Frequently Asked Questions
Is my child eligible to ride the bus?
The Kent School District (KSD) provides transportation for students who live farther than the approved walking distance to the school.
- 1.34 miles for elementary students
- 1.75 miles for middle school students
- 2 miles for high school students
Exceptions to these distances may be applied when conditions meet guidelines of state hazardous walking conditions or when a student meets qualifications for special services
KSD is unable to provide transportation to students who live within the approved walking distance due to the large number of students living within those boundaries.
How will I know if my child is eligible to ride the bus?
Students who are eligible for transportation will be assigned to a route and receive a bus pass in August. Students are expected to carry their bus pass and be prepared to present it to the bus driver upon request. Secondary students are required to show their bus pass or school identification (ID) card each time they board the bus.
Please call the KSD Transportation team at (253) 373-7442 if you have not received your bus pass by the second day prior to the start of school.
How do I apply for a space available bus pass?
You can apply for a space available bus pass online for your student if:
- You don’t live in an area served by transportation.
- Your home or daycare is within the approved walking distance to the nearest bus stop.
Students who transfer to a non-boundary school are not eligible for a space available bus pass. Transportation for transfer students is the responsibility of the family.
Exceptions can be made for siblings of Highly Capable (HiCap) students.
Space available passes will begin to be issued in October after busload counts have been completed.
Students riding with a space available bus pass will lose riding privileges for the remainder of the school year if Bus Safety Rules are not obeyed.
Can my child ride the bus from and to daycare?
Transportation is available to elementary students who live in the same school-service area where the daycare is located if space is available on the bus.
Students on a daycare waiver from other attendance areas may be provided transportation if there is space available on the bus.
How do I arrange bus transportation for my child with special needs?
Transportation for students in special education programs is determined by the student’s special educational team.
Students who require special transportation will be picked up and dropped off as close to their home as is practical, depending on their maturity, age, disability, and safe bus access in resident area.
How are bus stops determined?
The Kent School District (KSD) Transportation team determines bus stops following guidelines and laws pertinent to safety and hazardous conditions in compliance with Kent KSD Policy #6600, Washington Administrative Codes, and Revised Codes of Washington (RCM).
Bus stops are placed at intersections and corners. They have been established to avoid travel on private driveways or roads not publicly maintained.
Students are required to use their assigned bus route stop.
What time should my child be at the bus stop?
Students should arrive at their stop five minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the bus. School and transportation schedules do not allow drivers to remain at a stop waiting for students to arrive in the morning.
A parent or guardian who believes their young student(s) should be supervised after leaving the bus at the end of the school day must arrive at the stop location in a timely manner. The driver is not permitted to stop a bus route to wait for a student’s supervising adult.
Can my child ride a different bus or get off at a different stop for a special situation?
Elementary students may ride a different bus or get off at a different stop with principal permission. Principals may make this determination or allow a temporary bus assignment for a non-rider as long as there is space available on the bus. The permission slip must be signed or stamped by a school official.
Secondary students are not allowed to ride a bus other than their assigned bus or get off at a different stop.
What is the danger zone around a school bus?
The danger zone is the space all around the school bus extending 10 feet (10 giant steps) in all directions where the bus driver cannot see students.
Students who have to cross the road must:
- Make eye contact with the driver.
- Wait for the driver to signal when it is safe to cross.
- Be sure it is safe (look left, right, then left again).
- Never cross behind the bus.
Can my child bring a large musical instrument on the bus?
Some instruments are too large to transport on a school bus. Students are expected to load/unload their instruments and keep them in their laps or between their legs during the entire bus ride. If this is not possible, students will be asked to make other arrangements to transport the instrument.
Instruments Allowed on the School Bus
- Alto saxophone
Instruments Not Allowed on the School Bus
- Baritone horn
- Bass viola
- French horn
- Tenor saxophone
How can I learn more about school bus safety?
There are many online resources where families can learn more about keeping children safe in and around the school bus.