Q.How is my student assigned to a bus stop?
A. Our computer system assigns students to the closest bus stop. (Click on “Find Your Bus Stop” on the Transportation Department page of the WVSD website.)
Q. The bus passes my house, why can’t it stop and pick up my child?
A. Our school buses pass by many students’ homes on their way to school or other stops. A bus can only make so many stops on a route and still get to school on time.
Q.Will the bus routes and schedules stay the same throughout the year and year to year?
A. Basic education bus routes will be similar year after year; however, we do make revisions throughout the year if necessary. When changes are made to a route that affects stop times, we will notify the school, parents/guardians and/or students. Parents/guardians can also be electronically notified when a change is made to their student’s route by registering their email addresses through the “Find Your Bus Stop” link on the Transportation Department page of the WVSD website.
Q.Can my Kindergarten or West Valley Early Learning Center student ride the bus?
A. Yes, in most cases. The school secretary can review the eligibility criteria and inform the parent/guardian whether the student is eligible. The school will notify the transportation office to add the child to the route. Kindergarten/WV Early Learning Center students MUST be met at the bus stop by a responsible person, as designated by the parent/guardian. If you want your child released without a responsible person meeting him/her, we must have written authorization on file; your child’s safety is our utmost concern. If your child is a special needs student, please contact the child's special needs teacher or District Special Services at (509) 927-1138 to begin the process for transportation services.
Q.Does West Valley have areas where no bus service is provided?
A. Yes, there are certain roads in the district that buses do not travel for a variety of reasons. Some may be seasonal restrictions due to hazards brought about by ice and snow while others are year-round and can be due to road grade steepness or the ability to safely travel and navigate the road (mostly in the northern area of our district). If you have a question about a particular road, please contact the transportation office at (509) 922-5467.
Q.How do I get my child to school if he/she can't ride the school bus?
A. The parent/guardian is the most knowledgeable about the child's abilities and is in the best position to choose the safest and most appropriate way in their area to get the child safely to and from school. Some options for consideration include: walking with a parent/guardian; walking in a group with other students/parents; being driven to school (by a parent/guardian, grandparents, friends, etc.); carpooling; riding bikes; public transportation; private transportation providers; and childcare providers. More information is available under “Resources” on the Transportation Department page of the WVSD website.
Q.How do I go about getting my child on the school bus?
A. Check out “Find Your Bus Stop” on the Transportation Department web page. If you cannot find a bus stop, contact the secretary at the school and let them know that you would like to request transportation. If your child is a special needs student, please contact your child's special needs teacher or case worker to begin the process for transportation services.
Q. What if I want my child to get off at a stop other than his/her assigned stop?
A. If a student needs to get off at a different stop or ride a different bus after school, the parent/guardian must provide written authorization to the school or bus driver (click here for form). The safety of your child is of utmost importance and our drivers are aware of your student’s normal stop. WAC 392-145-060 (1) states: “A school bus driver shall not order or allow a student to depart the bus other than at his/her regular stop unless permission is first obtained in accordance with district policy”.
Q. How are school bus stops established?
A. Routes are established 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 and we try to keep stops consistent for the morning and afternoon routes. At the middle and high school level, the number of stops on a route typically decreases and students may be expected to walk farther to a stop. Stop locations and distances also may vary depending upon the number of students in the area and the type of area (urban / rural) being served.
Q.I don't think my child's bus stop is in a safe location. What can I do?
A. Please call the transportation office at (509) 922-5467 and explain your concern.
Q.How do I request that a school bus stop be added or changed?
A. Please call the transportation office at (509) 922-5467. Each request is evaluated before the decision is made to add or change a stop. Once a stop change is approved, it may take three to five business days to have it implemented because other riders need to be notified of the change and buses may need to be rerouted.
Q. Can my student get on at one bus stop in the morning and get off at a different stop at the end of the day?
A. Safety and consistency are essential with transportation so your child’s AM and PM stops should be the same. However, there may be extenuating circumstances (i.e. daycare, custodial issues) that affect your child’s transportation. Please contact the transportation office at (509) 922-5467 so we can evaluate the situation.
Q.There is no room for my child at the designated school in our area so my child has been assigned to another school. Will you provide transportation to and from the school to which he/she has been assigned?
A. Yes, the school secretary will notify the transportation office and you will be notified of the arrangements made within three to five working days.
Q. I have a student in the Seth Woodard Elementary SPICE program, but we live in another elementary attendance area in the district. Will you provide transportation to and from school?
A. Yes. Your student will ride the bus for your neighborhood elementary school. Transfer buses run between the elementary schools and Seth Woodard each morning and afternoon.
Q. I have a student that attends City School. Will you provide transportation to and from school?
A. Yes. City School is a “choice” middle school; we provide transportation to and from school for West Valley students. Your student will ride the bus assigned to your area for Centennial Middle School. Transfer buses run between Centennial Middle School and City School each morning and afternoon.
Q. Is transportation to and from school provided to students in alternative high school programs?
A. West Valley has two alternative high school programs:
- Dishman Hills High School (DHHS): No bus transportation is provided.
- Spokane Valley High School (SVHS): Students may ride their neighborhood West Valley High School bus. Transfer buses are provided between WVHS and SVHS each morning and afternoon.
Q. What is an undeliverable student?
A. An undeliverable student is a West Valley Early Learning Center, Kindergarten or Special Education student not met at the bus stop by a designated party. This can also be a student who tells the driver he/she feels unsafe to get off the bus.
Q. What happens to undeliverable students?
A. For mid-day West Valley Early Learning Center/Kindergarten students:
- The driver will notify the transportation office of the child’s name and bus stop location
- The transportation office will inform the school office that the child is still on the bus and provide an approximate time for his/her return to school; the school office will contact the parent/guardian
- The child will remain on the bus until the completion of the route and will be returned to the school
For end-of-school-day students:
- The driver will notify the transportation office of the child’s name and bus stop location
- If the school office is still open, the transportation office will inform the school that the child is still on the bus; the school office will contact the parent/guardian. If no contact can be made with the school, the transportation office will attempt to contact the parent/guardian about the situation and provide an estimated arrival time back at the transportation office
- The child will remain on the bus until the completion of the route and will be brought back to the transportation office at 7205 E. Mission (adjacent to Seth Woodard School)
- If the student is not picked up from the transportation office by 4:30 p.m., local law enforcement or Child Protective Services will be notified
Q. Can a student be suspended from bus service for not following the driver’s directions?
A. Yes. Students may be suspended from bus service depending on their level of progressive discipline or if their actions violate their safety or the safety of the other students on board. For detailed information, visit the Transportation Department page of the WVSD website and click on “Student Conduct on Buses”.
Q. When do I have to stop for a bus that has its red lights flashing?
A.You must stop for a bus that has its red lights flashing when:
- You are on a two-lane roadway (one lane in each direction)
- You are on a multiple lane roadway (three or more lanes) and you are traveling in the same direction as the bus
Q. I have a special needs child. How do I arrange for transportation services?
A.Please contact your child's special needs teacher or District Special Services at (509) 927-1138 to begin the process for transportation services.
Q. If I have two students attending the same school and one student receives special needs transportation, can my other student ride the same bus?
A. Requests are handled on a case-by-case and space-available basis.
Q. Who do I contact if my student has extenuating health circumstances and requires special needs transportation?
A. Contact District Special Services at (509) 927-1138 for assistance in determining if your student meets the necessary criteria for special services transportation.