Eligibility and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Student Transportation

Transportation Eligibility

  • Who do I contact with questions or concerns regarding transportation services?

    Posted by:

    Lou Gatta, Transportation Coordinator, and JoDe Dietsch, Transportation Secretary, can be reached at (847) 859-8160 or by sending an email to transportation@district65.net. Parents and guardians are encouraged to call the Transportation Department directly with questions or concerns regarding bus stops, bus routes, or bus drivers.

     

    Parents are always welcome to call Positive Connections Bus Company at (847) 492-0115 or (847) 492-1541, especially if they are asking about items that may have been left behind on a bus.

     

    Children enrolled in the Head Start program at the JEH Early Childhood Education Center are transported by Chicago School Transit. Families with children enrolled in the Head Start program may direct questions about service or to check on the status/location of a bus to the Student Transportation Department at (847) 859-8300.  

    Comments (-1)
  • How do I know if my student is eligible for transportation services?

    Posted by:

    Many students live in designated walking areas of their attendance area school and; therefore, are not eligible for transportation services. Elementary students who reside 1.5 miles or more from their attendance area school or reside where walking to school or to a bus stop would constitute a serious safety hazard are eligible for free transportation. Additionally, students who recieve special education services also ride free of charge. The D65 Bus Eligibility and Boundary Map is readily available for parents, caregivers, and families to view for further information. 

    Comments (-1)
  • If I do not qualify for free transportation can my child still take the bus?

    Posted by:

    No. However, our magnet schools, TWI program, and ACC may be able to pay for bus services. A fee of $539 will be added to your child’s account in PowerSchool and can be paid through RevTrak.

    Comments (-1)
  • What happens if I move within the district?

    Posted by:

    You will be asked to update and verify your residency, including any apartment number changes, with our registrar located in the Joseph E. Hill Education Center (1500 McDaniel Ave). Parents will be responsible for transportation temporarily if a new route and/or bus stop is needed. This usually takes 3 days after all residency documents have been approved.

    Comments (-1)

Transportation Fees

  • Who is required to pay for transportation services?

    Posted by:

    If your child attends a magnet school, or is enrolled in the African Centered Curriculum (ACC) or Two-Way Immersion (TWI) program and it is not at your child's attendance-area school, it is necessary to pay transportation fees. Families that qualify for reduced-price meals pay a reduced fee and families who qualify for free meals do not pay fees.

     

    Students enrolled in a magnet school or special program such as the African Centered Curriculum (ACC) or Two Way Immersion programs (TWI) may be eligible for transportation. Transportation fees per student are: 


    - $539 full fee for students in grades K - 8
    - $161 for students qualifying for reduced-price meals
    - Waived for students qualifying for free meals.

    Comments (-1)
  • My family is applying for free- or reduced-price meals, do I need to pay transportation fees?

    Posted by:

    Families that qualify for reduced-price meals will receive a bill during the month of November. Families that qualify for free meals do not need to pay transportation fees.

    Comments (-1)
  • What if I don't qualify for free or reduced-price meals but can't afford to pay transportation fees?

    Posted by:

    Families who are not eligible for free- or reduced-price meals and who are unable to pay transportation fees, may apply for a full or partial administrative waiver. For more information, please contact the Business Department at (847) 859-8040.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are payment plans available?

    Posted by:

    Yes, payment plans are available. For more information, please contact the Business Department at (847) 859-8040.

    Comments (-1)

Bus Operations and Safety

  • What mitigation efforts are in place to prioritize student health and safety during bus rides?

    Posted by:

    ISBE and IDPH guidance limits 50 people (including drivers) on a bus. Each student will have to wear a face mask when boarding the bus and during the duration of the route. Every effort will be made for non-siblings to be distanced a minimum of 3 ft apart. Bus drivers will report all discipline issues to the transportation department.

    Comments (-1)
  • How can I help my child board the bus?

    Posted by:

    In alignment with the district's efforts to promote health and safety, we ask that all adults ensure that their child is wearing a mask prior to boarding any District 65 bus. In the event your child does not have a mask upon entry, the bus driver will provide your child with a disposable mask. As a reminder, parents or other unauthorized persons are not allowed to board a bus at any time.

    Comments (-1)
  • What time should my child arrive at the bus stop and how long will they be on the bus?

    Posted by:

    Students should plan to be at their assigned bus stop 10 minutes before their scheduled pick up. As students become more familiar with the bus-riding process, the route timing will change, becoming more consistent and efficient. 

     

    Students will still need to be at the bus stop 5-10 minutes early as weather and traffic can affect the timing of the route. It is important for parents to know that D65 schools follow a detailed dismissal schedule to ensure that each child reaches their destination safely and comfortably.  Staff will carefully check bus assignments as students are escorted to the bus. 

     

    At the beginning of the school  year, buses may not leave school grounds until 20 minutes after the final bell. 

     

    As students become more comfortable with the dismissal routine, this time shortens substantially. 

     

    Please keep in mind that bus routes may take substantially longer during the first weeks of the school year as new routes may be established and in the interest of health and safety, the number of students are limited on each bus. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Can my child receive transportation to and from childcare/community centers?

    Posted by:

    District 65's Transportation Services department readily provides transportation to elementary school students to the following community partners/centers - 

     

    • MCGAW YMCA (1000 Grove St, Evanston, IL 60201)
    • Robert Crown Community Center (1801 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202)
    • Family Focus via Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center (1655 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60201)
    • Evanston Kindercare (2014 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202)

     

    Middle school students are not transported to these programs unless they recieve special education services from the district.

     

    If you require a childcare stop, you must notify the Transportation Department each year of any changes.  If you have questions, please email transportation@district65.net or call the District’s Transportation Line at (847) 859-8160.

    Comments (-1)
  • Can I still pick-up my child from school if they use a school bus for daily transportation?

    Posted by:

    Yes. Be mindful and patient of other vehicles, pedestrians, and all staff. If your student is not using the bus service for a specific day or time frame, you must send a written note to the school office 24 hours in advance advising who will be picking up the student. The person picking up the child may be asked for identification.

    Comments (-1)
  • What if my child leaves something on the bus?

    Posted by:

    Personal items are the responsibility of each student. Neither D65 nor the transportation company is responsible for lost or stolen items. However, it is the policy of the bus company to keep common items such as lunch bags or jackets on the bus for the student to retrieve during the next ride. More valuable items, such as cell phones and chromebooks, are taken to the bus company headquarters where they are secured in a locked facility. Parents may pick up these items directly from the bus company. To inquire about lost items, please call Positive Connections at (847) 492-0115.

    Comments (-1)

Bus Routes & Stops

  • How are bus routes and bus stops determined?

    Posted by:

    Bus stops are created based on state guidelines and transportation standards to ensure safety and efficiency. D65 bus stops are generally on corners and within a two-block walk. As a note, drivers are not authorized to make changes to bus stops.

    Comments (-1)
  • How do I request a change to a bus route or stop?

    Posted by:

    If a temporary change is needed, please provide a written request to the school office and to the Transportation department via transportation@district65.net. Requests should be provided by a minimum of three school days prior to the requested change.

     

    For safety and security reasons, students are not allowed to ride other buses or use other stops. If a permanent change is needed, send an email with your request to your school and to transportation@district65.net. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), please contact the Special Services Department at (847) 859-8090.

    Comments (-1)
  • What if I feel that walking to/from school or a bus stop constitutes a safety hazard for my child?

    Posted by:

    Parents may call the Transportation Department at (847) 859-8160 and request that the District review their concern to see if it meets the criteria for an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) hazard.

    Comments (-1)
  • What if I have a question about my child’s bus route?

    Posted by:

    For questions regarding bus routes, please contact your child's school or reach out to the Transportation department via transportation@district65.net. In your correspondence, please include the school that your child attends, their bus route, and their current assigned bus stop. 

     

    Comments (-1)