In preparation for the 2023-2024 school year, we would like to take the time to provide important information to parents.
ALL students must register for bus service - even if you registered last year. We purge all previous years information in order to have the most up-to-date information for parents, and avoid sending unwanted emails or texts to students who have left the school.
Registration for the new year will begin in Mid-July. We will not process any registrations for 2023-2024 that come in before registration opens.
Registration information will be posted on the school website once registration opens.
Reasons using cell phones are NOT ALLOWED while on the school bus
• Your child should be fully dressed, fed, toileted, bookbags should be closed, and ready at the bus stop (10) minutes before pick-up time. Students cannot eat breakfast on the bus.
• Accompany your child to the bus.
• Notify the school IN ADVANCE if your address, phone number or child care arrangements change.
• If the driver has to wait at your stop longer than two (2) minutes for you or your child, they are instructed to proceed. The driver is not required to wait past the stop time at all.
• At DROP OFF time, you or a responsible party should meet your child at the bus door so that the driver can make custodial transfer of your child.
• Students who are not met at the PM bus stop will be returned to the school. Student Behavior
• We expect ALL students to follow the School Bus Safety Rules for the safety of your child and others who ride the bus.
• Bus behavior problems are reported to the school by the Bus Driver or Attendant.
• Eagle Bus Service and The Principal’s office decides what the disciplinary action will be taken, such as: detention, suspension from school, suspension of bus riding privileges, and parent conferences to enforce safe behavior on the bus.
Parents or a designee must be at the bus stop to receive Kindergarten – 4th grade students at the end of the school day. If no one is there to receive the student, the student will be returned to the school. It is the responsibility of the parent to see that students who are returned to school are picked up. Any student returned three (3) times, will have their riding privileges suspended for two weeks.
Will my children be left at their stop without an adult present?
Yes, unless your child is in kindergarten – 4th Grade. A K-4 student must be met by an adult on his/her descent from the bus or be accompanied by an older and responsible sibling, otherwise the child will remain on the bus and will be taken back to his/her school. Parents will then have to pick him/her up at the school.
What should I do if I cannot get to the stop in time to meet my child?
Have a "Plan B". Discuss with a neighbor or friend if he can get to the bus stop to meet your child when necessary. Teach your child what to do if you are not present (for example, go to a chosen neighbor’s house or put a house key in the school backpack).
Note: It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure the safety of the student from home to the bus stop and from the bus stop to home.
Eagle Bus Service selects bus routes that run on roads that are properly maintained and considered to be safe for the school bus travel. Stops are not designed to drop students off in front of their homes and parents are responsible for making sure that they choose a safe walking route for their children to get to and from the bus stop.
There are times when the driver may make a decision to return children to school. This may happen when:
• The driver has any concerns regarding the safety of releasing a student.
• A child expresses concern, for any reason, about getting off of the bus.
• There are no safe, transportation-approved alternate locations in the case of emergencies (such as road closures, accidents, or weather related road problems).
RECEIVE TEXT ALERTS
Eagle Bus Service uses Group Messaging to send texts and emails to inform parents of bus delays due to traffic, weather or schedule changes.
In order to receive text alerts, parents must opt-in by texting YES to 64779. Otherwise, messages will be delivered by email only. Please take this time to opt-in.
After opting in, you will begin receiving text messages from 64779 with important bus information when there are bus delays or changes.
Parents not wishing to receive text messages to a particular number can simply do one of the following:
1. Don’t opt-in and don’t reply to the opt-in invitation message.
2. Text “STOP” to 64779 at any time.
3. Opt out online at http://groupcast.com/txt
4. Request that your organizations GroupCast system administrator add the number to the account’s phone number block list. ________________________________________
TRACK YOUR BUS
We are excited to offer Buswhere, a location tracking service for all our bus routes. Buswhere is an app which allows you to see the location of your child's bus in real time on your phone and to receive notification when the bus is approaching your bus stop.
Buswhere allows you to download a free Android or iOS app to track the bus and view ETAs at any stop along the route. Within 48 hours, you will receive an email from Buswhere with information on how to register to secure your account.
During registration, you are automatically assigned to the closest stop (you can edit that at any time) and will receive a notification when the bus is getting close to your stop. Access is secured with a login and controlled centrally by Eagle Bus Service administrator to make sure only authorized parties can view the bus’s location.
BusWhere is not available the first two weeks of school due to the thousands of changes that occur when students return to school and the resulting impact to the transportation data. While understanding this will lead to some variations in stop times and locations, the majority of families will see the correct stop information and the app will work as it should. Please be patient with the app during the first few weeks as the number of daily stop changes will diminish. If the app appears to show errors with stop location, time, or bus information feel free to reach out to your transportation office for any updates.
Please note that no bus tracking service is 100% accurate; DO NOT assume the bus isn't coming just because the app didn't notify you! If in doubt about the arrival of a bus, please arrive at the stop 10 minutes before the scheduled stop time and contact transportation at 704-606-5661.
Sometimes we make bus substitutions and this can affect the accuracy of the BusWhere. When a bus substitution is made, the BusWhere app may not work.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is my child eligible to ride the school bus?
It shall be the policy of your school to provide school bus transportation to and from school for all enrolled students. All bus stops will be available to all parents. Parents may choose the stop most convenient for them. Established stops will not be changed unless identified hazardous conditions or other identified special circumstance, require change. Students in grades K-12 who reside beyond established stops should be car riders, or they may walk to their assigned pick-up/drop-off location.
How do I arrange for my child to ride the school bus? Access the Transportation Portal from your school website. From the Transportation Portal home page, click the map image to find the stop most convenient for you. Next, view the bus schedule for that stop. Then click the red "register" button to complete the registration process. You will receive a confirmation email with links to the bus portal for schedule information. If your child is a special needs student please contact his/her special needs teacher or case manager to arrange alternate transportation services.
Will the bus transport my child to and from a daycare facility?
If you use a childcare facility (daycare) that is within the school attendance area, within the route, and space is available on the bus, daycare students may ride the school bus. No stops will be added and no routes will be altered in order to accommodate daycare students. Please contact the transportation office (704-509-9110) to check your child's eligibility for daycare school bus transportation. To determine eligibility the Transportation Department will need the exact address of the childcare facility.
Do elementary school students and middle or high school students ride the same bus?
Yes. There are no separate buses for elementary school and middle or high school students at this time. All students ride the same bus. We keep the students separated by seating elementary school students in the front of the bus and middle school students are closer to the back of the bus. Boys and girls are not allowed to sit together unless parents request siblings sit together. The bus driver will make any changes necessary for the safety of the entire bus.
How are bus stops determined?
Routes are designed to serve all students in an area in a safe and reasonable manner. Every effort is made to establish school bus stops near where students live. Additional considerations include keeping stops consistent for morning and afternoon routes. Stop locations and distances may also vary depending on the number of students in the area and the area type (urban/rural) being served.
How do I request a bus stop be added or changed?
Once stops are established and schedules are set, no new stops will be added. Established stops will not be changed unless identified hazardous conditions or other identified special circumstance, require change. Students in grades K-12 who reside beyond established stops should be car riders or parent/guardians transport them, or they may walk to their assigned pick-up/drop-off location. Contact the transportation department 704-509-9110 for questions about any particular stop. Each request is evaluated, which often includes a visit to the area by transportation administrators before a decision on the request is made. If a stop change is approved it typically takes 3-5 school days to implement. This allows us to notify other riders of the change and, when necessary, a bus or buses to be rerouted.
What do I do if I think my child's bus stop is in an unsafe location?
Call 704-509-9110, email email@example.com, or fax (980-422-0087) the request to our transportation office. Transportation administration will investigate the concern and provide a response following the investigation.
I have a special needs child. How do I arrange for transportation services?
Contact your child's special needs teacher or case manager to begin the process for alternative transportation services.
I don't feel comfortable sending my child down the street to catch the bus. Why can't the stop be at my house?
Safety is our primary consideration when determining bus stops. The bus driver follows set procedures in executing each stop including stopping, observing, opening the door, boarding or releasing passengers, closing the door, etc. It is safer for stops to be distributed along a route to provide optimal distance and time for the driver to complete all safety action steps. More stops also increases the length of the bus ride. Finally, we believe there is safety in numbers. Many students and parents find walking/waiting in groups provides extra security.
I cannot see my child's bus stop from my house. Should this be a concern?
Visibility from home to the bus stop is not part of the transportation criteria when establishing bus stops. Bus stops are collection points within a neighborhood or shopping center. If a parent/guardian is concerned about watching their child at the stop, we recommend they accompany their child to and from the stop.
The school bus passes right by my house. Why can't the driver stop and pick up my child? Our buses pass by the homes of many students when traveling to and from school. To stop at individual homes along the way would greatly impact route efficiency. It would add time to the route and students would not get to school on time.
My child's bus ride seems very long even though we live only 5 minutes from school. Can you tell me why? Bus routes range from 60-120 minutes in length depending on the school and area/miles covered by the route. Although the time from home directly to school may be only 5 minutes, routing requirements sometimes result in a longer ride. Eagle Bus Service transports an average of 65 students per bus with some buses making 30 stops per run.
What happens when my child is given a "referral" for inappropriate behavior from the bus driver?
When addressing inappropriate behavior on the school bus drivers use progressive steps for less serious behaviors. Our goal is to share expectations and "remind and reteach." When a student receives a referral that means progressive steps to change behavior have not worked or the behavior was serious enough to warrant a first offense referral. Additional information on bus expectations and how violations are handled will be addressed individually.
Are school buses safe?
School buses are thoroughly inspected by the NCDMV each year. Additionally, our buses are inspected by certified school bus mechanics on a monthly scheduled basis and routinely serviced. Traveling in a school bus is the safest form of ground transportation in the world.
Are there areas or roads where no bus service is provided?
Yes, there are certain roads in the district where buses do not travel for a variety of reasons. Some roads are subject to seasonal restrictions due to hazards brought about by ice and snow, while others are year-round restrictions because of the steepness of the road or the inability of a bus to safely travel/navigate the road. If you have questions about a particular road please contact the transportation office at 704-509-9110.
Can a parent or other adult step on or ride the school bus?
Parents and other adults are generally not allowed to ride school buses with the exception of school field trips. School buses are provided for students to ride to and from school . . . not as a form of transportation for parents or the general public.
North Carolina GS 14-132.2, prohibits unauthorized entry into a school bus. Parents are advised not to enter a school bus without the consent of Eagle Bus Service or its authorized agent or employee. Persons violating this rule are subject to a misdemeanor trespassing offense. Conviction may result in fines or imprisonment, or both. Fines may not exceed $1,000. Imprisonment may not exceed six months.
Are there items that are NOT ALLOWED on school buses?
Yes . . . To keep students safe and to follow state law, the following items are not allowed on a school bus: Oversized objects, such as athletic equipment and large musical instruments that cannot fit safely on a student's lap or between their legs in a seat. Large objects restrict a student's ability to board the bus without harming themselves and others or damaging the bus. Eagle Bus Service requires objects to sit lower than the window ledge, which is approximately 29 inches high in a school bus. Glass objects such as bottles or jars. Open containers of food and drink or gum.
What are some tips for parents to keep children safe and ensuring a positive experience with the school bus?