problems to the student’s school and complete a conduct referral process to be forward to perspective school.

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  • Can a family member or other adult board a school bus at the bus stop or at school?

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    The safety of the children is always our priority. It is illegal for any unauthorized individual to stop or board a school bus. Please do not attempt to board a school bus along the route or at a school.

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  • Can my child go home with another student?

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    For your child to ride home with another student in the afternoon, a written permission slip must be written, dated and signed by the parent/guardian and approved by school designee/principal before the afternoon dismissal time. A pass must be issued, to permit the student to ride an alternate bus.

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  • Can students bring musical instruments or large objects with them on the bus?

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    Small musical instruments and small/medium objects are permitted on the school bus as long as the student can carry the instrument or object on and off of the bus by him/herself. They must be placed in the student’s lap or stored between the student’s legs and the barrier in front of the student. Large instruments or large objects cannot block the aisle. Large instruments such as drum kits, cellos and basses are too large to be transported on school buses safely. In an accident, these items can easily become a projectile and can injure a student. If you are unsure, please check with your child’s school bus driver before bringing a large musical instrument or object to the bus stop.

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  • Cell phones

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    My child is in posession of a cell phone on a school bus or in a classroom. Refer to the BHCS Cell Phone possession policy listed on the BHCS website under policies and regulations. A student may have a cell phone in their possession as long as it is not in the on position, in a book bag/purse and not in use for gaming, music and or regular phone usage during bus routing.

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  • Does the bus driver have the right to assign seats on the bus?

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    The bus driver may assign seats as he/she feels necessary to maintain order and safety on the bus.

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  • How do I locate a lost item on a school bus?

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    If a bus driver finds an item on the bus, he/she will hold it until the following day. The student may ask the driver if his/her item was found on the bus. If it remains unclaimed, the bus driver will return it to the age-appropriate school.

    If you contact Transportation Dept., please provide us with a full description of the item. Often drivers are not able to inspect buses while they are on the road and will check for lost items at their next assignment. We recommend that personal items be stored in the child’s backpack to help prevent losing items. Because electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, iPods and games are very popular, the recovery rate is very low. We recommend that students store these items in a secure place such as their backpack while traveling to and from school. These items are not permitted out on a school. If items are out, discipline referrals will be processed and item(s) will be stored at Transportation Dept. for the 30, 60 or 90 days assigned by schools’ rules and/or monetary values of the 30, 60 or 90 dollars in place of the days if item(s) are returned.

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  • How do I rent a BHCS bus?

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    Unfortunately, we are prohibited by both Board of Education policy and insurance restrictions from renting our buses to private individuals and/or organizations. If you are looking to hire a bus to move a large group of people/charter, please check out the list licensed by the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety. **Please not that the list on MVS is courtesy information. None of the carriers on the list are endorsed or warranted by either the Board of Education or the Ben Hill County School System.

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  • I am interested in becoming a school bus driver. How can I apply?

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    Please apply online at www.ben-hill.k12.ga.us or in person at the Transportation Dept located at 130 Benjamin H. Hill Dr., S.E., Fitzgerald, GA 31750. One of our staff trainers will contact you to discuss becoming part of our team.

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  • I don't like the bus driver/bus monitor on my child's route. Can we request a change?

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    Bus drivers/monitors are professionally trained and supervised. We do not remove staff from routes without an investigation in accordance with our personnel policies and procedures. If you have a problem, please contact the Transportation Dept at (229) 409-5525.

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  • I think my child's bus is overcrowded. How many children can ride a full-sized school bus?

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    Large buses are designed to carry 89-90 passengers with 3 to a seat and 72 passengers with 3 to a seat. However, 52 passengers are adequate seating with 2 to a seat.

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  • Is the bus driver responsible for children until they get home in the afternoon?

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    The bus driver is responsible for children while they are actually riding on the bus. Parents or guardians are responsible for children’s safely when they are on their way to or from the bus stop.

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  • It's my child's first year on a school bus. How can do to help prepare for this new experience?

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    We recommend that families practice walking with their child to the bus stop. Make sure that your students know the bus route numbers. You can also write the route number and stop location clearly on a note that is attached to their backpacks, OR try writing the bus route number and stop on a wristband so that they can carry the information with them easily without fear of losing it.

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  • My child has a cell phone. Can he/she give the phone to the driver to speak to me?

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    School bus drivers and bus attendants are not permitted to use a student’s cell phone or to use a cell phone except in the case of emergency and the dispatch station cannot be reached.

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  • My child has special needs. Who do I contact to make arrangements to get my child picked up?

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    Please contact the Department of Special Education for assistance. If your child has a disability and/or is eligible for special education and related services according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) please contact the Department of Special Education. The department will make an assessment of the student’s transportation needs and if approved, the Department of Special Education will make the initial coordination for transport of the students with the Transportation Department. The Department of Special Education also provides information of the student’s individualized education plan (IEP) as needed. Once the student travel request is approved by the Department of Special Education, the Department of Transportation will ensure the child is picked up. A 24 hours prior to change of status will be necessary before pickup/drop off is made.

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  • My child is a primary student or younger. What happens if I fail to meet the bus?

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    For a young child, not being met by a parent/guardian is often very frightening for the child. If a parent or his/her designee is not at the stop to meet the child, the bus driver will return a pk-primary child, time permitting. If the driver does not have time to return the child to the school at the end of the route, the child will remain on the bus until the driver’s route allows time to return the student to his/her school.

    In addition, drivers will return any student (from any grade) to school if the child does not feel safe exiting the bus. If the driver does not have time to return the child to his/her school at the end of the route, the child will remain on the bus until the driver has time to return the student to school.

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  • My child missed the bus at school this afternoon. Can the bus come back?

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    At most schools, the drivers receive a signal from school staff when they can depart after a sufficient time has been allowed for students to exit the school to board the buses. Sometimes students are held up at school for unforeseen reasons and miss their school bus. Once buses depart the school, they are not able to return to pick up any students who have missed their buses.

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  • My child missed the bus. Can the bus come back to the bus stop?

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    Buses cannot return for students who missed the bus. Please be sure your child arrives at the designated bus stop at least five minutes ahead of schedule.

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  • My child's bus arrives later/earlier than I want. Can the time be changed?

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    All BHCS buses operate on a comprehensive schedule, completing two or three routes in the morning and again in the afternoon. This helps to ensure that the system operates safely, efficiently, while working to deliver students to school on time. Because of the number of students needing transportation, and to ensure effective scheduling, the overall bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate an individual request.

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  • Sometimes my child's bus is late. Why does this happen and what should I do?

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    Every day, we have situations arise that are beyond our drivers’ control. These can include traffic accidents, driver’s absences, maintenance problems, lane closings and roadwork, weather delays, or even a late departure from a school. Please be patient as the drivers make every effort to stay on schedule while being mindful of student safety.

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  • What if my child needs to ride a different bus in the afternoon?

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    Many families often request changes, particularly for afternoon transportation, to accommodate childcare, after school activities or other special needs. We can accommodate your request if there is space available on that bus. We cannot create a new bus stop on any route; therefore, your child will be assigned to an existing stop on that bus route that is closest to your destination.

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  • What is the procedure when I need to have a different person meet my child at the bus stop?

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    Only persons listed on the student’s emergency care card are authorized to meet a child at the bus stop. If a different person needs to meet your child, please notify your school and provide his/her name and relationship. The school will forward this information to your school bus driver. Please ask persons meeting your child to have a picture ID with them when they meet the bus. The driver will not knowingly release a child without either a note from the school or by confirming that the individual has a proper ID.

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  • When will I learn my child's bus schedule for the school year?

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    The bus route assignments are listed at each school site and on the BHCS Transportation website.

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  • Who do I contact if I have a question about a bus stop or route?

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    If you have concerns regarding the location of your child’s bus stop or any other questions about a bus stop (time, etc), please contact the transportation supervisor(s).

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  • Who is eligible for bus transportation in Fitzgerald/Ben Hill County?

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    Ben Hill County School System provides safe transportation to and from school for enrolled students in the Ben Hill County School System.

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  • Who should I speak to about problems that occurred on my child's bus?

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    If there is an issue on the bus, please contact your child’s school. If you have concerns about a bus driver, route or general questions, please call Transportation Dept. (229) 409-5525. 

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  • Why can't the bus stop in front of my house?

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    The overwhelming consideration in determining the location of bus stops is the safety of our students. Certain situations, such as sharp curves in a road, are avoided so drivers will have a clear view of a stopped bus and will be able to stop in time. Stops are placed in locations where they will provide a safe and convenient location for the most students while helping us route our buses in the most efficient manner possible. Bus managers cannot make unauthorized stops. The penalty for a bus manager doing so could range from suspension to termination. Please don’t ask the bus manager to take such a risk by asking them to stop at a location other than an authorized stop. If you have concerns regarding the location of your child’s bus stop, please contact the transportation department.

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  • Why does my bus come so early?

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    It is a daunting task trying to coordinate the schedules for more than 30 buses and over 33,000 students. Bus routes are run to be as efficient as possible. Student loads and the distance to the school are only two of the factors that go into determining the routes and start times. The school’s start/departure times are another factor.

    *One major factor in determining routes and trips times is traffic. Roads are congested during the arrival and departure of schools’ times. Traffic has an immense impact on the speed a bus can travel-the longer the route, the longer the transit time-and that, necessitates early pick up and departure in some instances.

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  • Why don't school buses have seat belts?

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    School buses rely on their size and weight along with the compartmentalization offered by the seats to offer protection to students. The larger a vehicle, the more energy gets transferred to object hit, such as a car or truck.

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