1. Who is eligible for town-paid (no-fee) school bus transportation in Cohasset?
Students in Grades K-6 who reside over 2 miles from their assigned school are eligible for town-paid (no-fee) bus transportation. This determination is mandated by the State of Massachusetts (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71 Section 68).
2. How is the two mile distance measured?
The two mile distance is measured from the end of the driveway of the student's home to the closest entranceway of the school, using the shortest means by public roadway.
3. What do I do if I disagree with the School Dept. mileage measurement?
You may complete a Distance Appeal Form and submit it to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools on or before June 30, 2019. Forms are available on line and at the Superintendent’s Office. The distance will be rechecked and a decision rendered. This decision is final and not subject to further appeal. Important: No appeals will be accepted after June 30, 2019.
4. What is the fee-based transportation program?
All students who are NOT eligible for town-paid busing will have the option to purchase a bus pass through the "Fee-Based Transportation Program." This includes students in grades K-6 who live two miles or less from their assigned school and all students in grades 7-12, regardless of distance from school. Early application fee of $200.00 per student, with a family cap of $540.00 if received by June 1st. After June 1st the application application fee is $250.00 per student, with a family cap of $540.00 if received after June 1st. Any bus fee received after August 1st will be $300 per student with a family cap of $540.00.
5. Under what circumstances would I be eligible for a refund?
Refunds will be granted only to those families who move out of town during the school year if they submit a request, in writing, to the Business Office. Refunds will be prorated.
6. How do I apply for the fee-based transportation program?
Complete the fee-based application form and return it with payment to the Business Office by Friday June 1, 2019.
7. What are the payment terms?
The payment deadline is due by June 1, 2019. Payment is due in full by cash, check, or online. We cannot accommodate payment plans or partial payments.
8. What happens if I send in my application/payment after the June 3rd deadline?
Applications or payments received after the June 1st deadline may be placed on a waitlist. Bus routes and staffing will be planned based on applications and payments received before or on June 1st. Applications or payments received after the June 1st will be processed based on the availability of space on a bus and if there is an existing stop already on the route. The transportation department cannot guarantee transportation for your student if the application is received after June 1, 2019.
9. Does my child need a bus pass?
Yes. All bus students are required to carry their bus pass on a daily basis. Even if the student is eligible for no-fee busing, an application form must be completed and returned to the Main Office located at 143 Pond Street. Students who are unable to present a pass for a morning bus will be allowed to board the bus. They must then obtain a temporary bus pass from the Principal’s office in order to board the bus in the afternoon. A temporary pass will be allowed on only 3 occasions. After the 3rd occurrence, the child will not be allowed on the bus.
10. What if my child loses the bus pass?
A new bus pass will be reissued
11. What if my child forgets his or her bus pass?
We will allow a child to board the morning bus; however, the child must obtain a temporary bus pass from the Principals office in order to board the bus in the afternoon. A temporary pass will be allowed on 3 occasions only. After the 3rd occurrence, the child will not be allowed to board the bus. We suggest attaching the bus pass to the child’s backpack. This will keep the pass handy and allow the student to display it without delay.
12. Where will my child be picked up or dropped off?
Children will walk to a common bus stop, as they normally do. Students are not entitled to street-by-street or door-to-door pickup or delivery. All stops will be at corners, whenever possible, so that they are fair and consistent for all. Bus stops are set up in accordance with School Committee policy and State law. Parents are responsible to assure that their child is at the correct bus stop. Any child standing at unauthorized locations or bus stops not assigned by the Transportation Coordinator may not be picked up.
Kindergarten Students: Students attending the AM session or Full day session will board the bus at a group stop with the other neighborhood elementary students (provided there is one in your neighborhood). Students leaving at the end of the day will be dropped off at a designated group stop in your neighborhood. Mid-day, door to door service is available to any half-day kindergarten student. If the bus is unable to go down your street, mid-day students must be met or brought to a designated bus stop by an adult. ALL kindergarten students must be met as they leave the bus by an adult. Failure to meet your child's bus will result in your child being returned to school. It is school policy to return children to their school should an adult not be present to meet the Kindergarten students. If the school is closed, the child will be brought to the Superintendent's Office.
13. Can my child ride home on another bus?
No. Students may ride only on their assigned buses. If there is a family emergency or medical situation, parents should notify the school principal and other transportation arrangements may be made.
14. What if my child needs bus transportation one way or only two or three days per week?
The amount of time you use the bus does not matter; bus costs cannot be prorated according to varied daily usage. This is not a "pay-as-you-ride" program.
15. What if I only want to enroll for a partial year?
Routes and staffing will be configured based upon students enrolled as of June 1, 2019 . There is no provision for payment of a partial year. Should you choose to submit an application and payment after June 1st, transportation will be provided only if space is available and routing does not require reconfiguration.
16. Can student conduct result in suspension from the school bus?
Students are expected to behave in a manner which will provide for optimum safety of the individual student as well as the safety of other students aboard the bus. When a student is reported for violating a safety rule in and around a school bus, school officials will review the situation with the student. Parents will be notified of the behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense and the frequency of violations, the student may: receive a warning, brief suspension from the bus or suspension for the balance of the school year. If a student is participating in the "Fee Based Transportation Program" and is suspended from the bus, the FEE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
17. Is there a provision for a fee waiver?
If you cannot afford the transportation fee and meet income requirements, the waiver application must be completed and submitted, along with required income documentation, by August 1, 2019. Incomplete information will NOT be processed.
18. What if my child has special needs?
Special needs students attending out of district placements (outside the Town of Cohasset) and ride special vehicles or vans are NOT subject to the fee. Special needs students who attend Cohasset Public Schools are subject to the fee under the same provisions as other students unless they have "special transportation" by a "special vehicle" indicated in their Individualized Education Plan (I.E.P.). Special needs students with these two provisions in their I.E.P. are NOT subject to the fee.
19. What if my child has a "504 Plan"?
Students who have a 504 plan are subject to the fee under the same provisions as all other students.
20. Should we expect more car traffic at the schools this fall?
Yes. We strongly encourage parents to obtain a bus pass in order to minimize vehicular traffic at the schools. At $200.00 per year. Consider this cost in comparison to what it will cost you for fuel with high gasoline prices, not the mention the wait time you will face when dropping off or picking up your child.